Seasonal Demand And Cubs Street Vendors In December

Lynne Kiesling

Yesterday the KP Spouse and I got the tree (a 6′ blue spruce, yum!), decorated it, baked and cooked, and went for a lovely long walk. The first part of our walk took us down Clark Street, past Wrigley Field. Here it was, December 5, temperature in the 40s, and what do we see on the northeast corner of Clark and Waveland?

The large stand of the vendor who usually occupies that corner during the season, selling Cubs sportswear and other paraphenalia. Sosa t-shirts, t-shirts saying “we’ve got Wood”, cute little women’s t-shirts with the little cub and the C, and so on. In December.

Why? Because it’s three weeks before Christmas! More specifically, do you think that most Cubs fans are thinking in September, “gee, I have to remember to get that t-shirt for my dad for Christmas”? Probably not.

What’s in this business model for the vendor? During the season they obviously make the lion’s share of their profits, but during the month before Christmas they can add to their profits (and reduce their inventory carrying costs) by throwing their tables out there and grabbing some business from the Christmas present crowd.

Part of what makes this holiday sales strategy profitable is the presence of many (and I mean many) sports bars on Clark Street. Sundays are big football game days for these bars, so not surprisingly when we walked by at 2:30 many of the bars were crowded. I would not be surprised if they were also almost as crowded on Saturday for college ball. We saw two people walk by who had purchased items from the vendor, and a couple of people lurking and browsing when we went by.

Then by 4:15 when we came back, they were gone. Until next weekend … I should have checked to see if they price the same as during the season. Maybe I’ll go do some research next weekend!

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