If you shop GreatSkate Hockey, you know you can shop with confidence thanks to its best price guarantee.
The international, family owned and operated hockey retailer, which opened its doors in 1973 and set the standard with its first mail-order catalog in 1984, lives and breathes the game.
Chances are, if you laced ’em up anywhere on the planet over the past four decades with locations in the United States, Finland, Sweden and Japan, GreatSkate Hockey Supply Company tied your skates.
A second generation family-run business, from GreatSkate’s memorable annual summer tent sales graced with NHL players the likes of Larry Robinson, Denis Savard, Ray Bourque, Mike Bossy, Brian Leetch and Eric Lindros to its trailblazing catalog and mail-order subscription service exceeding 200,000 members, the Buffalo-based hockey retailer has become the player’s choice supplier of hockey equipment.
“GreatSkate is an olde time family hockey service,” President Tom Farkas said. “We’re hands-on. We know hockey, we think hockey and we know what’s going on with the latest, greatest and hottest sticks on the market. Players come in and shop for our service, selection and knowledge of the game.”
GreatSkate’s flagship, 25,000 square-foot suburban location in Amherst, N.Y. features a custom-fit skate center, repair shop, and fully stocked stick and blade racks complete with a simulated indoor rink to fire off a few test shots.
“Back in the 90’s with the summer tent sales and autograph sessions, players would come in and shop,” Farkas said. “Now, they send in their parents and family members because they feel comfortable knowing they will be taken care of.”
In 1984, GreatSkate set the tone with one of the very first hockey catalogs on the market. During the dawn of the pre-expansion era, GreatSkate carried just two major lines of equipment: Cooper equipment and Victoriaville sticks. As the game expanded so did the hockey supply company becoming an official retailer for Bauer, CCM, Reebok, Grit, Mission, Mogo, Mylec, Shockdoctor, Stx, Tapout, Warrior and more.
As the game grew so did GreatSkate with its highly publicized and attended annual summer tent sale featuring NHL superstars.
“Back then you didn’t realize,” Vice President of Retail Operations Keith Farkas said. “We picked up guys like Larry Robinson from the airport and brought them in. We knew who he was but he didn’t know who we were. We’d spot them in the airport and ask, ‘Are you here for the GreatSkate event?‘
The annual, outdoor summer tent sale featured a number of different NHL All-Stars making celebrity appearances each season. Guys like Bryan Trottier, Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Curtis Joseph and Patrick Kane became regulars.
“Alexandre Daigle showed up by limousine one year,” Keith added with a laugh. “Later, guys started showing up themselves. It was a great time.”
While the game has changed from wood, aluminum and graphite to the kevlar and complex composite evolution, the trademark, individual attention and family atmosphere at GreatSkate has not. The next generation of players and fans of the game are in good hands with Internet, Online and Advertising General Manager Mike Farkas and his brother Jeff Farkas, a former standout for the Boston College Eagles and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Today, GreatSkate is the largest retail and mail-order supplier of hockey equipment in the United States with a membership that grows by the day. In its 44th season, GreatSkate will not be unsold thanks to its best price guarantee.
“When a customer chooses us, it becomes our foremost obligation to make sure his or her hockey experience is flawless,” GreatSkate’s Company Philosophy states. “We would expect nothing less if we were on the other side of the counter.
“Our tradition of excellence has been a proud one — that’s our history. The future is yours.”
Main Image: From left — Tom Farkas, Keith Farkas and Michael Farkas — make the GreatSkate in-store hockey experience second to none. 2017 marks its 44th season since it first opened its doors in 1973.