Castore have addressed Rangers fans in an email, owning up to unacceptable delivery failings and confirming a switch of suppliers.
Liverpool-based Castore were announced as the Gers’ new kit and retail partners in May, with the club stressing that the unique partnership was the start of a new retail era. [Rangers.co.uk].
🆕 #RangersFC is delighted to announce Castore, the fastest growing premium British sportswear brand, as its official kit and retail partner from the 2020-21 football season.#BetterNeverStops | #ANewEra
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) May 17, 2020
The reaction to the kits that have subsequently been released has been very positive, with most supporters impressed by the look and quality feel of the shirts.
However, at the beginning of the month, plenty of fans took to Twitter to voice their disappointment when their pre-ordered home shirts didn’t arrive on time.
Issues with deliveries ensure that some supporters still don’t have shirts they paid in advance for, which is especially galling considering they’re now available in the new Rangers Store at Ibrox and in high street shops such as Sports Direct.
Castore have come under pressure to recognise their failings and finally addressed supporters on Friday.
“To date, over 100,000 packages have been successfully delivered to Rangers fans in over 35 countries across the globe since the partnership launched,” read the email. “Castore were able to achieve this within a three-month window for design, manufacture and production, during a global pandemic, with industry-standard expected at a minimum 18 months.”
”It is regrettable that not every supporter has received their package on time. Together, we have worked tirelessly to rectify any issues, with less than 3% of all orders being impacted. We recognise that this is still too high and acknowledge the disappointment and frustration.
“A third-party courier appointed to deliver a number of the packages unfortunately encountered issues outside Castore and the club’s control, which has left some supporters disappointed, as products did not arrive as expected. Castore has appointed a new supplier to deliver Rangers products in the expected manner.
“98% of products now been delivered to supporters as of today. Those whose original orders cannot be accommodated this week, will receive full refunds together with a £25 voucher, in order they can buy products directly from The Rangers Store or order online.”
Castore address Rangers fans over failings – Verdict
After all the build-up and the assurances about Castore’s ability to satisfy demand, the home shirt pre-order turned into a shambles.
Castore are still deflecting blame a little and there’s no outright apology, but they have at least recognised that the service has so far been unacceptable.
These are unprecedented times, though, and it’s an unenviable task to ship products to 35 countries during a pandemic.
Given that the brand entered a long-term partnership with the Gers, they are likely to be given time to get it right and supporters will hope that the acknowledgement of the failings and the switch of suppliers are the first steps in the right direction.