It should be a time of pure joy for stores selling Giants merchandise, but some small players in the sports apparel business say they’re being cut out of the replica jersey market by Nike, which will take over the Cheap Braves Jerseys contract for the coming season.
“I’ve been in business 38 years, I’ve always carried NFL jerseys, and they won’t sell them to me,” said Buddy Kurzweil, the owner of Buddy’s Sports Corner in Paramus Park Mall. “They don’t even want to be bothered with me, they never even replied to me. That’s their prerogative, they can deal with whoever they want, that’s free enterprise, but it kind of hurts the little guy.”
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But if Nike did refuse to sell to small vendors who worked with Reebok, it wouldn’t be breaking any licensing rules, according to the NFL.
“Licensees determine which retail outlets they sell to,” said league spokesman Brian McCarthy.
It’s become ubiquitous in the NFL. A game ends, personnel from both teams meet at midfield and prominent players from each squad trade jerseys before retreating to their respective locker rooms. If you listen closely during these trade-offs, you can hear football’s forefathers rolling over in their graves.
If Nike does shut out small merchants to sell exclusively to big box sports stores like Dick’s and Modell’s, that would be a huge change, owners of smaller stores say.
Without Nike, stores could still sell some football apparel like T-shirts and sweatshirts, but owners say selling jerseys is important to their customers, even if it’s not the biggest money-maker.
“We’re a sports store. How do you not carry your local team Kids Football Jerseys Cheap?” Kurzweil asked.
It couldn’t come at a worse time for stores hoping to sell to the Giants’ fan base: Super Bowl winners traditionally lead the league in merchandise sales immediately after their championship, which was true in 2008 for the Giants and last year for the Packers.
That’s a problem for Norman Leventhal, an owner of the Stadium Shop in the Gateway complex in Newark, which sells Giants, Devils and other sports merchandise.
He said his store’s account was supposed to be shifted automatically from Reebok to Nike, just as his hat contract was when New Era took over the NFL hat license for the new season.
“Reebok came back and said I’m not being accepted by Nike,” Leventhal, 70, said. “I said, ‘Am I the only one?’ (Reebok) got back to me … it’s all the little stores.”
It isn’t just a New Jersey problem — the same story was echoed by Elliot Cohen, who helps run Grand Slam New York in Times Square, where he said NFL apparel is the second-best seller after Yankees merchandise.
“You see a lot of big guys – they never got a chance to ever wear single-digit numbers, so that’s like their dream come true,” Moore said with a laugh.
The exact phrasing, according to Cohen:
Cohen said that came despite an existing relationship he has selling gear for Converse, which is a Lebron James Cheap Jerseys.
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“I’m a pretty big dealer, so if they’re not selling to me, I would imagine they’re only going to be selling to big box stores,” Cohen said. “All the small guys are probably going to be pushed out of it.”
That view is also held by Brian LeBoeuf, owner of Sports Minded Unlimited in Warren.
“I was looking for 84 but he wasn’t out there,” Tamme laughed when asked who he was looking to throw to Hot Cheap Jerseys. “It was fun. Some of the guys were trying to get their college numbers. I was actually 18 in college and obviously I know Peyton pretty well. It was fun, kind of a fun way to lighten it up a little bit while we’re trying to take advantage of these couple days and get better and have fun at the same time.”