Four first-team players joined Sir Alex Ferguson at the grand opening of the new-look Manchester United Megastore at Old Trafford on Friday night.
Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling all enjoyed a look around the store, which re-opened to the public last month after 25 days of extensive refurbishment in partnership with Nike’s European design team.
Some of the new features explored by the manager and players included the ‘Tee Bar’ – an impressive display of the latest United tee-shirt designs – and the 'Boot Room', where fans can choose from a range of Nike footwear. As well as touring the store, the boss and his star quartet all took part in a question and answer session with a specially-invited audience, comprising local youngsters who’ve benefited from projects organised by the Manchester United Foundation.
“The new-look Megastore is great,” said Ryan, relating his first impressions to ManUtd.com.
“Obviously if you're a United fan it's got everything you could possibly want, from the famous red shirts to embroidery on your boots which is becoming more popular. Football fans, particularly young fans, want anything with their favourite team's crest on it and nowadays you can get most things, as you can see here in the Megastore.”
Merchandise featuring Ryan’s name and imagery has long been a feature of the Megastore’s vast product range, but he can recall a time, 20 years or so ago, when he would only be in the club shop if he was working there!
“I used to go to different departments of the souvenir shop, as it was called then, and help out, every Monday afternoon after training,” Ryan recalled to ManUtd.com. “I’d do various jobs, whether it be packing tee-shirts in the warehouse or working on the tills. At other times you'd be sweeping the terraces or painting something… it was just part and parcel of the apprentice’s life back then.”
Jayne Davies, Head of Retail at Old Trafford, has also been at the club long enough to witness different phases of fans’ shopping facilities, from the