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NHL takes its place in shopping capital

Tuesday, 10.09.2007 / 5:03 PM / News

By Evan Grossman - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com got a sneak peek of the NHL Store Powered by Reebok Tuesday afternoon.
New York City has long been considered the shopping capital of the world with its renowned boutiques and shops that attract tourists from across the globe. Well, hockey fans now have a place to visit among the city’s jungle of retail outlets with this week’s opening of the one-of-a-kind NHL Powered by Reebok destination store.

More than just a place where you can customize your favorite jersey, the new NHL/Reebok outlet is located in midtown Manhattan where hockey fans can find merchandise from hats to skates, pens to pucks, and sweatshirts to golf shirts.

“The NHL Powered by Reebok store will serve as a year-round showcase for the sport of hockey and will bring the game to life through a multi-sensory experience,” NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing Brian Jennings said. “We are excited to partner with Reebok because of their immense retail experience. Together, we have produced a store that will undoubtedly become a must-see destination for hockey fans worldwide.”

Located on Avenue of the Americas between 46th and 47th streets in the heart of New York City, the new NHL store will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, Oct. 12. And calling it a store is not quite doing it justice, as this is much more than just a place where you can buy hockey stuff. The NHL store is designed to be a unique experience for visitors that plays on many senses in addition to the impulse to want to buy everything in the store.

This is a hockey cathedral, in many ways, with an ice wall where you can carve your name or initials, a computer where you can custom design a pair of sneakers with the crest and colors of your favorite team, a radio studio upstairs where you can see and hear the daily XM broadcast of NHL Live, or sip on your favorite flavor latte or cappuccino at the hockey-themed Starbucks that’s adjacent to the store.

In addition to unique items sold in the retail destination, the NHL/Reebok store was designed to give patrons a shopping experience unlike anything they’ve ever had before. From the 40-foot wall displaying the new uniform systems of all 30 teams, to the sculpture consisting of over 400 hockey sticks and flat screen television monitors hanging overhead, the store is breathtaking and fun. So much hockey-centric detail went into designing the store that there is a fitting room with padded walls inspired by hockey gloves, display walls made with the same contours as hockey skates, an interactive station where you can surf NHL.com or play video games, and several high-definition video displays where pedestrians can watch games every night.

The store was designed with the “hat trick” in mind with the three themes of symbolism, technology and authenticity at the bedrock of what will become a hockey institution. Hockey symbols and shapes are evident in the architecture of the entire store, found in every corner of the facility; NHL Powered by Reebok has integrated technology throughout, from the 22-foot video wall to LED zippers around the exterior; and every aspect of the retail outlet was designed with the purity of the game of hockey in mind.

“As the official outfitter of the NHL, Reebok is thrilled to partner with the League to create this first-of-its-kind shopping experience,” Reebok President and CEO Paul Harrington said. “With the NHL Powered by Reebok store, we are delivering a truly innovative, symbolic and authentic retail experience for hockey fans of all ages. The store is a fitting showcase for two of the world’s most respected brands – Reebok and the National Hockey League.”

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When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

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