Bark back in business

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

The Stamps Store has come a long way since Basil Bark last ran it.

He and current Stampeders owner John Forzani held the keys to the McMahon Stadium retail space in the 1980s before selling it to then-Stamps owner Larry Ryckman.

Yesterday, Bark assumed ownership for the second time with a new vision for marketing Stampeders products to fans with an ever-expanding line of merchandise to offer.

"There were jerseys, a T-shirt or two, a basic hat, maybe two hats," Bark recalled of what the store offered two decades ago.

"Now we have 40 different styles of hats. We never sold any opposition items before but now teams like Saskatchewan, their merchandise does very well."

The Stamps Store is the exclusive retailer for the next two weeks of the restyled Stampeders jerseys while the McMahon Stadium outlet now boasts more than $600,000 worth of retail stock.

"This is the first time the CFL has allowed a concessionaire a window to sell an item -- 13 days -- but the new jersey just gets the ball rolling," said Bark, who plans to offer a new sale item during each of the 10 home games this season. "There's probably 50 new items coming in from hats, to mugs to golf shirts to whatever."

Bark was the Stampeders centre for eight seasons (1970-77) while also joining the Forzani brothers as a founding partner of the Forzani Group of retail stores in 1972.

He presently owns seven Intersport locations throughout Alberta.


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