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[07 JUL 99] COVENTRY CITY FC NEWS
Sky Blues Sell With Safeway

Coventry City could extend their shopping experiment with supermarket giants Safeway.

The Sky Blues have opened retail concessions in the Safeway stores at Whitley and Holyhead Road – immediately making merchandise available to 50,000 customers a week.

The two superstores are the only places in the city – outside the two official City shops – where supporters can buy official Sky Blues goods.

It is the first time City have sold goods through a general store and Retail Operations Controller Paul Coles says the experiment is going extremely well.

He said:

"We are only just over a week into the operation and we are delighted with the way it is going. We also opened a concession in Sporting Touch, in Nuneaton, and that has also been very busy.

"We sell through mail order and the Internet but not everyone can get into our shops during opening hours. This arrangement allows supporters wider access to the goods they want.

"We are currently selling the new team strips and a range of other official merchandise. The next logical step, if things go well, is for us to look at the Safeway store in Stratford, which would give us an outlet in the south of the county."

The merchandise operation at the club – which also includes shops at the Highfield Road Stadium and in West Orchards – sells everything from a Sky Blues mountain bike to an eraser and is of growing financial importance.

Cole added:

"What we do is crucial in terms of helping us compete in the transfer market. The whole reason the merchandise operation exists is to put new players on the field and help us keep the ones we have.

"Out biggest seller is always the team strips and the two new kits are selling very well. We launched the home kit earlier than last year and even though it is selling very well, we expect there to be another surge before the season starts."
  

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 7 Jul 99

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