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Cardinals Success Boosts Local Sales, Sometimes

Does making the playoffs mean big bucks for West County area retailers?

Some experts say that when a major league team makes it to a playoff season—such as the St. Louis Cardinals making it to the National League Championship Series this week—local business will profit.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is estimating that the Cardinals are adding $1.5 million to the local economy with each playoff game held in St. Louis. This boost is coming from out-of-town guests booking hotels, eating out and visiting attractions while they’re in town.

That’s great for downtown, but what about businesses in St. Louis County including those in Town and Country and Manchester? Could they see a boost?

The answer is yes, and maybe.

Naturally, local sports bars will see an increase in business as more patrons come in to see the big game with their friends over a beer and burger. Ken Lloyd at in Manchester said things have been great ever since the Cardinal’s big comeback.

“Judging from food sales, yeah, more people are coming in,” he said.

Stores that sell Cardinal’s shirts and hats are seeing an increase in sales as fans decide to freshen up their wardrobes with Cardinal red.

“Absolutely. As soon as the Cardinals make the playoffs, there’s a huge increase in demand,” said Ralph Copp, the store manager at Manchester’s . “Everyone knows we carry Cardinal’s stuff.”

But there’s a balancing act to playoff sales—how much merchandise do you stock, and what do you do with it if the Cardinals don’t go all the way?

“At this point, everyone is scrambling to get stuff. But stores could get stuck with a lot of product,” he said.

Another area business that could benefit is —but only if the Cardinals actually win the World Series. The business has been selling trading cards and collectibles since 1989, and owner Wally Militzer has seen his business through nine Cardinal playoff seasons.

“It’s too early. They just made the playoffs,” Militzer said. He said with the Cardinals in the running, he might see more casual collectors come in for a pack of cards, but winning a playoff game doesn’t make baseball cards more valuable. His Chris Carpenter cards are still going for a dollar each.

“The value is determined by a player over their whole career,” he said.

He said winning a World Series is the only way the current Cardinals team could have a positive effect on his collectibles business. And even then, the biggest impact wouldn’t be until Christmas, when baseball fans might think of Cardinals memorabilia as a great gift idea. He said that around the holidays all kinds of merchandise comes out with the World Series-winning team’s logos—mugs, clocks, figurines and Christmas ornaments.

On the Horizon:

  • Missouri Council on Economic Education will host a lunch program Oct. 18 at Crowne Plaza in Clayton. The program costs $100 per person and includes speakers providing economic and market forecasts.
  • Find free business advice from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The site includes free podcasts and online courses for managing and marketing your business.
  • Show Me the Blog Social Media and Blogging Conference will be held Oct. 21-22 at the Lumière Place Casino and Hotels. Tickets are $75 for both days or $50 for one day. Learn how to get a job in social media, how to build clients and how to make money blogging.

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