After Eagles loss, a bummed out retail land

Courtney Campbell, assistant sales manager at Wayne Sporting Goods on the Main Line, straightens out Eagle jerseys left after Saturday's loss.
Courtney Campbell, assistant sales manager at Wayne Sporting Goods on the Main Line, straightens out Eagle jerseys left after Saturday's loss. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 07, 2014

One can only imagine what a brisk day of sales it might have been.

The Eagles wool caps customers would have clamored for. The appointments for green-and-white manicures and pedicures. The orders for pretzel trays. The rounds of beer downed by standing-room-only crowds gathered around televisions in the region's bars for each playoff game.

If only.

A day after the Eagles' bid to win the first playoff game in five years came to an end compliments of the accurate foot and steely nerves of New Orleans Saints kicker Shayne Graham, Sunday was largely Bummerville at businesses whose bottom lines would have benefited from a prolonged Eagles season.

"We'll be forgetting about the Eagles soon enough," said Juan Frias, a security guard at the Modell's Sporting Goods store in the Gallery at Market East.

Frias, 55, said he plays in two men's baseball leagues and was anticipating the start of Major League Baseball's spring training.

Customer Brandon Gonzalez, 22, said the loss was "very rough." He declared his love of Philadelphia sports - but left the store, where Eagles merchandise was on prominent display near the cash register, with a pair of plain white socks.

Gonzalez said his focus was now on watching the 76ers - until the Phillies' season begins in March.

That kind of forward thinking had begun even before the lights went out - figuratively and literally - at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night. In the frigid air, a fan displayed a sign reminding that Phillies pitchers and catchers were to report to Clearwater, Fla., in just 39 days.

On the Main Line, at Wayne Sporting Goods, assistant sales manager Courtney Campbell said by late Sunday afternoon the store had not yet decided whether it would offer deep discounts to clear what Eagles inventory it had.

"We didn't buy a whole lot of merchandise up front, preferring to wait until we saw how far the Eagles went," Campbell said.

In South Jersey, at the Sports Authority in Moorestown, a clerk who did not want to give his name, citing company policy, said the big rush for Eagles gear happened last week. "Pretty much after last week, we sold out a lot of it," he said. The stock that remained wasn't discounted Sunday, and it remained in a prime spot near the front door.

At Philly Pretzel Factory, there's no stockpiling doughy twists. They're baked fresh each day. So there will be no post-Eagles sell-off.

Still, the team's loss was "tough" to swallow as a fan and franchise owner, said Vince Marinelli, who also holds a corporation position with the rapidly expanding pretzel company, now with 131 stores along the East Coast.

"I would love a longer [Eagles] playoff run since it always impacts Philly Pretzel Factory's business positively, but am grateful for any playoff run," Marinelli said Sunday. "And, personally, I am proud with how our new coach, Chip Kelly, and our Eagles did this season, and how much the city and fans supported them."

Far less upbeat was Chris Arce, 23, manager at the Lids store in the Gallery, which offers an exhaustive collection college and professional sports team hats.

"We should have won that game," Arce said of the spoiler by the Saints. "It's just another off-season of the coaches figuring out what to do."

But on the bright side, it's also the start of another promising season for Lids, when red caps will be in demand. Right?

That's not the way Arce sees it.

Because, he said, the aging Phillies of 2014 are nowhere near the talent of the 2008 squad that won the World Series, he's predicting another bad year.


Inquirer staff writers Jessica Parks, Diane Mastrull, and Clem Murray contributed to this article.

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