FOOTBALL fans are gearing up for a new addition to Southend High Street – a Tottenham Hotspur club shop.
The pop-up store, selling Spurs’ merchandise, will open on Saturday, opposite Specsavers, and continue until January 31.
The Premier League giants, who also kick off their season on Saturday, claim they have a high number of supporters in Southend, hence the need for the store.
A spokesman for the North London club said: “Our membership database shows we have a high number of fans concentrated in the area, so the store allows them to shop closer to home.
“The store will offer a wide range of our merchandise, as well as shirt printing.
“We will be open until January 31, but have an option to extend.”
The store, creating six jobs, will be the second Spurs store in Essex, with the club having a unit in Harlow.
However, a club shop in Chelmsford closed last year.
The club, which boasts stars such as France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, £30million Argentinian Erik Lamela, and Spain’s Roberto Soldado, kicks off its season away to rivals West Ham on Saturday.
Spurs also have stores at their White Hart Lane stadium, and in Enfield and Stevenage.
Southend Council leader, Independent Ron Woodley, is a Spurs fan.
He said: “I used to have a season ticket for Spurs in the early Nineties.
“It does surprise me they’re opening a store here as their supporters locally seem to be few and far between.
“I think it’ll be a good addition to the High Street, but I must apologise to West Ham fans.”
Neither the Blues of Southend United nor West Ham – the teams with apparently the biggest following in the area – have stores in the town centre.
Spurs fans welcomed the news.
Luke Baker, 18, of Canvey, said: “I know where I’ll be on Saturday.
“It’ll be good to have a shop in South East Essex as I believe there’s just the other one in Harlow and it will open up job opportunities.”
Wendy Mayle, from Basildon, said: “It’s brilliant news, as I used to go to Chelmsford, but they closed it.
“I had to go all the way to Harlow last week to get my son’s new away kit.
“I will definitely be visiting the shop in Southend.