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Unofficial Lionesses ‘keeper shirt’ supplier lands £290k investment

Foudy's cheeky keeper shirt

Foudys, the Manchester-based women’s football retail specialist, has landed £290k in its most recent investment round.

The cash injection is set to increase Foudys product range via existing partnerships with sportswear giants such as Nike, Adidas and Puma, as well as support expansion plans for its in-house creative arm, Foudys Creative.

In December 2020, 33-year-old Helen Hardy founded Foudys as the first and only retail platform in the world dedicated to women’s football apparel. Today, through its online store, Foudys sells replica kits and fan apparel for the Women’s World Cup, Women’s Super League, International, and Champions League, as well as offering bespoke kit design for grassroots football teams.

Foudys has undergone exponential growth, with its team having doubled in size, and is establishing itself as the go-to destination for all women football fans. In fact, Foudys’ entire 2022 revenue was surpassed in June 2023 alone after the drop of the Lucy Bronze World Cup Range.

Foudy’s has also been quick off the mark following the controversy over Nike declining to make an England goalkeeper shirt available to fans during the competition, releasing a cheeky ‘This is my keeper shirt’ line in response.

England replica apparel remains its most popular product, with 25 per cent of all England shirts requesting personalisation. The brand also offers a bespoke upcycling service for fans to add their favourite players’ names and numbers onto their shirts.

As the female game experiences unprecedented growth, amplified by the exhilarating World Cup performance of the Lionesses, Foudys addresses an unmet need for the swelling number of female footy fans.

Hardy said: “I’ve been delighted with the support shown on the investment round with industry veterans joining the journey and backing the team’s goal of creating the destination for women’s football. In the past 12 months, we’ve more than doubled in size and are on track to deliver a 300 per cent growth in revenue this year. As well as onboarding all the major brands, we’ve pushed for the creation of official lettering and numbering to fit children’s kits which are now readily available.

“This funding round will allow us to continue our growth trajectory, build out our stock range across International, WSL and NWSL licensed apparel and expand into new territories.”

Oli Connolly, investment director at shareholder Fearless Adventures, added: “Helen and the team at Foudys are an excellent example of backing people who have the passion and sector knowledge to push a market forward and not be content with the industry ‘norm’.

“This over-subscribed funding round will allow the team to expand even further and execute the opportunities seen as the momentum within the women’s game continues to gather pace.”

The recent Women’s World Cup 2023 Semi-Finals, Australia v England, stands as the most-watched TV event in Australian history, while last weekend’s final set a new UK record for viewing figures.

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