Several of the University of York’s sports clubs have expressed their frustration with York Sport kit supplier Kukri after a series of major delivery blunders have resulted in whole teams being left without new kit for the start of the new season.
Amongst those affected by the issue are the Lacrosse Club, Swimming and Water Polo Club and Cheerleading Club, each of which have been left without much-needed supplies for their BUCS Sport campaigns. The York Sport Union themselves have also experienced issues with Kukri, regarding the sourcing of hoodies that were ordered for their committee.
Kukri Sports, who are also the main kit supplier to BUCS, only became the official York Sport kit supplier at the start of this academic year after taking over from previous supplier Surridge, and the issues come at a time when the company is still on probation until 1st February. The contract is meant to run until the summer of 2015.
Speaking about the issues that the men’s lacrosse team have experienced, club president Andy Chalmers told Nouse: “We sent off our order and they keep getting it wrong, which is slightly annoying. We’re trying to sort the problems out between them and YUSU, but we’re not having much luck at the moment… We should hopefully get things sorted out.”
Elsewhere, at the Swimming and Water Polo Club, the club president Joe Marshall was able to cite 28 separate errors from Kukri and 17 unreturned phone calls running between the 31st August and 10th January. Issues included receiving the wrong orders, three counts of overcharging and difficulty organising a refund.
“I’ve been very disappointed with Kukri so far,” said Marshall, “poor communication, overcharging and ever slipping deliveries have really made dealing with them quite a disappointing and time-consuming experience.”
The Cheerleading Club also encountered problems at the end of last year. They originally tried to order their specialist uniform from a separate company, Allstar Design, but they were informed by York Sport that they had to order through Kukri as part of the exclusivity agreement in the contract.
However, Kukri did not have the right materials for replicating the design, meaning that Kukri would have had to outsource the specialist materials and charge an “extortionate” price.
Catherine Finch, the club’s uniform rep, told Nouse: “Whilst the whole process was inconvenient and it has seriously delayed us, I understand why Kukri wanted to produce our uniforms but they weren’t able to produce them to the standard we needed”.
Cass Brown, York Sport President, has urged sports clubs to give feedback on their experience with Kukri. She also explained: “Myself and senior YUSU staff met with Kukri directors just before Christmas to pass on a range of feedback from our members about disappointing levels of service in the first term of the new contract.
“Kukri listened to our feedback and concerns and expressed a confidence that many of the problems are areas that they can improve on through initiatives they were implementing over Christmas and in the New Year.
“We want to make the relationship with Kukri work but we will not accept standards that fall below the needs of our sports clubs”.
Kukri’s services will again be reviewed later this term with York Sport hoping for significant improvements.