By Mark Davidson
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) has announced that the Venue Retail Limited, trading as The Retail People (TRP), will have nearly exclusive rights to sell merchandise at London 2012 venues.
TRP will be able to sell merchandise at all ticketed Olympic venues - except for Wimbledon where sports agency IMG will be operating - as well as a host of non-competitive venues where they will hope to create a turnover in excess of £65 million.
TRP CEO Simon Rider has had an extensive career in the industry, which has seen him as Managing Director for Footlocker Europe and President of Speedo, a position which saw him create a global ‘go to market’ positioning for the brand in the lead up to the Athens Olympics of 2004.
Rider commented: “It’s immensely encouraging that a small and ambitious company like ours can win such an important contract.
“It speaks highly of Lloyds Bank that they were willing to back our bid and of LOCOG for accepting it. The support from Lloyds Bank has been invaluable - they showed commitment to our vision, took the time to really understand our business and were willing to work with us to develop a good funding package.
“We have ambitious plans for the company’s growth and this financing, coupled with the bank’s ongoing support, provides us with a platform to realise those plans.”
Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets (LBCM) aided the bid by providing a £10.5 million funding package. This included making sure TRP met with the conditions set out by the LOCOG.
Ed Shattock, Relationship Director in LBCM’s specialist retail team, remarked: “We are excited to be able to support the growth of a unique, British start-up in the run up to London 2012.”