AFC Leopards close merchandise shop after stock for replica jerseys run dry

AFC Leopards official team store.
AFC Leopards.
Goal can reveal the Ingwe shop which was opened in Nairobi CBD has not been operating for the last month

FKF Premier League side AFC Leopards have closed their merchandise shop after failing to secure new stock of replica jerseys.

Goal can exclusively reveal the shop which was opened on June 23, and was supposed to serve fans with the club’s merchandise, has not been operating for the last month.

A source privy to the happening has confirmed to Goal the shop was closed because the first stock of replica jerseys had been sold, and the office was yet to secure or ship in new stock.

“It is true the shop has not been operating for the last one month,” the source, who did not want to be named, told Goal. “The office is saying they don’t have money to bring in new merchandise and as such the shop will remain closed.”

The 13-time league champions have been trying to set up structures to enable them to get a sustainable financial income and in June, they became the second club in the country to open a fully-fledged merchandise shop.

On opening the shop, Ingwe chairman Dan Shikanda told Goal: “We have done most of the things regarding the merchandise shop, and by the end of this month, we believe it will be up and running.

“It will be located at the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) where it will be easier for our fans to locate. We will have club replica jerseys, caps, t-shirts, bands, watches...everything with Ingwe brand.

“The fans will have a way of directly contributing to the club's growth by purchasing the Ingwe merchandise from the shop. We will also have our match-day tickets sold at the shop at any given time.”

The former striker did not hesitate to comment on the quality of the goods to be stocked on opening the shop.

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“We will have quality jerseys for our fans which will be durable as compared to the counterfeit ones which do not last. Cheap is expensive, so for those who want to go for low-quality merchandise by other vendors, we cannot stop them. But buying in our shop will help us grow," he added.

“Our plan is to expand and have branches all over the country.”

Wazito are the only other club in the top tier with an official merchandise shop.