Avatar photo

By Akhona Matshoba

Moneyweb: Journalist

Good luck finding the official Springbok jersey ahead of Rugby World Cup final

Sportswear retailers seem to have only unofficial versions still available

If you’ve been able to find the official Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2023 Springbok Jersey at your local sports store ahead of the final game this Saturday, consider yourself lucky because many of the stores that should have them are out of stock.

Rugby supporters might have better luck finding the old-school jersey or unofficial versions, but even that can’t be promised because the stores Moneyweb approached seem to only have sizes upwards of extra large (XL).

ALSO READ: De Klerk, Pollard start as Boks go 7-1 on bench for All Blacks in World Cup final

On Wednesday Moneyweb reached out to Nike, Sportsmans Warehouse and Totalsports stores at the country’s mega malls – including Mall of Africa, Sandton City, Canal Walk, V&A Waterfront, Gateway Theatre of Shopping and Rosebank Mall.

Most stores were either completely sold out of all Springbok RWC 2023 merchandise, or only had larger sizes of the old-school version of the jersey available.

Stock comes in and flies out

Fans shopping at Nike stores earlier this week may have been lucky as the salespeople Moneyweb spoke to confirmed that their stores had managed to restock. However, they said because the jersey is so sought-after, racks emptied soon after.

“Two days ago, we put the jerseys on [the racks] and yesterday [were] sold out … a lot of people have come for the jersey,” a salesperson at Nike Canal Walk said, adding that the store is only left with old-school jerseys in XXL.

The Nike V&A Waterfront store apparently restocked on Tuesday, but a salesperson said it took about an hour before they were all gone. A similar scenario seems to have played out at Umhlanga’s Gateway Mall.

ALSO READ: World Rugby finds no evidence of racial slur, Mbonambi free to play

The Nike employees could not confirm whether their stores would be receiving any additional stock ahead of Saturday’s game to meet the demand.

Rugby fans can buy the yellow-collared jersey at Nike and a few other selected stores, including Sportsmans Warehouse and Totalsports.

Consumers might have better luck finding an old-school jersey at Sportsmans Warehouse because official jerseys were nowhere to be found. A sales rep even said it had been a while since the store had stock available. The same seemed to be true for TFG-owned Totalsports.

According to a sales rep at the Canal Walk branch of Totalsports, the store received 40 official jerseys this week but by Wednesday afternoon only had two left – in XXL. He said the branch may receive additional units ahead of Saturday’s game.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Golf superstar Ernie Els wishes Boks good luck for World Cup final

“I am hoping to try, I am waiting for the buyer … because they said I would get 73 [jerseys] but I only received 40. So, I am just waiting to find out if I will receive more,” he said.

Retailers happy

The hunger for Springbok merchandise comes as South Africans look to show their support for the national team as it campaigns for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

#BokFridays – which sees South Africans young and old wearing Springbok-branded merchandise to work or school on Fridays ahead of the weekend games – has led to a surge in demand for Springbok merchandise.

This comes as the Springboks, the defending champions, near the end of their World Cup campaign in France. The Springboks will be facing off against the All Blacks in the final on Saturday.

The demand for merchandise has come as a welcome boost for local retailers trying to get a piece of the World Cup economy by offering Springbok-related gear.

ALSO READ: Kwagga Smith says Boks ready to go 100 minutes against All Blacks

Commenting on how the fanfare has boosted sales, TFG’s Totalsports team said: “The South African Rugby World Cup jerseys (both the ‘green and gold’ and the alternate jersey) have been well received by our customers, reflecting the nation’s passion for rugby and their pride and unwavering support for the Springboks.”

Grocery and clothing retailer Pick n Pay told Moneyweb it had received a positive response to the RWC-inspired merchandise it launched across its stores earlier this year.

The retailer said it took the decision to triple the volume of items on its shelves after experiencing “overwhelming” demand for the range of Rugby World Cup clothing and accessories it put out in 2019 when the Springboks won the tournament.

“All stores have unfortunately now sold out of this range as the take-up by customers was incredible thanks to the affordable pricing making it accessible to all customers,” Pick n Pay Clothing GM Hazel Pillay told Moneyweb.

Pick n Pay further tapped into the excitement by offering free rugby-inspired prints on T-shirts bought in-store. The initiative has reportedly been well-received by customers, resulting in greater foot traffic at the selected stores and adding a kick to sales.

“This is something special we are doing for our customers as we all join the ‘gees’ [spirit] of the country and unite in celebrating our national rugby team and their incredible performance,” Pillay added.

This article is republished from Moneyweb under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

Read more on these topics

Merchandise Moneyweb Springboks (Bokke/Boks)

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits