By: Charlotte Hillyard-Baker
Transit buffs and members of the general public interested in collecting TTC memorabilia may soon be able to shop to their heart’s content, if plans go ahead for a TTC store in 2014.
Brad Ross, director of corporate communications for the TTC, said there is no definite answer where the store will be located.
“We are considering some sort of retail or online, so either a store; an actual bricks and mortar store, or online retail where we would sell posters, tee shirts, hats, mugs; souvenir type merchandise that you can buy,” Ross said.
“If we did a store, it ideally would be in a central location somewhere, where there’s a lot of foot traffic, presumably where there’s a lot of tourism, somewhere where people can easily get to it. It could be on a subway line, in a station perhaps. Those are all good questions that will need to be addressed.”
Ross said before the TTC makes any progress on the project, they have to determine whether they will make enough revenue to justify opening up a store.
“We have to build a business model and we have to build a business case first of all to make sure that we are going to net a profit,” Ross said.
“This isn’t something that we would do –for example- if it’s going to cost a lot and not net a profit, so in other words, it will cost us money to do this, but it can’t cost us more than we would make.“
Impatient transit-lovers who can’t wait for the new venture can find posters at their head office at Davisville station, or order memorabilia through Legacy Sportswear, who previously had a store at Union Station.
Rick Ferri, the owner of Legacy Sportswear, said there are a lot of TTC products available, from watches to belt buckles, key chains and clothing, but there aren’t a lot of TTC products being sold at the moment.
“There are a lot of products, a lot of merchandise, a lot of variety, a lot of nice fashion,” Ferri said.
“Since we have closed the store, we have kind of reinvented a lot of graphics and stuff. There are a lot of new graphics and tee shirts that we have come out with. Unfortunately there hasn’t been a lot of exposure to the public because we don’t have the retail outlet in the city like we used to.”
Though the details of the business are still to come, Ross said he is confident that, no matter what happens, there is demand for the product.
“There are visitors to the city and tourists, so if we had a store, for example, that’s a potential customer as well. Depending on where the store would be, our own employees – we have 13,000 employees – so certainly there will be a customer base just amongst our employees.”