Deprived of important sources of revenue due to the pandemic, sports stores have nevertheless noticed a clear growth in the sale of accessories for outdoor hockey practice since the fall. A little balm on turnover, damaged since March.
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Nets, pucks, blade guards, accessories for practicing skills and skates, retailers were busy before the government closed stores in December.
“We sold more accessories and hockey goals than during the same period last year from October to December, because many more people made rinks at their homes,” notes the co-owner of five branches of the Sports Rousseau banner in the Montreal region, Marc-Antoine Morin.
Sharpening on demand
This surge in consumer interest in home hockey has also had a positive impact in stores offering skate blade sharpening.
“We saw a big boom in skate sharpening when we announced that we were going to close. The two weeks before Christmas were sharpened like never before. We also sold more recreational skates, but versus all we lose [en ventes], we are still very far [des ventes normales]», Explains Mr. Morin.
At Synerglace Canada, which specializes in the construction and refrigeration of open-air skating rinks, the sale of equipment is not going down this winter.
“Whether it is belts, shovels, tools and mini Zamboni, people want to equip themselves to facilitate their work, explains the director of operations, Patrick Couture. Even though it’s in your backyard and it’s small, there’s still a lot of work, and people realize that it’s not easy. ”
The Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures-based company feared that the pandemic would have negative repercussions on its sales. While she lost important contracts with the cancellation of events across North America, the popularity of outdoor sports in this special year is serving her well.
“We are almost out of material because we have taken out of stock,” rejoices the former goalkeeper of the QMJHL and the Citadelles of Quebec. The pandemic has not been a drag for us. We had doubts this summer, and in the end, it’s very good. With our lost events, it swings a bit. ”
Synerglace also obtained several mandates with municipalities who wanted to develop icy trails for their citizens to change their minds.
“It’s a good year in terms of city requests,” said the man whose company notably collaborated with Red Bull Crashed Ice and the QMJHL during the Saint-Tite Winter Classic in February 2019.