Last shipment of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens hits store shelves - Canadians encouraged to get a pair before the world arrives!

Steve Yzerman, executive director of the 2010 Canadian Men's Ice Hockey Team, visited a Zellers store this week to pick up one of the remaining pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens. The final shipments of the "it souvenir" of the 2010 Winter Games will arrive this week at Zellers and Bay stores across the country, as well as the HBC online store, www.hbc.com. (CNW Group/Hudson's Bay Company)

VANCOUVER, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - This week, the final shipment of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens will be arriving in Hudson's Bay Company stores across the country, including the Bay, Zeller's and Home Outfitters - and after that, they're gone! The red mittens with a white maple leaf on the palm have become the 'it' souvenir of the 2010 Winter Games for fans wishing to 'wear their heart on their hands' and so far, almost two million pairs have been sold.

"We're overwhelmed by the eagerness of Canadians to show support for our athletes by purchasing the Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens. Before they went on sale October 1, 2009, we had set a goal of selling one million pairs by the end of the 2010 Winter Games. We reached that goal in early December, and judging by the frenzy they were creating in many stores, we decided that a total of three million mittens would be our new goal. We're confident every pair will be snapped up by the end of February," said Dennis Kim, director of licensing and merchandising for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).

The affordable mittens, which retail for $10, have been so successful they have been hard to keep in stock. Stores have reported selling out before the red-hot mitts even hit shelves.

They feature a white Maple Leaf in the heart of each palm (perfect for cheering and waving!) and the Olympic Rings and Vancouver 2010 stitched on the outside. They are a unifying element that knit together Olympic Torchbearers, Canadian athletes, Canadian fans and Olympic supporters around the world.

"Hudson's Bay Company has a long history of supporting Canada's amateur athletes, and we're very proud to be a partner in a program which has become so meaningful to both athletes and fans across the country. The Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens are certain to be the most collectible items at the 2010 Winter Games and will be remembered fondly long after the Olympic Flame leaves Vancouver," said Jeff Sherman, CEO, Hudson's Bay Company.

Hudson's Bay Company, a Premier National Partner and the General Retail Merchant of the 2010 Winter Games, is playing a vital role in manufacturing and retailing the mittens at its Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations across the country. The mittens are also available at www.vancouver2010.hbc.com and www.vancouver2010.com/store.

Net proceeds from every pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens sold are helping complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provides Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Winter Games. Any additional funds raised through the Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens campaign will support a variety of 2010 Winter Games' athlete- and sport-based initiatives.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

For further information: Media contacts: VANOC Media Relations, Mediarelations@vancouver2010.com, (604) 403-1611; Hudson's Bay Company, Shari Burnett, (604) 623-3007, Shari.burnett@karyo-edelman.com