A “game-changing” Glasgow e-commerce platform is expanding to larger premises and investing in new equipment to meet rising demand, just three months after it began trading.
Kitvendr, a tech business that helps amateur and community sports clubs to generate income by selling their own branded merchandise, has secured a series of key client wins since it kicked off in July.
The start-up counts British Ice Hockey among its clients, along with a string of Scottish rugby, rugby sevens and community sports groups.
After outgrowing its initial Govan base, Kitvendr is now moving to a larger industrial unit in the area and has invested in specialist machinery to boost its production processes and take on the wider UK market.
The business aims to empower grassroots clubs – and support the volunteers who run them – by making it easier to sell directly to their own members and supporters, generating revenue while boosting awareness of their brand.
Clubs signing up to the free-to-use platform receive a bespoke online shop and product range, from which customers can directly order branded clothing and merchandise.
The start-up is planning to expand its production range, which currently includes caps, beanie hats, t-shirts and scarves.
Co-founder Rangi Jericevich said: “Lots of community sports clubs sell branded club wear to players and supporters, but for many, it is typically viewed as a means of kitting out their members and not as an income generator.
“It’s often down to one volunteer to source the supplier, place a bulk order and then spend weeks trying to get payments back in to recoup costs. Or some clubs will collect payments in advance of placing an order and the customer then has to wait weeks for the product.
“Kitvendr’s e-commerce platform and production facility enables clubs to retail their products and offer the same level of product quality and service that professional clubs enjoy. It removes the need for bulk ordering and production, and there is no administration or stock control for the club.”
As a player and committee member of Glasgow’s GHA Rugby Club, Jericevich saw first-hand the logistical and financial challenges experienced by clubs that want to offer branded apparel.
He added: “Community and amateur sports clubs operate in a challenging financial climate: competition for funding is high and many traditional income streams have become less lucrative.
“Kitvendr aims to be a retail partner to these clubs, helping them to become more financially resilient by generating an income stream from the very first sale which they can then invest back into the club.
“We are passionate about grassroots sport and building a company with a real social purpose in supporting them.”