Metro swag store sending merchandise sales higher, officials say

WASHINGTON — People are buying Metro-branded yoga pants and other gear at the new M Shop, the transit agency said.

Metro has sold about $10,000 worth of merchandise at the Metro Center sales office since it reopened Feb. 26 with the Metro swag available for purchase, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld estimated Thursday. Wiedefeld made clear that he did not have precise sales numbers in front of him, and that was only a rough estimate.

“It’s also bumped up our online ordering — the cross advertising,” Wiedefeld said.

Metro has long sold branded merchandise through its website, but has made a concerted push to promote the new shop.

In total, Metro has recorded about $25,000 in combined sales from the M Shop and online since the Metro Center sales office opened Feb. 26 with T-shirts, umbrellas, tote bags, costumes, train models, mugs, magnets and more, spokesman Ron Holzer said in an email.

In the past, Metro has taken in about $50,000 a year in royalties from branded merchandise sold elsewhere, but there is no word yet on profit margins.

The main purpose of the Metro Center sales office is to handle SmarTrip transactions and issues, including for people who want to qualify for senior discounts or buy cards in bulk for groups.

Metro expects to take in about $26 million from advertising in the year starting in July, $9.7 million from joint development projects, $15.4 million from fiber optics fees, and $9.2 million in other revenue such as merchandise sales not tied to rider fares or parking fees.

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