Monday, December 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM
Three Cleveland Indians team stores will close this January, taking the number of team stores left in the region down to just one. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.
At their peak in the 1990’s, the Indians maintained a total of nine team stores throughout Northeast Ohio, selling Tribe shirts, hats, pennants and other memorabilia, as well as tickets to games. That number shrank to just four by 2011. Now the team will close its stores at SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, Westgate Shopping Center in Fairview Park and The Strip in Canton, leaving just the main shop at Progressive field.
Spokesman Curtis Danburg chalks it up to competition from big box retail stores for Tribe gear, and the shift to largely on-line ticket sales. He says last season about half of single game sales occurred online, followed by box office sales at 30 percent. Less than ten percent were sold at team stores.
In the end, Danburg says, the mall shops were just too expensive to keep operating. Even with the playoff push that boosted sales last season, they lost money. The three stores will close their door for good Jan 27th.
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