The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the American Hockey League’s development team of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, officially opened a store Thursday, offering Phantoms-branded items in downtown Allentown near the arena being built at PPL Center.
The store, called the Phan Shop, is on the southeast corner of Eighth and Hamilton streets.
"That's one of the things we're proud of," said Jeff Rogers, vice president of finance for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. "All four corners of Eighth and Hamilton streets are activated. It's been a long time that businesses were there."
Thursday, the team offered fan giveaways to the shop's first 20 customers, who received an official Phantoms team hockey puck and the chance to win a team-autographed hockey stick.
Today, the first 20 customers received a Phantoms team hockey puck and the chance to win an Erik Gustafsson game-worn jersey. Gustafsson, a former Phantoms Player and AHL All-Star, is a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The store will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
"Right now, we are seeing how it goes. If we start seeing more demand, we might expand the hours," Rogers said. "For the people who are working in the city, the support has been great."
Rogers said the store had a soft opening the week before and the response had been strong, with many office workers stopping by the shop on their lunch hour to check out the store. With the grand opening Thursday, Rogers said he has noticed increased traffic, including many season-ticket holders buying items.
The Phan Shop sells T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, novelties, gifts, hot and cold mugs, school supplies and other items with The Phantoms logo. Though the Phantoms had a kiosk for several months at Lehigh Valley Mall, Rogers said this store allows them to sell more items, including additional clothing for women and children.
"We're constantly adding more inventory as we get closer to the opening," Rogers said.
The arena, the home of the Phantoms, is set for a Sept. 1 opening.