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Celtic Should Have Best Club Shop In The World!

Date: 17th September 2019

Personally I think most Scottish clubs could do better when it comes to their club shops. I think they should be offering more original content and not always just on a game day. I believe Celtic in particular should be more ambitious when it comes to their retail arm of their business.

I watched on with interest this summer as the Scottish Premiership champions launched The Celtic Festival at the SEC in Glasgow. It was well received and tens of thousands of people turned up to the event. 

Celtic boss Neil Lennon said this about the festival (Via https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/sport/football/it-shows-the-enormity-of-the-fanbase-lennon-on-the-celtic-festival/26/07/):

“To be honest, there are not many clubs that can do something like this, so it just shows the enormity of the Celtic fanbase and what the club means to so many people.”

For me, the event just proved that the club doesn’t understand that the Celtic megastore isn’t fit for purpose at Parkhead. That’s not saying that the current club shop isn’t the best in the country but for Celtic the ambition should be to have the best club shop in the world! 

If they were to get rid of the current building and make it bigger and better, then I can guarantee you that it will pay for itself. 

In the past I’ve worked in retail and a big thing that retailers to this day don’t understand is that the experience of the customer is the most important thing. Celtic could provide the best customer experience in the whole of Scotland, and not just in sports retail either. That’s because they have a huge, passionate fanbase and they should know how to serve that devoted customer. 

It shouldn’t just be a place where you walk in and buy a strip or a polo shirt and that’s it. You should be able to spend a great deal of time there and have different products there that change on a regular basis.

Personally, I would have a three storey building and try and have it closer to the stadium. If you could link the two with say a tunnel, on non-match days, then you can have it as a major focal point for club tours. 

As well as selling the usual merchandise, Celtic should be sourcing local designers/Celtic fans and selling their prints, T-Shirts, hoodies and mugs with unique designs that the supporters can 100% relate to. I’m sure work by the likes of Frankie Mitchell (@madebyfrankie) and apparel or furnishings made just for the store by a company like The North Curve would be big sellers in the east end. By promoting smaller companies and Celtic minded creative individuals that would stick with the club’s founding ethos. 

As well as offering more unique products, more can be done to bring people through the doors. 

For example have a wall dedicated on the top floor that’s just a mural. Think The Beatles album cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and have faces throughout the years of people that have made Celtic historic. You have the ex-players and managers but also famous fans and the founders. This wall becomes a portrait that instagram followers and the like would flock to. The third floor should also have a balcony and the club can parade new signings there, then the first 100 customers after the signing is announced get a chance to buying a signed shirt by said new player. 

You could also hold monthly events on the top floor; hosting things like a live 90 Minute Cynic podcast (@90MinuteCynic) or a live A Celtic State Of Mind show (@ACSOMPOD), Q&A’s with legends and first team player product signings. It’s a case of giving fans something back, while also getting money into the club’s coffers. 

I’d also have a statute of Henrik Larsson on the second floor, one that people can touch and have pictures taken with. Essentially you are giving people an experience that they can’t get elsewhere!

If you can make the club shop a major focal point, then you will get a huge number through the doors and all year too. Not just diehard Celtic fans either, you’ll get tourists coming in their droves and buying merchandise that they know aren’t just templates from a big sports company. 

Celtic offer supporters a great fan experience during games but I just can’t understand why they can’t give their faithful a fantastic shopping experience within their own club shop. 

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