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Now that the Cubs are in the World Series, sales have soared 20-fold, said Clark Street Sports co-owner Jason Caref.
"This has been so phenomenal, that it's been far better than any day when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, " said Caref, who has stores in Aurora, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Rosemont, Lombard and elsewhere.
And that Stanley Cup was long in coming, too.
Cubs T-shirts for $28, gray locker room caps for $40 and other products are selling out.
"We're hoping to get more, but the manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand, " Caref said.
Retailers, restaurants and even a junk removal service are all seeing a bump in business since the Chicago Cubs made it to the playoffs. And this week's World Series also is expected to spark consumers to spend even more, local businesses predict.
Win or lose, the North Side team has helped to boost morale and the local economy, mostly because long-awaiting Cubs fans now have their day at the cash register, businesses said.
"It's been 108 years since the Cubs won the World Series and 71 since they were even in the World Series. That's a long time for all this demand to build up, " said Jeremiah Zimmer, senior community marketing manager for Dick's Sporting Goods. He oversees stores in Chicago, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Niles and elsewhere.
Dick's opened their stores late Saturday after the Cubs won the National League championship series and early Sunday, quickly selling out the popular gray locker room caps and T-shirts. Lines formed outside at some stores, while steady streams of customers packed others, Zimmer said.
Dick's stores will remain open longer to accommodate eager fans after the World Series games.
"We have three to four truckloads of merchandise coming in daily now and it's been pandemonium, " Zimmer said. "If the Cubs win, it's going to be controlled chaos."