German national team jerseys are a hot item in a hot summer | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 09.07.2010
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German national team jerseys are a hot item in a hot summer

A young, captivating German soccer team competing in the World Cup and a hot summer have been a huge boost for sportswear sales in Germany. The national black away jersey has sold out in much of the country.

German national team home jersey

Germany's performance has boosted jersey sales

Adidas, the official outfitter of the German national team and several others competing in the 2010 World Cup, was expecting good sportswear sales in Germany but hadn't expected them to go quite as wild as they have.

Numerous retailers across the country ran out of the official jerseys, particularly the elegant black away ones, just days into the global soccer event.

And that was despite the fact that Adidas sold one million of the shirts to retailers worldwide ahead of the tournament, and has delivered an additional 200,000 since the kick-off in June.

'Super satisfied'

Germany's Miroslav Klose celebrates after scoring the fourth goal ni World Cup

The black jersey of the German national team is sold out

In 2006, when the World Cup was held in Germany, Adidas sold slightly more German jerseys worldwide -- 1.5 million. But this time round, it has done better overall. Figures for the sale of all Adidas-sponsored squad shirts have more than doubled to reach a total of 6.5 million.

"We're super satisfied with sales," Adidas spokeswoman Kirsten Keck, told Deutsche Welle.

Adidas would probably be even happier if retailers had anticipated the booming demand for German national team jerseys and ordered more from the start, particularly given the none too flexible recommended retail price of 69.95 euros ($88.00).

The home and away sets of jerseys and shorts will be restocked and available until a new line of gear is introduced toward the end of next year, several months ahead of the upcoming European tournament, according to Michael Lipsky, store manager of the Sportarena branch in Bonn.

Waiting for more

"We won't reduce the price of the German national team jerseys as these will be current for some time, but we have already dropped prices by an average of 20 percent for the jerseys of national teams that have dropped out of the competition," Lipsky told Deutsche Welle. "The black away jerseys sold out quickly, and we're still waiting to receive more."

German fans in public viewing

German fans have dressed up to view the games

The Bonn branch sold more shirts for the 2010 World Cup than for the 2008 European Cup, in which the German team played – and lost – against Spain in the final, according to Lipsky.

"We didn't expect this demand," he said. "But when a team plays well, this is reflected in sales. And the great weather has been a factor, too."

For the big global and European soccer tournaments organized by soccer's world-governing body FIFA, Adidas and other key suppliers like Nike and Puma urge retailers to place their orders well in advance and not to underestimate demand.

But because retailers typically worry about sitting on large inventories of unsold products, they often err on the side of caution – a practice that has boomeranged for many stores across the country.

Sold out

"We thought we ordered more than plenty of the jerseys, but they sold out really fast – a lot better than in 2006," Mo Rifi, a sales manager at Sport-Helmreich in Duesseldorf, told Deutsche Welle. "All of us are surprised. We could have sold more."

Rifi says it will take until August to complete the backorders for the popular black jersey.

Which all goes to show that if the German national team chooses a black jersey again, it's better to strike before the team -- and the weather -- get too hot.

Author: John Blau
Editor: Tamsin Walker

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