As the end of the football season approaches, sports retailers already need to consider their supply chains ready for next season.

May signals the start of summer but for some sports fans it means the end of the football season. Earlier this month, Chelsea won the league for the first time in five years, wrestling the trophy back from Manchester where both City and United have won it two times apiece since the Blues were last named champions.

There are still a number of exciting encounters yet to be played out before footballers depart for their summer holidays and all eyes will be on Wembley on May 30 when Aston Villa take on Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.

There is an old argument that the FA Cup has ‘lost its magic’ as the bigger clubs prioritise the money-spinning Champions League, but that is certainly not the case for the British public. Hermes research revealed that 65% of people will be tuning in for the big match, highlighting just how important the competition remains. Almost eight in 10 men will be watching, as will 21% of women.

The off-season is an important time for sports retailers as thousands of fans look to purchase their teams’ new replica kits as well as other sporting goods and summer clothes for upcoming holidays. Therefore Hermes conducted some research to discover the UK’s favourite sports clothing retailer and one of our long-standing customers, JD Sports, came out on top with 24%. We also asked which sports clothing retailer offers the best delivery service and we were pleased to see that JD Sports topped the podium once more.

At Hermes we understand that the online shopping experience doesn’t end at the checkout but when the consumer is satisfied with the items they have received. Therefore we work closely with retailers such as JD Sports to understand their requirements at different times of the year, helping to achieve efficient delivery during those peaks in business. Effective forecasting is crucial if you want to be first over the line.