By Alexander Lawrie
THE TARTAN Army has all but wiped out the availability of the country’s kilts – after kilt hire shops reported a massive upsurge in sales.
15,000 tartan-clad supporters are descending on Amsterdam this weekend as Scotland take on the mighty Dutch in a crucial World Cup qualifying match.
And the figures for kilt hires and the sale of Highland accessories such as belts, socks and sporrans have also rocketed this week.
All over the country hire shops have been inundated with requests from the Tartan Army as they gear up for the vital match.
Philip King’s in Aberdeen say their sales are up around 30 per cent compared to a normal week, and sales of kilt-related have alsi dramatically increased.
In Kirkcaldy, Kirk Wynd Highland House has also seen a dramatic upsurge from Fifers flying off to the Dutch capital.
An assistant said: “We supply all the kilts for the Kirkcaldy Tartan Army and we always have a really busy time of it when Scotland is playing.
“The kilt hires have gone through the roof this week and the sales of sporrans and belts have also gone up.
“We just hope our boys can come back with a good result – and, of course, with our kilts still intact.”
Ken McDonald, manager and kilt designer at Kilts for Hire in Renfrewshire, admits they have also been overwhelmed with the demand.
He said: “It’s difficult to put a figure on the increase, but it has been really noticeable.
“We’ve actually produced a Teflon-coated kilt and jacket so there’s no problem about spillages – which I’m sure there will be plenty of.
“Hopefully everyone will have a great time out there.”
And in Glasgow, Dominic Capaldi, manager of MacGregor MacDuff, has admitted they have been forced to order more stock to keep up with demand.
He said: “The demand from the Tartan Army has been phenomenal this week. We were really bust last week but I’m sure we are about 30 per cent up on that figure, which is amazing.
“The hire of the Saltire and the Thistle kilts have gone through the roof. They are definitely the most popular kilts we have available.
“And the sales of Gillie shirts, kilt pins and socks have also risen noticeably.
“We have had to increase our kilt orders just to keep up with demand. Good luck to everyone who is going to Holland.”
Tartan Army foot soldier Fraser Wood, 42, is just one of the thousands of fans travelling across to Holland this week.
He said: “I’ve been meaning to buy a kilt for years now, but just never got around to it. I always hire my kilt when I travel to see Scotland but, luckily, I ordered mine a while back.
“My local shop has run out of kilts to hire and they’ve been selling loads of socks and belts.”
Musselburgh’s Kilt Hire Co. have also been selling out of various accessories like kilt socks and belts.
Manager Kevin O’Connor said: “We’ve seen a small rise in kilt hire this week, but it’s the sales of socks and the like that we’ve really scored.
“There’s been a big upturn in those sales.”