Elite began working in the embryonic football merchandising market some 20 years ago, selling a range of products including branded clothing. Over the past two decades, we have built up a network of suppliers throughout the World, mainly in China and the Indian sub-continent.
In 2010, The Elite Group went into partnership with the football clothing company, LBJ, whose aim was “to serve the UK and European football industry with vibrant, innovative and relevant designs of ‘terrace’ wear”. Their attention to detail, service and products made them a market leader. The partnership between LBJ and The Elite Group enabled their sourcing capabilities to be strengthened, and LBJ Sports Apparel Ltd was established.
In 2006 we established our China sourcing office in Shanghai, where we have design, shipping and merchandising capabilities. In 2009 we relocated the office to Chao Hu City in Anhui Province. This office allows us to source and manage our projects directly, using our own personnel, which gives the project a level of control that our competitors can only aspire to. Suppliers are inspected and production runs are monitored by our staff. We also employ internationally accredited third party inspectorate companies to fulfill our due diligence on product specification, conformity, ethnic responsibilities and child labour issues. All of our products comply with all current EU regulation and accreditation.
Over the last few years we have sought to use our resources in the China offices to move further into the retail business. Our focus on quality, service and price have won us retail business throughout the football industry, including ‘S’porter’ (Arsenal and Liverpool), ‘Kitbag’ (Everton and Nottingham Forest), Tottenham Hotspur and many more. We have in-house design capabilities in both China and the UK, which enables us to respond rapidly, to take your ideas and designs on to story boards and then into the sampling and production stages.