Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets gear pops up everywhere

If fans can't come to the three local stores, there's a porta-store that will come to them

  • Print

It has worked for years for hotdogs, french fries and perogies, so why not hockey jerseys and caps?

The Winnipeg Jets unveiled a new retailing concept last weekend when the Jets Gear Powered by Reebok merchandise trailer rolled up at the Stonewall Quarry Days.

The 24-foot trailer is a portable store -- effectively the fourth Jets Gear location -- that will be towed to various events around the province and feature a good mix of Jets jerseys, apparel and novelty items.

"It's a way to get out in the community with our Jets products so people who don't come down to the stores can see what we offer," he said.

The porta-store will make appearances as long as the weather co-operates and will have a full schedule of events for the entire summer next year, he said.

If the Jets can translate their merchandising success to the ice, they'll really be in business.

A year after outselling every other team in the NHL with hundreds of items during their inaugural season, the Jets were once again one of the league's top retail performers in Year 2.

The NHL has confirmed sales of the team's gear during the lockout-shortened season is "on par" with the top 10 teams in the league.

Dan Suga, director of retail development for True North Sports & Entertainment and the Jets, said the first year -- where absolutely anything with a Jets logo flew off retail shelves -- was "something special" that won't ever happen again.

Merchandising for 2012-13 season started out slowly due to the lockout but once the new collective bargaining agreement was signed, sales picked up "immediately."

"Once the season started, it was like a spillover from Year 1. People were excited that hockey was back. We didn't experience the dropoff at the start of the season that some teams did. Sales continue to be strong, they're consistent. We do expect that to continue into Year 3," Suga said.

Sales during the Jets second year were powered by secondary items, such as hoodies, T-shirts, toques and caps. Jerseys, particularly the dark blue home uniform, were the big drivers during the first year and while they remain strong today, people are looking for more accessory pieces now, Suga said.

That includes the Centre Ice Collection of Reebok apparel worn by the players, trainers and coaching staff, he said.

Gerald Haasbeek, owner of Royal Sports, agreed. He said demand is still strong but it will never surpass the frenzy during the 2011-12 season.

"It was off the charts," he said.

(It's Haasbeek's understanding the only team to even come close to the Jets that year was the Toronto Maple Leafs.)

Even though the market may appear to be saturated, many fans are now starting to replace gear that they've simply worn out.

"A lot of people are into their second or third ball cap. Or they might have a Burmistrov jersey but because he's not on the team anymore, they want to get a new one," he said.

New products with Jets logos are coming on the market all the time, including ear buds, golf ball markers, lawn chairs and bar stools, he said.

There's probably only one thing that would send jersey sales back to the moon -- the introduction of a third jersey, likely a retro one with one of the original Winnipeg Jets logos. (Jets owner Mark Chipman has indicated previously that he's partial to the mark worn by the WHA team during its first season in 1972-73.)

"I'm sure there are discussions going on (regarding a third jersey) but there's nothing official. We're probably at least a year or two away from the introduction of a third jersey, " Suga said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2013 B4

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:12 AM CDT: Replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: NDP Self-Destruction

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos

Ads by Google