Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Denise Lewis joined mascot Perry to open the Birmingham 2022 Megastore ©ITG

Birmingham 2022 organisers have insisted they have learnt from shortage of mascots from previous Games as mascot Perry joined Olympic and double Commonwealth Games heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis officially opened the Birmingham 2022 Megastore in the city’s Centenary Square.

"It feels amazing as the Games are literally around the corner, there is so much for everyone, whether its pins, traditional merchandising or a Perry if you haven’t got one already," said Lewis as she pressed the button to unleash plumes of smoke to celebrate the opening.

The mascot which is available in a range of sizes and prices, already seems likely to be a best-seller after its predecessors Borobi at the 2018 Gold Coast Games and Clyde at Glasgow 2014 soon became scarce.  

"It’s always a challenge because you are forecasting it at the end of the day, so you don’t know exactly what is going to happen," Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid told insidethegames.

"We have accessed a lot of that data from previous Games to try and understand the spread patterns, so we have had a very good go at that, and we are hoping that we will have enough Perry mascots to see us through to the end of the Games.

"There’s something for everyone as you’d expect from the high end plush toys to locally produced jewellery, this is a multi-sport Games so everyone who visits wants to take something away."

Organisers believe they have produced mascots in sufficient numbers to meet the demand ©ITG
Organisers believe they have produced mascots in sufficient numbers to meet the demand ©ITG

Merchandise includes tee-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts, gilets, and accessories like keyrings, mugs, water bottles, socks and even items of jewellery.

Clothing lines specific to the home nations and other selected teams are also being made available.

Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward has defended the cost of some of the more expensive items.

"It is a memento of the event and a one off purchase," Ward told insidethegames.

"I think merchandising for any of these big sporting events, you think about football clubs with replica shirts, these things are expensive, but I think people are prepared when you come to a major international sporting event like this, people are prepared to spend money and we’ll see that happens," Ward said.

"The opening of this megastore is a significant step for the Games themselves and the merchandising here is going to be very very popular."

The Birmingham 2022 Megastore joins other outlets near the Bullring and at Birmingham New Street with merchandising points set to be established at each of the sports venues at the Games.