Manchester-based vintage football shirt company buys new £4.5million headquarters as huge growth plans are unveiled
A vintage football shirt retailer has moved to new headquarters in Manchester to cope with its impressive growth after a £4.5million investment.
Classic Football Shirts has opened its new warehouse and offices in Hyde, Tameside, and the company founded in 2006 by University of Manchester students Matthew Dale and Doug Bierton reports that sales are expected to increase by 25% this year.
This is in addition to plans to hire about 13 additional staff to work at the company’s new 70,000 square foot base, which is more than twice the size of its former headquarters.
Following its move and due to its growth, Classic Football Shirts has appointed accounting and consultancy firm HURST to provide insurance services.
Mr Dale said: “Sales have increased as online shopping has increased and more and more people are working from home and therefore feel they don’t have to wear a suit.
“We are delighted to be operational in our new larger premises. This move means we are well prepared for continued future growth and we are delighted to welcome our new members of staff to help us meet the growing demand for our shirts.
“The HURST team has impressed us with their experience and knowledge and we are delighted to have partnered with them.”
The company, which was previously based on Edwin Road near the Etihad campus, sells vintage and rare second-hand football shirts as well as ranges of club shirts around the world. His website also features a collection of jerseys worn by players. Recently, he started selling American sports shirts.
This year’s turnover is expected to increase from £12m to £15m.
Mr Dale said demand was increasing due to the rise of online shopping as well as an increase in working from home as people dress more casually.
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As well as its online chains, Classic Football Shirts has stores in Manchester’s Barton Arcade and Brick Lane in London’s East End, with plans to open an outlet in Liverpool.
Arsenal fan Mr Dale and Manchester United supporter Mr Bierton, both 35, were in the final year of their management education when they combined their passion for football and the business to start their business.
Mr Dale added: “There were a lot of people selling football shirts back then, but not really in a professional capacity. We decided to go, thinking we had nothing to lose.
“We bought as many shirts as we could with our credit cards and things took off from there.”
As well as UK and European club shirts, the retailer sells team kits from countries further afield, including Ghana, Indonesia and Zimbabwe.
“People love to collect rare and vintage shirts. They buy them to wear and as gifts for friends and family. They often buy a piece of football history.”
HURST’s team, led by business services partner Anthony Woodings, provides audit services using its market-leading digital approach.
Mr. Woodings said, “We are delighted to be working with Matt and Doug as our premier audit firm.
“Our appointment underscores HURST’s strength and reputation for partnering with fast-growing mid-market businesses, and we look forward to working with Classic Football Shirts as the business grows in the future.”