Consolidating merchandise to simplify stocking and inventory control

05 Aug 2019

Modern sports venues are often home to more than one team, which means that an arena might host a basketball game one night and a hockey game the next. That’s the case at the United
Center in Chicago, which is home to the Bulls basketball team and the Blackhawks hockey team, and which hosts more than 80 games every season along with concerts and other events.

The teams’ devoted fans can purchase licensed merchandise anytime at the Madhouse Team Store, a 10,000-square-foot retail experience at the arena. They can also shop on game days at smaller kiosks located throughout the venue.

Keeping these retail vendors stocked with merchandise requires a lot of storage capacity: the Madhouse needs to be restocked daily and the kiosk clerks have to swap out merchandise for each event. For instance, the kiosks display about 70% Bulls merchandise on basketball game days, and only about 30% Blackhawks merchandise. The next day they need to quickly switch up the merchandise mix to offer more Blackhawks items for sale at the hockey game.

This presented a major storage challenge because merchandise was stored in various locations around the stadium, valuable retail space was taken up by boxes and bins, and clerks were wasting time trying to find what they needed.

Local Spacesaver reps had designed systems for the teams’ athletic storage, so the architects contacted Spacesaver again to help consolidate and organize retail inventory. The solution consists of stationary shelving along the walls for hanging jerseys and jackets, along with a tall ActivRAC® Mobilized Storage System that takes full advantage of the room’s 12’ ceilings. Bulls merchandise is on one side of the system and Blackhawks items are on the other, and a stationary section divides the two. Six-foot aisles accommodate the clerks’ rolling carts.

The end result is a system that keeps inventory organized and allows clerks to efficiently pull and replace items for every event.

See below for a few photos of the final space:

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