Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Pure Hockey Profile: Norwalk, CT

Here's another post in our series of Pure Hockey store profiles. The Pure Hockey store in Norwalk, CT is one of our newest, having opened up in July 2010 and at roughly 12,000 square feet of space, it's roughly in the middle-to-average when it comes to the sizes of our stores. Situated just off of Route 95, the Norwalk store is about an hour north of New York City and an hour south of Hartford. Needless to say, there is quite a bit of hockey being played in that area!

You can see some pictures and a video tour of our Norwalk store right here.

The crew down in Connecticut is a great group of hockey lifers and real knowledgeable about both lacrosse and hockey. Evan Gauthier manages the store, he started out in our Nashua location and did so well that we gave him the store down in Norwalk shortly after it opened. Evan has managed the store to terrific growth since we opened down there and always has his eyes on the ball. Or puck.

We decided to take a minute to ask Evan some quick questions so you can know him a little better. Here we go.....

1.  How did you first get into the game of hockey?
Not really sure how it started but I was about 7 when I started skating and once I got on skates I just never looked back.  My dad has always been a huge Bruins fan so I think that was the biggest influence to my wanting to skate.

2. What’s the biggest difference for you regarding hockey equipment from when you were a kid vs. the gear available today?
The gear now is so much lighter.  I still have some of my old stuff in my parents garage and it weighs so much more than the stuff now.  The sticks are crazy different too.  I used a wood stick until I was a freshman in high school.

3. What are you using for gear these days? Anything you’re dying to try out?
I have always been pretty much a loyal CCM person.  I have the 11K Reebok skates and the X:60 stick.  My gloves are CCM U+12.  I am really looking forward to seeing the new Bauer Nexus gear.  Looks real comfortable.

4.  What was your first impression of Pure Hockey when you first saw a store?
I remember walking into the original Pure Hockey in Marlboro when it was closer to the rink.  I was just blown away as a kid by all the stuff in the store.  It was pretty overwhelming as a little kid and there is just shelves upon racks upon walls of gear everywhere.

5.  What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
Last thing I laughed really hard at would have to be a few months ago I left my house to go to work and got all the way to the car before I realized that I had left my keys inside my apartment and locked the door behind me.  Thankfully I had my cell phone and was able to call a cab to get to work.  Haven't locked myself out since then.

Thanks Evan!



0 Comments Posted at 12:00PM on 03/21/2012

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Friday, January 27, 2012
We're Coming to Pittsburgh!

We get a LOT of people emailing us and putting stuff on Facebook and Twitter about where we should open stores. Basically, according to hockey players, we should have at least one store in every state! We wish we could! But it's more complicated than just popping a sign up and stuffing gear in the store. We could go on for hours about this, but you'd be bored stuff.

The point of today's post is pretty exciting - we ARE opening new stores in 2012 and the first announcement is a big one - we're bringing our huge hockey stores to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In multiple locations. And we are super-excited about it. Not only will we get to finally see the Consol Energy Center (hey, it's ok to be a little selfish!), but it also means Pure Hockey, Pure Goalie and Commonwealth Lacrosse are setting up shop in what we believe is a fast-growing hockey market STARVING for a first-rate hockey store. If you're from Pittsburgh and you are reading this, click here to see what's in store for you. We are currently taking applications and resumes for people to work in the stores (just go to our careers page and fill out the online form) and we'll have announcements forthcoming shortly on specific locations. Suffice it to say, we've done our homework.

Here's the Press Release:

Franklin, MA,  January 25, 2012

TSG Enterprises, LLC announces that its individual and unique specialty stores, Pure Hockey, Pure Goalie and Commonwealth Lacrosse (“ComLax”), will each open a retail store in multiple locations in the Pittsburgh, PA area. The stores will represent TSG Enterprises’ first retail stores in the state of Pennsylvania and opening is scheduled for Spring 2012. Standard promotional activities and giveaways are planned. The separate entities have had customer demand for locations in Pennsylvania and are the largest hockey equipment and lacrosse equipment stores in the U.S.A.

David Nectow, President of parent company TSG Enterprises, LLC., commented, "We are very excited to be establishing a multiple-store presence in the Pittsburgh metro area. The reason we are coming to Pittsburgh is that we see a hockey and lacrosse rich community there and feel that there is demand for specialty stores that offer a unique shopping experience - a large format along with a very broad level of product and service offerings. We've been successful in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island markets and know that this will translate very well in Pennsylvania. We are confident that the new stores in the area will be great additions to our expanding retail portfolio.”

About Pure Hockey: Pure Hockey sells hockey equipment from all major brands such as Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Warrior, Easton, Vaughn and Brians (plus many more) and designs and markets fashion-forward and custom made apparel for its online and retail shoppers. The Company offers stick & skate buyback programs, a low-price guarantee and has seven retail locations in Massachusetts, including Berlin, Braintree, Danvers, Franklin, Kingston, Medford and Needham, along with three stores in New Hampshire, including Nashua, NH, Dover, NH and Exeter, NH. Pure Hockey also operates stores in Warwick, RI, Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.

About ComLax: Comlax sells lacrosse equipment from all major brands such as Brine, STX, Maverik, Reebok, Warrior and many more and also designs and markets fashion-forward and custom made apparel for its online and retail shoppers. The Company has eight retail locations in Massachusetts, including Berlin, Braintree, Danvers, Framingham, Franklin, Kingston, Medford and Needham, along with additional stores in Dover, NH, Nashua, NH, , Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.

About Pure Goalie: Pure Goalie sells hockey goalie equipment from all major brands such as Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Warrior, Vaughn and Brians (plus many more). The Company offers stick buyback programs, a low-price guarantee and has six retail locations, including Berlin, MA, Braintree, MA, Dover, NH, Warwick, RI, Norwalk, CT and Fairfield, NJ.


If you have any questions or want to talk to us about advertising or anything else related to our store openings in Pittsburgh, PA this spring, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via our Customer Service group at 866-PURE-HOCKEY.

0 Comments Posted at 11:10AM on 01/27/2012

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Pure Hockey of Fairfield, NJ

By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

We'll get back to writing about those TV commercials soon. But one thing we'll do a little more of here in 2012 is introduce you to the people behind our business. There's no better place to start than our stores and our store managers. I started here in March of 2010 here in Marketing and before that, I've largely held internet/marketing jobs. I hadn't worked in a retail store since 1993, when I stocked frozen & dairy food at the local Supermarket while I was in college in Kent, Ohio. I'm not sure that even counts as retail. If you want to talk TRUE retail, you'd have rewind it back even further to 1989, when I worked in a record store at a mall in Central Massachusetts.

So I haven't necessarily forgotten what working in a retail environment was like, but it had been a while - and Pure Hockey is a totally different retail animal than anything I've ever seen before. These are not $9.99 albums or eggs and milk. We're talking about hundreds - and sometimes thousands - of dollars of people's money here.

Anyway, long-story-short, I've developed a huge respect for the guys and gals out there who manage and work in our stores. It is a hard job. Yes, there are slow periods, as with any retail store, but when you see it enough and even experience it, you can't help but have a deep appreciation for what these guys endure and go through.

Anyway, we want to open the doors and introduce you to some of our staff. We're gonna start as far south as Pure Hockey goes (right now), down in Fairfield, New Jersey. Our newest store, the Fairfield shop is roughly 15,000 square feet and opened in July of 2010. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I believe the Fairfield store is our best looking store in the chain. This can be attributed to our Manager of Store Operations, Marc Pino, who you'll meet in a later blog post. He had a fairly blank slate to build in that space and he chose wisely - nice floors, good colors, excellent lighting and fine touches all around.

You can see some pictures of our Fairfield store right here.

The New Jersey crew is a rock solid gang of hockey nuts and New Jersey Devils fans (our sympathies, hehehhee) and the store manager down there is Joe Carlino, who has managed the opening of the store (complete with inevitable setbacks) and its superb growth for the last year-and-a-half. We took a few minutes to ask Joe some quick questions about his experience at the store, what gear he wears and some other stuff too. Enjoy.

1. How did you first get into the game of hockey?
I've been involved in hockey since I can remember. I wish I could give a specific incident that made me love the game as much as I do, but I can't remember one.

2. What’s the biggest difference for you regarding hockey equipment from when you were a kid vs. the gear available today?
The technology and performance of the gear today is light years ahead of where it was when I was a kid. The composite stick is a great example.

3. What are you using for gear these days? Anything you’re dying to try out?
I skate out sometimes, but I usually play goal. I also own way too much hockey equipment, but this is what I'm using most of the time:

Goalie Bag:
- Brian's Subzero pads, gloves, blocker
- Vaughn 7600 c/a and breezers
- One80 skates
- Promasque XDK,  Hackva, or Eddy Custom Kevlar mask.
- I usually use a 9950 (p41, 26") stick, but I've been trying out some composites to see if I can get used to them.

Player Bag:
- Vapor XXXX pro stock gloves
- Unidentifiable CCM elbows, shins, and breezers (I've had them for the better part of a decade, and I can't find a logo to give you a model- they wore off)
- CCM U+ pro shoulder pads
- CCM V08 Helmet
- Oakley half shield
- One80 skates
- I am currently using an Easton RS  and an S19 (Iginla 100)

One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to see the new gear before it hits the stores. I love the opportunity to demo anything, but I'd really like to try out some Reebok goalie gear.

4. What was your first impression of Pure Hockey when you first saw a store?
Haha...I hadn't seen anything like it! When I went for my original interview, the New Jersey store was still under construction. I couldn't believe a store that size could be just for hockey equipment. When I went up to Massachusettes to be trained and walked into the Berlin store for the first time, I think I realized this was definitely the right job for me.

5. What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
The Devils game last night - they let up 6 goals on 14 shots. Sometimes, you have to just have to laugh!

Thanks Joe!

0 Comments Posted at 08:00PM on 01/11/2012

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Friday, November 04, 2011
Work Life

By Jeff Copetas
VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

I want to tell you a little bit about working here. Around this time each year, when the leaves are almost done falling and the initial biting winds start stinging our faces, things get busy. Really busy. Really, really busy. As a result, we often find ourselves scrambling around the building trying to get all of our work done - and we all have a unified goal - to get as much stuff into our stores for the holidays so our customers can find what they are looking for. It sounds so easy, doesn't it? Just get the product into stores. But it's so much more than you think - and we won't bore you with the details about how we approach such things. Just know that with 13 stores across five states, it's not as simple as one would think. How many of these should go here? Any why? And when?

Anyway, as any retailer will tell you, the holiday is just a mad rush, starting NOW. With that said, not only do we scramble to do our own jobs here at the office, we are often called upon to help other people and other departments get their job done, too. Again, it's an all-out push to get our stores in as good a shape as possible so you, customers, can find the right gift for your hockey player. Sometimes doing these "other jobs" is interesting and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes not.

But I will tell you this much, for example:  dropping a person in Marketing into the warehouse for a few hours makes you appreciate and better understand the complexities and functions of a warehouse that has to feed 13 stores. Or dropping a person in the corporate office into the shipping department for half a day opens your eyes to what works and what doesn't. What else? How about spending the day working in one of our actual stores? We do that as well, during our annual Tent Sale.

In the end, doing other people's jobs is beneficial in so many ways. It makes you understand your whole company better and it makes you a better employee because you can see through the eyes of what some of your co-workers see every day. How is that not beneficial for your own position? As a Marketing guy, I can stand in a store and gather some insight into the shopping customer. As a guy who runs the website, I can work in the warehouse and see the process of shipping our product, how it looks, how it's packaged, etc, etc. Insanely helpful.

So yeah, sometimes the work isn't what you want to do, but you do it. Last night almost the whole corporate staff was out in the warehouse from 5-9pm, applying pricing tags and "splitting" product into bins for our stores. Hard work, but helpful in making us better employees and teammates. A lot of us here played competitive sports, be it high school all the way up to the division 1 or pro levels. It can be a competitive workplace environment, but most often it reminds me of teammates on all the teams I played on growing up. We all have different background, different roles, different ways for which we are judged. Nobody is exempt - our CEO was right out there with us last night. He, too, helps in shipping during the holidays, in the warehouse and the stores. That means a lot.

But put it all together and you have a team. A hard-working, serious, goofy, loud or quiet set of people - all with one common goal. And that's cool.

0 Comments Posted at 12:00AM on 11/04/2011

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