Hockey skates are a hot commodity this pandemic winter

Out For a Stroll: Residents of Calgary enjoy an evening skate in the Shawnessy outdoor rink Jan. 30. The rink has become a popular spot for skaters in the community.( Photo by Ethan Perrin/The Press)

Demand for hockey skates is on the rise and businesses are trying to meet customer requests as the winter progresses.

Calgarians have been making reoccurring visits to local stores and businesses, where supply is limited, in order to obtain skates.

Some businesses in Calgary have been making steady progress in managing supply and demand, and happy customers are walking away with new skates in tow.

“We’re up about 120 per cent in skate sales,” said Troy Elvey, the owner of the Play It Again Sports store in Shawnessy.

“A lot of customers have been asking for skates, looking for the right fit and feel. We had a number of low-end skates that customers have been wanting as well that are gone.”

Elvey took note of this when sales began to increase before the beginning of the new year, when customers were appearing frequently.

“Everyone is just looking for something to keep themselves busy in this time,” Elvey said.

“Hockey skates have been popular for people to buy, so that they can go outside.”

Elvey has been trying to maintain skate sales for quite some time, and Play It Again has been making incredible sales from their supply.

“We have been taking in as many as we can,” Elvey said.

“A lot of our stock was bought last November and December, and January has slowed down. We try to keep our stock up as best as possible.”

Skates have been popular in many other locations as well, like the Sport Chek in Southcentre Mall.

“Our sales have been pretty good,” said Connor McKeown, a manager at Sport Chek.

“We have just been trying to maintain what we have, which in some cases is the same as other businesses as well.”

McKeown, who works within Sport Chek’s hard goods department, has had dozens of customers desiring skates.

“We have had so many that want hockey skates,” McKeown said.

“It’s one of the few things people can do right now, and there have been so many big rushes that we end up selling most our stock.”

We try our best to ensure that our customers walk away with skates. – Connor McKeown

McKeown has continued to persevere despite the decrease in supply of skates, and continues to help customers.

“We get them properly fitted and when we don’t have them, we provide what we can and communicate how to best receive skates.”

About Ethan Perrin 1 Article
As a photojournalism major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ethan Perrin is working as a photographer for The Press in 2022.