POST ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE IN RELATION TO CLUB VESTS:
In response to recent discussions about club vests please see further information below setting out the history and current situation:
The previous batch of vests were ordered after we received negative comments about the old Fastrax vests that we sold for £15: specifically, that they looked old fashioned, that they did not come in a 'proper' women's fit, and that the seams irritated your skin when you ran in them.
In late 2014 we approached several suppliers including Fastrax, Ronhill, Scimitar Sports, Fitwell and Wasp Sports, asking them to quote for sublimated vests (i.e. seamless vests with the design incorporated into the vest instead of printed on it) in both unisex and female fit. Fitwell did not reply and all the other quotes apart from Ronhill came in at over £15 (excluding VAT) As we felt that the Ronhill samples that we were given were of suitable quality, we chose them as our supplier.
Although we ordered three separate batches of vests from Ronhill and sold them on at £15 each, we have had persistent complaints from members that the sizing is wrong, that the vests don't wash properly, that they feel 'cheap' and, oddly, that they are expensive despite the price remaining unchanged from previous versions. The evidence for this is the large number of members who still choose to wear the 'old' Fastrax vests to run in.
When sourcing the latest batch we took into account the feedback about the Ronhill vests and looked for a supplier that could provide better quality vests, whilst keeping the price in line with that paid by other clubs. As we had received positive feedback about the quality of kit offered by Touchline, we decided to use them which also made it possible to offer the vests for sale via the online shop. The latter point in particular needs emphasizing as the burden of individual members managing vest sales directly is considerable given the extent to which the club has grown in the last 18 months.
Samples of the new batch of vests have been brought to the club once, and whilst initial feedback is that the quality is much better we have received further complaints about the fit, as well as the price. Whilst the addition of a delivery charge does make the vests more expensive than we would want (more on that in a minute), by way of context two of the largest local clubs sell their vests for £22 and £25, compared to the £22 selling price of ours.
On price, we would emphasize that the vests are being sold almost at cost (the actual unit price including VAT is £21.60, which is rounded to £22 more for convenience than to generate a profit)
For any new male runners.ALWAYS get one size up when ordering vests eg.40" chest get a 42" to stop under arm chaffing