Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So much More than just a Store - DiPietro too!

I went back to visit the new Islanders Team store at the Sunrise Mall again. As impressive as it was the first time I was there, it had even MORE great items in it on Monday.

I had a chance to chat briefly with Terry Goldstein, the Director of Retail Operations, who has plenty of reason to be all smiles. As he walked me around the store, explaining what had changed since Monday, I couldn't help but think, this is a man who really enjoys his job, as busy as he is. (He had to field at least three phone calls in just the 10 minutes we were trying to talk.)

The store is carrying one-of-a-kind artwork that Mr. Goldstein had a hand in designing. It was all elegantly displayed in the DiPietro area. If you have a serious collector on your shopping list, this is the place to go. You won't find these items anywhere else. (Like a 3-foot tall Bobble Head.)

"There is no store that carries the amount of Islanders products that we do." Mr. Goldstein told me with pride and a smile. And having visited local sports stores, I can tell he's right.

For the Dynasty era collector, they have re-done all the Stanley Cup mini banners. They are all custom made, really beautiful, and they have all four years. A nice stocking stuffer at only $12 each!

There are sweat shirts and t-shirts that can't be found anywhere else that have strikingly different takes on our Islanders logo in many different colors. That's great for me because that way, I can wear my Islander pride no matter what color outfit I have on.

As Mr. Goldstein explained, for the last six years, the women's merchandise sells better in the store than at the coliseum, so they will be expanding their women's lines in the Team stores a little at a time. So stop by often ladies to browse not just for others, but for yourselves too. As women, we are usually ready to spend on our loved ones and reluctant to spend on us. We can splurge now and then! We deserve it!
The children's area takes awhile to get through because every time you move your eyes, there's something else to see. There are great gift packs for infants if you want to get a new little Islanders fan started out the RIGHT way. Sparky also now comes in two sizes, so get one to go along with that great little sweat suit that the baby can wear on game days!

As far as outerwear goes, check out the totally reversible jackets. Brand new and really great looking.

I asked Mr. Goldstein if they were going to be carrying any Sound Tiger merchandise and he said they may have one or two items. He's still considering it. Right now he's trying to figure out how to get another one of the jersey lettering systems to fit into the store.

The one at the coliseum has been a big hit, and they actually have to cut off the line for on the spot lettering because they run out of time. But you can buy a jersey at the either of the team stores and they will have it back to you in less than a week. If they put the machine in the store, it could be ready for you in a few hours! And isn't that what we all look forward to? INSTANT GRATIFICATION!! I remember the days when it took almost a month to get anything lettered.

The ITV studio portion of this store will give fans the opportunity to actually watch portions of Islanders Illustrated, the MSG Plus series, being filmed. They will not close the store during filming. What a chance to see how TV production actually works and watch Shawna Ryan and Steve Mears do what they do best, talk about the Islanders.
The team stores will be a great way to stay connected to the Islanders all summer as they plan on having Player signings and events almost bi-weekly. And I'm certain it will be a big part of next off season's Ice Tour.

"It will be the only place in the mall where a real MSG show will be filmed." So enjoy watching TV in the making along with your shopping experience. They may even be able to do some live feeds during player signings if they can get the right signal strength.

There are two very dedicated (and patient) women who are running this store, along with various other employees, who are there to help you find exactly what you're looking for, or just to talk Islanders hockey.

Monica, who has been doing retail for the Islanders for many years is well versed in all the product lines and is a wealth of information. Dani, Hockey-Mom extraordinaire will help you pick the perfect gift as well as discuss the details of the power play. She's a fan through and through as well as a consummate work-a-holic.

So stop by the store today from 6 - 8 pm, and see Rick DiPietro before he hits the ice again, or any day. The Team Store will be open seven days a week, the same hours the mall is open.


Dani said...

Dee - You didn't miss a thing! I'm in there all day and I don't think I could have written a more inclusive description than you did. Thanks so much!

McCauley's Blog said...

Indeed Dee. Monica has emailed me pictures of products (Still need to order) since I am in Ohio. What great customer service!

4CUPZ... who else said...

"There is no store that carries the amount of Islanders products that we do."