EM Fan Merchandise: Black, Red, and Gold Bunny Ears for Germany

EM Fan Merchandise: Black, Red, and Gold Bunny Ears for Germany

Rosa Marotta just received new car flags. Place the fresh produce from a large cardboard box on a shelf with fan items, the sight of which should make football fans’ hearts beat faster: hats and wigs in black, red and gold, plastic bikinis and bracelets, petals pink for the table. ornaments, coasters or hands waving the national colors.

“We even have bunny ears in black, red and gold,” Marotta says with a smile. She is the manager of the Wicky gift shop in the center of Mainz. “People buy things like that.” But the best thing, as always in big football events, were the flags. Especially the German one. But also the Italian, Croatian or Turkish flags are in great demand.

Double sales in the 2014 World Cup

Wicky’s headquarters are located in Drensteinfurt near Münster. The owner, Siegfried Kurzhals, operates nine branches throughout Germany. In the history of his company he has already experienced several world and European championships and he knows to what extent these events boost the business: “The 2014 World Cup was spectacular,” remembers Kurzhals. “Demand for fan products increased as the tournament progressed.”

Back then, in the football summer of 2014, his company doubled its sales. Therefore, this spring Kurzhals has changed his offer and is once again focusing exclusively on enthusiasm for football.

Business depends on success in the tournament

The German Trade Association (HDE) estimates that additional retail sales will amount to 3.8 billion euros. “In retail, major sporting events always stimulate sales,” says Stefan Genth, CEO of HDE.

A survey commissioned by the association showed that food and hobby items were in particular demand. More than 31 percent of respondents wanted to buy scarves, flags or decorative items. A third of those surveyed plan to spend up to 200 euros more on purchases during the European Football Championship.

But “the development of retail sales also depends on how the tournament develops,” says Genth. “If the German team achieves a new summer fairy tale and goes far, that could significantly increase consumer sentiment.”

Many fan items, especially flags, are sold in the Wicky store in Mainz.

consumer advice center warns about fake stores

Sales of European Championship fan gear are booming not only in local stores but also online. The Consumer Service Center warns that in this case caution is recommended: fake stores hide behind surprisingly cheap offers, such as T-shirts. The original German national team jersey costs 100 euros in the DFB fan shop, with the player’s name and number printed on the back it costs 122 euros.

“Official German national team jerseys at less than half the price, all available immediately and free shipping worldwide: offers that seem too good to be true,” writes the consumer service center in a statement. Customers would have to wait as these products would never arrive and the money would run out.

Fake T-shirts: Be careful when buying

Online stores also offer counterfeit t-shirts, often with the added “Thai quality” label. This indicates “cheap products,” according to the consumer service center.

German law does not provide for penalties for the purchase of counterfeit products. However, if they were delivered from abroad, customs could confiscate the counterfeit brand. Additional costs could then arise, such as import sales taxes. Last but not least, these products are often “of poor quality and, in the worst case, could be contaminated with contaminants.”

How big events encourage consumption

Erik Maier is a professor of marketing and retail at the Graduate School of Management in Leipzig and his research also focuses on the question of why people make purchasing decisions. A European Championship in your own country tempts customers to buy fan items or official products for various reasons.

“The greater attention paid to the event has an important effect,” explains the scientist. This also means greater attention to certain consumer needs. This also applies to products that are only indirectly related to the topic of football: “If you watch the European Championship with friends, you may feel the need to consume more beer, more chips or more grilled food.”

Furthermore, before and during a Euro Cup there are many more products related to the theme of football, for example through so-called “co-branding”. Anyone passing by the supermarket will see drinks or sweets with the FIFA or DFB logo. “And last but not least, during a European Championship there is much more advertising than usual, which also has an impact on consumption,” says Maier.

How much ends up in the trash?

Environmental groups criticize the football fever business. Rolf Buschmann, waste expert at the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation, points out that, unlike expensive T-shirts, most cheap hobby items have a very short lifespan: “Related products with events, such as flags or necklaces, are usually quickly discarded. says Buschmann. He doubts “that they will always end up in a trash can or even end up in the recycling system.”

The German Environment Agency (DUH) draws attention to the production conditions of jerseys, jerseys and soccer balls and warns that these items are not normally produced in non-EU countries, especially in Asia. Environmental and social standards are often not met there.

“If, for example, the fans’ shirts are made with electricity generated from coal in Asia, which is especially harmful, and with new plastic of fossil origin, that will ruin the climate balance and is not compatible with the aim of having the Euro Cup. most sustainable of all time. ”says the federal director general of the DUH, Barbara Metz.

Rosa Marotta, in the Wicky’s gift shop in the center of Mainz, is looking forward to the next four weeks and many football-mad customers. She has already stocked up on flags and fan merchandise. Two flags will fly at home during the European Championship: the German and the Italian.

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