Wheat City fans eager to buy Jets garb

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It took some perseverance and calling in a few favours, but one Brandon retailer received its first shipment of highly-coveted Winnipeg Jets clothing on Wednesday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/07/2011 (4040 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It took some perseverance and calling in a few favours, but one Brandon retailer received its first shipment of highly-coveted Winnipeg Jets clothing on Wednesday.

Source for Sports received a single shipment of 32 men’s and ladies T-shirts and 36 hats emblazoned with the new logos unveiled last Friday.

"There’s extremely high demand for anything Winnipeg Jets," sales associate Joel Whiteside told the Sun. "We had to call in favours and beg and plead but we got what we could."

Colin Corneau/Brandon Sun Bev Neufeld holds a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the new Winnipeg Jets franchise on Wednesday afternoon at Source for Sports in Brandon. The store’s stock of merchandise for the Jets was quickly sold off yesterday.

Meanwhile, employees at Jersey City and Sport Chek were still in limbo waiting for the Jets gear to arrive yesterday afternoon. Both retailers expect shipments of T-shirts and hats to arrive this week direct from the manufacturer, CCM, so as to speed up the process. Source for Sports sells the Reebok brand.

When Cheryl Valentino and her husband heard Winnipeg Jets clothing featuring the new logo had arrived in Brandon, they immediately were on the hunt.

The Sun caught up with Valentino at Jersey City where she was disappointed to hear the shipment had not yet arrived.

"My husband got lucky and got one of the T-shirts from Source for Sports (yesterday) morning," she said. "They didn’t have my size left so we came here right away."

The Valentinos were dedicated Jets fans even during their 15-year absence from the provincial capital. When it comes to getting their hands on clothing and accessories featuring the new logo, Valentino says no price is too high.

"No, we’ll pay what it takes to get jerseys and stuff," she said. "I love the new logo. I love the military feel of it and I think it’s all just great. We didn’t get season tickets but we’ll be cheering the team on the entire way."

Even vintage Jets paraphernalia has been in high demand since rumours began swirling about the franchise’s return to Winnipeg.

Jersey City store manager Josh Palaniuk says consumers snapped up most of the vintage Jets jerseys, T-shirts and hats within days after True North Sports made the official announcement. Since the logos were unveiled Friday, he says customers are clearly itching to show their team allegiance well before the first puck drops on Oct. 9.

"Honestly, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve had at least 50 people either call or come in just (yesterday) morning wondering if we got our shipment yet and when it’s coming," Palaniuk said. "I think they’ve just waiting so long for (the Jets) to come back and a lot are worried about it selling out so quick so they’re just trying to get it while they can."

Sport Chek store manager Shane Houck says the store is expecting four different styles of men’s T-shirts, two styles of women’s T-shirts and hats in its first shipment.

"We got an email (Wednesday) morning saying that it’s all coming direct from the manufacturer now. There’s obviously a bit of a rush on it and the demand is there," Houck said. "We’ll be pricing it all ourselves just to get it out there on the floor as fast as possible."

Although dedicated fans are likely to spare no expense nabbing some of the first licensed Winnipeg Jets jerseys, Houck expects the more affordable T-shirts, hats and novelty items will be top sellers all year round.

Palaniuk says there will be ongoing shipments of both vintage and new Jets paraphernalia all year long.

Savvy sellers on EBay.ca are capitalizing on the opportunity to sell Jets gear of past and present.

A T-shirt emblazoned with a new logo is available for $24 from a Winnipeg-based seller — the same price Houck says a simple T-shirt at Sport Chek will go for. That same seller also has T-shirts featuring the vintage logo for $16.04. But look a little bit further and similar Jets

T-shirt will run you $52.

New baseball caps run anywhere between $63 and $107, while the bidding on a vintage Teemu Selanne jersey started at $160.

Both Sport Chek and Jersey City expect the much-anticipated shipments to arrive before the end of the week.

As stock flew off the shelves at Source for Sports Wednesday, Whiteside confirmed an "enormous" amount of additional stock will be arriving in the coming weeks.

The official licensed Winnipeg Jets jersey is expected to hit shelves sometime in mid- to-late September, shortly after True North Sports unveils the team’s official home and away jerseys.

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