A very mild winter, by Central New York standards, at least, has forced David Steinberg to get creative with the rebranding of some of his products.
Steinberg, whose family has owned and operated the sporting goods department within Ra-Lin since 1959, has begun calling wool and flannel gear “shirt jackets.” Long underwear is now also known as an “extra layer.”
“The strange winter has hurt and helped, and basically things have a way of balancing out,” said Steinberg, a fixture in the department for decades, first as an employee for his father, and now as the owner. “People aren’t going out and buying large winter coats. They are coming here just to add layers if they aren’t wearing a big coat every day of the season.”
Steinberg’s department carries more than just cold-weather apparel. Firearms, bows, arrows and accessories for hunting, pocket knives, binoculars and darts and dartboards line the shelves.
“Some areas have grown, while others have shrunk in our department,” Steinberg said. “We sell what is selling, basically, with stand-bys like firearms and our targetry products.”
Binoculars remain popular with customers throughout the year. They can be used during all seasons, from hunting, to hiking and camping, to Syracuse University football and basketball games at the spacious Carrier Dome. Steinberg sells Nikon and Bushnell binoculars, ranging in price from $30 to $200 and above, depending on size, qualities and features.
As spring approaches, Steinberg also stocks plenty of raingear for golfers and others itching to experience the great recreational areas Central New York has to offer.
And don’t laugh: Steinberg says a great Mother’s Day gift, which will be here before you know it, is a small Swiss Army Knife for mom to add to her keychain.
“They are a great product and versatile,” he added. “We’ve got ones with lots of accessories, and others that can fit on a keychain, but still have several uses.”