Mitten Madness goes 24/7 in merchandise mad Vancouver

Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:56pm EST
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By Kevin Fylan

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Vancouver's Olympic Superstore will stay open round the clock for the final three days of the Winter Games to satisfy Mitten Madness -- the city's recession-busting demand for official merchandise.

"We've just decided we're going to extend it on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Olympics," Dana Hall, manager of the downtown Hudson's Bay Co store, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We're going to go 24/7 and be here for everyone who wants a souvenir and something to bring home."

People have been lining up around the block to visit the official store, with over 15,000 going through the doors each day, Hall said.

By far the biggest sellers around the Games have been the C$10 ($9.60) red wool mittens, featuring maple leaf and Olympic rings, that have become the city's big fashion statement.

"The 'It' item is of course the red mittens," Hall said. "They're priced so everyone can afford them and everyone needs mittens."

Profits on the must-have handwear of the season go to the Own the Podium program, supporting Canadian athletes, but the big winners will come from outside the host nation, as the mittens themselves are made in China.

(Reporting by Kia Johnson; editing by Jon Bramley)

<p>Britain's Prince Charles (L) wears an Olympic mitten presented to him by British Columbian Premier Gordon Campbell during a visit to the Athlete's Village in Vancouver, British Columbia November 7, 2009. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>