The lockout "hurt very, very much" says Vice President of Laux Sporting Goods Kathy Molnar, who estimates lost sales at $1 million. In an attempt to get people to buy Sabres gear during the lockout, Laux held a lockout sale, discounting anything Sabres 20 percent until the lockout ended. It helped, but not greatly. "We do a lot of specialized jerseys with names and numbers. Sales weren't there because fans didn't know who the players were going to be there, so they didn't want to spend the money on bigger items, but they did on smaller items," explains Molnar.
She says though Buffalo has a big hockey fan base, for many fans it was out of sight, out of mind during the lockout.
Molnar hopes with the return to hockey, sales for this quarter will jump 20 to 25 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012.