NHL lockout affected independent jersey retailers

Justin Crann
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Lori French, manager of the Moose Jaw Sport Chek, said the NHL lockout didn't affect jersey sales. That is not the case for independent retailers.

The end of the NHL lockout is good news for jersey sales at smaller retailers, but the sales for larger sporting goods stores remained largely unaffected.

“The lockout was definitely cutting into my sales,” said Ron Kulcheski, the owner and founder of the Jersey Box, an independent Moose Jaw area jersey retailer. “I haven’t sold many. People were trying to stick it to the NHL. They said, ‘if we can’t have hockey, why should we support it?’”

Sales of hockey jerseys had declined heavily enough for Kulcheski that he started offering a lockout sale, he said.

During the lockout, Kulcheski has been selling authentic NHL jerseys for $90 each, significantly cheaper than his larger competitors, he said.

But at local sporting goods outlet Sport Chek, sales have been largely unaffected by the lockout.

“For the most part, we only carry major Canadian teams anyway ... (and) during Christmas, the people who would buy that sort of thing bought them anyway,” said Lori French, manager of the store.

French noted that Christmas and the playoffs are peak periods for NHL jersey sales.

When the lockout ended, Kulcheski said, sales started to rebound.

“I had people coming to me and asking if the lockout deal is still on ... I am keeping it on until the end of the season,” he said. “The jerseys are a reasonable price, so why not keep it on and see if it works for me?”

People can contact Kulcheski at 313-9314.

Organizations: NHL

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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