SBJ/August 6-12, 2012/Franchises

Everything but a tee time: Penguins’ new shop goes for a country club vibe

The Pittsburgh Penguins plan to provide their customers with a country club atmosphere this season.

The team and concessions partner Aramark are creating a specialty store at Consol Energy Center that will feature high-end apparel.

The Club at PensGear will be home to upscale apparel from local licensees.
Photo by: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
“It will be at the level you see in a pro shop at a top country club,” said David Peart, Penguins senior vice president of sales and service.

The Club at PensGear will cater to suite holders, club seat holders and other upscale merchandise buyers at Penguins games and other events at the arena. There will be products offered by NHL licensees such as Reebok. But what will make the store unique to hockey will be the offerings of the club’s licensees, which include notable golf brands like Fairway & Greene, Cutter & Buck and Greg Norman Collection.

“We’re projecting that this upgrade will help us increase our store sales by about 50 percent next season,” said Peart, who declined to provide last season’s revenue from merchandising.

The new store will be at the Verizon Gate street entrance for the suite level and will be open to all patrons at the game. Construction is expected to begin this month, with a goal of being open for business for the Penguins’ first exhibition game at home Sept. 26.

The upscale Penguins apparel of the local licensees will be available only at the new shop.

Kirk Kowalewski, vice president of sales and marketing for special markets for Summit Golf Brands, the parent company of Fairway & Greene, said the Penguins and the licensees are providing a needed option. “Sometimes, a woven dress shirt or a classic-looking pullover with your team’s logo is the way to go,” he said. “It’s not always appropriate to throw on your hockey jersey.”

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