Perani’s Hockey World has grown to include 12 stores in Michigan and three in Canada. The flagship store in Livonia features a synthetic ice rink and a theater. Stores have been opened in cities across the country including Rochester NY, Pittsburgh PA, Cleveland and Columbus, OH, Chicago, Nashville and Euless, TX. “We opened stores number 20 and 21 in August!” exclaimed Robert, “and we still run the company like a family.”
Bob retired and moved to Thailand in 2007. In April of 2012, he passed away while traveling from Detroit to Tokyo enroute to Thailand. Kris passed away in 2006, and the Kris Perani Hockey Foundation was formed in her memory. “She always loved youth hockey and wanted to see every kid who wanted to play be given the opportunity,” says Robert. This year, the foundation awarded 24 scholarships to area kids.
The Flint store remains the home base for Perani’s Hockey World, in the hands of the second generation with Kevin and Robert at the helm. Lahna is involved with the business and helps in the decision-making process. Flint is also home to Perani’s distribution center, warehouse and e-commerce center. “The industry has changed quite a bit,” says Kevin. “We used to be a mom-and-pop shop and now, we are the largest hockey retailer.” The field has been more competitive with other stores now specializing in hockey equipment. But what is unique about Perani’s is that all of the staff have played hockey and are very knowledgeable about the product. A full-service store, Perani’s also offers equipment repair and sanitizing, skate repair and sharpening, and custom fitting, to name a few. “We offer the largest variety of name brand hockey equipment,” Kevin says.
Bob Perani greatly influenced the city of Flint and was well known for his generosity. He was recently inducted into the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame, and remembered at a Flint Generals alumnae game with a dedication in his honor. “The Flint community has always supported Perani’s,” says Robert. “Flint has been good to our family.” The family is also excited about the recent announcement by IMS USA, Inc. of plans for a $2 to $3 million investment in Perani Arena & Event Center and the Iceland Arena, and their efforts to bring a Tier 1 Junior Hockey team to Flint. “I’m thrilled!” exclaimed Kevin. “It could potentially grow the game of hockey in Flint and Genesee County.” ♦