SBD/July 31, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Trades By The Cubs Leave Chicago Merchandisers Stuck With Excess Inventory

Garza jerseys were selling for half-price at one Chicago store
Cubs merchandisers are seeing "little relief as they try to sell jerseys of players heading out of town," with the team "long out of playoff contention and ... shuffling its roster in advance" of today's trade deadline, according to Matt Lindner of CHICAGOGRID.com. Wrigleyville Sports store supervisor Chris Strong said, "We’re always aware of (the trade deadline). Once we see that Cubs players are being moved around, that’s when we start to bring out the clearance gun." Racks of jerseys for former Cubs P Matt Garza and LF Alfonso Soriano "line the walls of Wrigleyville Sports, marked down more than 50 percent." An authentic Garza jersey now can "be had for $99.50 as opposed to $199.50 at the beginning of July." Strong said that he "isn’t sure how much money his store stands to lose as a result of this year’s trade deadline deals but ... it’s a significant amount." Clark Street Sports Owner Jason Caref said that his store "has no Garza merchandise and is down to very few pieces" for Soriano, "largely because he and his business partners hedged their bets." Caref said, "Every offseason, there’s rumors of them being traded. Between their performance and the Cubs performance, there was no reason to risk buying a bunch of Soriano or Garza merchandise the past couple of years. We didn’t lose hardly anything." Caref: "The merchandise pretty much goes at least 50 percent off when a player gets traded. Unless he’s really popular. It’s funny because Mark DeRosa, he wasn’t a big star on the Cubs but had such an appeal with the fans that we didn’t need to mark him down even after he was traded." Strong said of merch sales for 1B Anthony Rizzo, "I’d say he’d be the biggest devastating loss for us" (CHICAGOGRID.com, 7/31).
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