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Volume 21 No. 26
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Hornets put their team store in the spotlight

The Charlotte Hornets’ new team store gives the only NBA team wearing Jordan Brand uniforms a greater presence in a much better location.

The new location is a retrofit of the old ticket office at Spectrum Center, facing the arena’s main concourse, and measures 4,200 square feet. It’s about 1,000 square feet more than the original team store, which was tucked in a corner at street level on the back side of the arena.

The new store, designed by local firm LS3P with national sports architect AECOM, is a much brighter and consumer-friendly space than the old location and more than doubles the points of sale for the Hornets’ in-house retail staff. It provides additional space to showcase Jordan Brand merchandise as well as the Hornets’ legacy line of retail items produced by Mitchell & Ness.

The team has introduced a new "hyper local" line .
Photos by: DON MURET / STAFF (4)
The new Hornets team store is about 1,000 square feet more than the original team store.
“It was something we were contemplating ever since we brought the Hornets brand back [in 2014] because there’s been such an incredible response to the retail end of our business,” said Pete Guelli, Hornets executive vice president and chief marketing and sales officer.

The early returns are favorable. For the Hornets’ Oct. 20 regular-season home opener, merchandise revenue was up 30 percent over last season, Guelli said, keeping in mind the team is waiting on a November shipment of the new Jordan Brand classic jersey line.

Over the past three seasons, the Hornets have moved from dead last in the NBA in retail sales when they were the Bobcats to the top half of the league. “Very solid, considering our market size,” Guelli said.

The new store is buzzing with the Hornets' traditional blue and purple.
The new location is a retrofit of the old ticket office at Spectrum Center.
As part of the greater selection of merchandise in the new team store, the Hornets have introduced a new “hyper local” line of Jordan Brand T-shirts more closely identified to the city of Charlotte. One design, for example, features the Jumpman logo filled with images of the city’s skyline, which has been among the store’s top sellers, said Lewis Hagerman, the team’s senior manager of retail operations. Another design speaks to hardcore sneakerheads with images of Air Jordan Retro 7 and Retro 4 basketball shoes to help spell out 704, the Charlotte region’s area code.

The team store upgrade is part of $34 million in renovations to the 12-year-old arena, a multiyear development.