Jump to content

Olympic Jersey Inventory Situation


CryWolf
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have seen that a lot of people are trying to understand why it is so difficult to find various Olympic jerseys for a number of teams. So, I thought I would try to clarify the situation:

From IceJerseys' perspective, we are based in Canada, so we buy our jerseys from Nike Canada. For Nike Canada, Olympic hockey is a big deal, so they offer a wide range of products and teams in terms of jerseys and apparel. As retailers, we have to place a 'booking' order for the goods usually by February for Fall delivery. This is what we did for all of our 2010 merchandise, which arrived in Fall 2009. Understandably, 90% of the goods booked by Canadian retailers is for Team Canada merchandise, as that is where the main focus is here. For other countries, minimums need to be met for it to be produced. IceJerseys is probably one of the only retailers in Canada that buys for ALL countries, as we have a global clientele. As a result, we have to guesstimate how many jerseys we will need for each country many months before the opening ceremonies. If minimums are met for each jersey or apparel style, then they are delivered - if not, they get cancelled. Generally, we have to buy what we feel will definitely sell, as we can't take huge risks on carrying a lot of inventory in less popular countries. In the fall, we received merchandise for every team, and had most of it still available through to Christmas. Sometimes Nike may have some additional inventory available in some items, and we place repeat orders as needed if there is demand and we are out of stock - but the selection is usually limited, if there is any at all. Nike Canada is unable to run additional production in-season, so we are generally out of luck once goods sell through. If demand is very high, they may try to run more production, but since it is done offshore, it takes many weeks (maybe even a few months), to deliver new production, and by then, the buzz is usually gone... so it is tricky.

From the perspective of US retailers, they have to buy from Nike USA. Olympic Hockey means nothing to Nike USA. They really don't care about it at all, as it is an afterthought of a market for them (which is basically a reflection of the similar attitudes of US retailers, who don't generally support hockey). So, since most US retailers ignored booking Olympic hockey merchandise altogether, or if they ordered, it was in very limited amounts, Nike USA delivered their bookings, and then washed their hands of Olympic hockey. They have no interest in backing up inventory when the retailers aren't on board to start with. So, that is why you won't have an easy time finding jerseys and apparel - even for Team USA, at retail in the US. Imagine if there is Miracle on Ice version 2.0 at the Olympics this year? :lol: American hockey fans might riot when they find out they can't find a USA jersey anywhere!

So, to make a long story short, that is why it is important to buy jerseys, or other merchandise when you first see it become available. In the hockey market, you just never know how long it will be available. This rule is even more important for 'hot market' items (eg Olympics, Stanley Cup, etc.), because if the items are time sensitive (for example, the Olympic jerseys will not be worn again after this tournament), then the manufacturers generally will have no reason to go back to the well. Trust me, nobody will be looking for 2010 Olympic jerseys by this summer.

This isn't football, with a market of a gazzilion fans worldwide. This is hockey. We are a tiny niche market to the manufacturers outside of Canada. And unfortunately, Canadian retailers are usually buying for their local fan base, so as a group, they are unable to support mass production of all teams/countries for everyone around the world. At IceJerseys, we had a great selection of IIHF merchandise for all teams for a very long time - those who were on the ball had a lot to choose from and got it. For those who waitied until now to look for goods, unfortunately they have to face the realities of the hockey marketplace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, to make a long story short, that is why it is important to buy jerseys, or other merchandise when you first see it become available.

Easier said than done, especially when you're waiting on rosters to be finalized. That's not IJs problem of course and I'm not having a go, just saying that I wouldn't have bought a jersey and tried to second guess at the name/number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen that a lot of people are trying to understand why it is so difficult to find various Olympic jerseys for a number of teams. So, I thought I would try to clarify the situation:

From IceJerseys' perspective, we are based in Canada, so we buy our jerseys from Nike Canada. For Nike Canada, Olympic hockey is a big deal, so they offer a wide range of products and teams in terms of jerseys and apparel. As retailers, we have to place a 'booking' order for the goods usually by February for Fall delivery. This is what we did for all of our 2010 merchandise, which arrived in Fall 2009. Understandably, 90% of the goods booked by Canadian retailers is for Team Canada merchandise, as that is where the main focus is here. For other countries, minimums need to be met for it to be produced. IceJerseys is probably one of the only retailers in Canada that buys for ALL countries, as we have a global clientele. As a result, we have to guesstimate how many jerseys we will need for each country many months before the opening ceremonies. If minimums are met for each jersey or apparel style, then they are delivered - if not, they get cancelled. Generally, we have to buy what we feel will definitely sell, as we can't take huge risks on carrying a lot of inventory in less popular countries. In the fall, we received merchandise for every team, and had most of it still available through to Christmas. Sometimes Nike may have some additional inventory available in some items, and we place repeat orders as needed if there is demand and we are out of stock - but the selection is usually limited, if there is any at all. Nike Canada is unable to run additional production in-season, so we are generally out of luck once goods sell through. If demand is very high, they may try to run more production, but since it is done offshore, it takes many weeks (maybe even a few months), to deliver new production, and by then, the buzz is usually gone... so it is tricky.

Do you know if Nike produced authentics for any other teams besides USA and Canada? I assume many places dont offer them because they are extremely expensive to order, and a minimum order of X amount of jerseys costs X amount of dollars, which is usually pretty large..

In regards to other teams.. Norway and China for example, did nike make anything other than the red jerseys for each team available? if not, do you know what the production of those countries was like? I only saw them available through IJ and River City Sports.

Also, do you know if Nike will have any overstock from the olympics? I know River City usually has a whole bunch of authentic jerseys a few months after tournaments, and even offered the authentic practice jerseys. I know its a big risk for businesses to buy overstock. Especially with your comment about it being Summer and people buying olympic jerseys... But can you shed any light on this ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, with this info where can one find the dark US jersey sinc IJ is out of them and not looking to be able to restock? I was hoping to customize,but with the recent issues with it, is it just a better idea to just buy a blank now and customize it later in hopes all the numbering and nameplate issues hopefully can be worked out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know if Nike produced authentics for any other teams besides USA and Canada? I assume many places dont offer them because they are extremely expensive to order, and a minimum order of X amount of jerseys costs X amount of dollars, which is usually pretty large..

In regards to other teams.. Norway and China for example, did nike make anything other than the red jerseys for each team available? if not, do you know what the production of those countries was like? I only saw them available through IJ and River City Sports.

Also, do you know if Nike will have any overstock from the olympics? I know River City usually has a whole bunch of authentic jerseys a few months after tournaments, and even offered the authentic practice jerseys. I know its a big risk for businesses to buy overstock. Especially with your comment about it being Summer and people buying olympic jerseys... But can you shed any light on this ?

I don't believe authentics were available from Nike Canada for any team other than Canada (maybe USA was available in the US as well). Norway and China were only offered in the one color. Production was based on booking orders only, and is now sold out from Nike Canada - no more coming. I highly doubt there will be any overstock from Nike, considering they have basically no stock now. RCS bought out a bunch of old inventory a long time ago, at a time when Nike was making a big change after a long period of no change in jersey designs, so they had a lot of old stuff on the shelves. I don't see that happening again - certianly not for Olympic jerseys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NHL.com seems to have the US in stock,but I'm not sure I trust it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't trust them to customize it, but the blank jersey should be fine shouldn't it?
I need to call to confirm they actually have the darks in stock. I thought NHL.com really struggled with what they actually had or maybe I'm thinking of RCS.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to call to confirm they actually have the darks in stock. I thought NHL.com really struggled with what they actually had or maybe I'm thinking of RCS.

I've had that happen with RCS before. Bought something, not received it, emailed to find out where it is and "Oh we haven't got any". It'll still be being listed on the site of course. I'd hope NHL.com has a system that keeps better track, but then I'd hope RCS would too. So yeah, best to call them :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

USAhockey.com has the jerseys. Not the navy ones though; just the white and thirds. Replicas obviously. No pro cuts(argh).

Yeah I got my third today. I would have bought it from IceJerseys, but as CryWolf said the inventory is limited and they only had smalls (being 6' 2'' that wasn't going to work). I ended up having to get it customized (I thought Backes was a good choice sorry Dru) otherwise USAHockey wouldn't have even had my size. I really now know to order this stuff earlier, but am excited for my Olympic third! I hope it arrives in time for the medal round!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The site lists Russia as Out of Stock, is this because they are sold out or you have not received your stock yet?

Sold out - we had it in stock for a while until recently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I got my third today. I would have bought it from IceJerseys, but as CryWolf said the inventory is limited and they only had smalls (being 6' 2'' that wasn't going to work). I ended up having to get it customized (I thought Backes was a good choice sorry Dru) otherwise USAHockey wouldn't have even had my size. I really now know to order this stuff earlier, but am excited for my Olympic third! I hope it arrives in time for the medal round!

CryWolf I just wanted to add the first place I looked for the third jersey was on IceJerseys. Unfortunately I acted too late and you guys only had smalls. I wanted to add a thank you for clarifying about how little inventory you guys had overall. It will help, at least me if not everyone, in the future when I consider buying a jersey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks to all for the information, it all makes good sense to me....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was in Vancouver for the Olympics during the first week. I bought a Finland jersey on the first day of the hockey competition at the Canada Hockey Place store. That was Tuesday Feb. 16. My next game to see was on Friday Feb. 19. I had decided I wanted a Norway jersey, and they were sold out. Not only were there no Norway jerseys left, Slovakia was completely gone and there were only smalls left for both Switzerland and Latvia. I went to the store that night with 4 options and I was able to leave with nothing. I asked one employee why they had so little stock left with a full week to go, and all he said to me was, "we sold a ton of stuff". Well of course you did, that's why you have nothing left. That wasn't an answer to my question, even if it was a bit indirect. I asked somebody at the counter if they expected replenishment, and he said they were. That's when I enlisted the help of a couple friends who had tickets for games during the second week.

I understand Nike's priorities with Canada stock, but in my opinion, the low numbers in other teams were a clear underestimation by Nike as to the demand for jerseys of other teams at the event. That Friday night game was my last event there, but I had a couple friends who attended a combined 4 more games at Canada Hockey Place that week, and neither of them was able to find me a jersey of any of the teams I mentioned above, either at Canada Hockey Place or anywhere else in Vancouver. I know for a fact that the Canada Hockey Place store was not replenished for jerseys of those teams, despite store staff telling me they would be.

What's even more baffling to me, is that at The Bay and the Nike Store in downtown Vancouver, there was an abundance of China jerseys. I understand Vancouver has a large Chinese population, but I can't see that as a valid reason to produce so many China jerseys, that ended up just sitting there for the most part, when teams like Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Norway seemingly had a small run produced and nothing more. Am I right in that assumption, or is there a reason I wasn't told and can't think of that I was unable to shop at an Olympic venue's store with a full week of competition to go?

I also understand the offshore production, but when demand is clearly as high as it was in Vancouver, could Nike Canada not use the Canadian factories it uses to produce authentic jerseys to make more replicas as demand dictates?

Edited by Van27
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aw, looks like I'm not getting my Slovakia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad there is several retail shops here in Calgary that carry a variety of the Olympic participents and some nations that didn't make the cut. One store has both Austria's home and away threads, as well as Kazakhstan's. Next paycheque and both will be mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...