While the Nats opened their new team store several weeks ago, the grand opening was officially held this week. Thus, a few notes about what’s new.
Why a new team store?
This has been in the works for more than a year, since Valerie Camillo became the team’s chief revenue and marketing officer. The old store — located to the right of the center field gate as you enter — was too small, too crowded, and couldn’t display a full range of Nats merchandise. Long lines, officials thought, were keeping people from even entering the store. The new store — located to the left of the center field gate as you enter — is nearly twice the size of the old store, with triple the number of points of sale. Camillo said it is one of the largest stores in MLB.
What’s the neatest part of the new store?
The “College Corner” in the back, featuring Nats hats in the colors of Maryland, GW, Georgetown, George Mason, American, Virginia, Virginia Tech and soon, James Madison. The Virginia Tech hats have been particularly popular, and have already been reordered. Meanwhile, the Virginia and Virginia Tech T-shirts were so popular that they were pulled off the floor, so enough would remain for next week’s College Rivalry night. The hats are all fitted for now, but adjustable hats in the college colors are on the way.
(In order here, left to right, top to bottom, we have GW, American, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgetown, Maryland.)
What else is new?
A display at the front of the store will feature a limited-edition item relevant to the current games. When the Yankees were in town, there was a Yankees-Nats rivalry shirt. Recently, the team displayed a limited-run Max Scherzer shirt, highlighting his two different colored eyes.
On Wednesday, there were rainbow-Curly-W hats and shirts for the team’s annual Night Out.
Also new: a large Under Armour section (UA was barely represented in the old store), a large “Kids Zone,” a T-shirt bar, and a large display of the White House Christmas ornament, due to a recent partnership. (Needless to say, the Nats are the only MLB team that sells the White House Christmas ornament.)
Why do you, Dan Steinberg, constantly make fun of the Redskins for their commercialism, even while you promote everything sold by the Nationals?
That’s actually a good question. I’m not totally sure. Will have to ask my therapist.
What happens to the old store?
The original plan to put a full-service restaurant in the old store’s location was scuttled, since the space proved too large. The team is still exploring the idea of a full-service restaurant elsewhere in the park, but the old space will likely be converted into a meeting space that could be used for large group events like corporate outings or family reunions.