Even in a city as passionate about hockey as Montreal, the lockout causing the locals to pass on Canadiens memorabilia, and that hurts shop managers like Santana Enrique.
Enrique has spent 16 years working at Sports Crescent and since the lockout started, he’s been “suffering,” based on what he said in an Ottawa Sun report.
Enrique pays about $12,000 a month in rent for his store recently sold all of $146 worth of goods over the span of five hours.
“It’s worthless without the Canadiens and no hockey,” Enrique said.
“People have stopped buying NHL (gear). They’ve turned to the NFL and to baseball. Hockey, there is nothing. Our store is 70% of hockey (sales) and then other sports. I’m completely depressed. It’s awful.
“This morning, I was quiet. I can’t talk to the customers. I have no energy to talk. No power to beg them to buy. I put the stuff at 50%, they can buy it or leave it. I’m not going to make money at 50% off.”
The longer the lockout goes on, the longer local businesses that have come to rely on hockey will have to be forced to endure until the owners and players agree on a way to divide the reported $3.3 billion in hockey-related revenues.
The two sides are expected to meet on Tuesday, but we’re going to have to wait to see what those talks will even focus on.
The union and owners have largely avoided the key economic issues in their recent discussions, despite NHLPA’s Steve Fehr suggesting that a deal could be done in “six hours” if the two sides were able to come to an understanding on the “major issues.”