GREENVILLE — Lions and Tigers and … well … so far, no Bears, but as Greenville’s premier sports store, Sports Galore, continues to grow into its second year, there’s no telling what will happen.
Opened a year ago July 28, the store has moved steadily forward despite a challenging economy. Owned by business partners Bruce Bentley and Andy Spry, the store caters to professionals, high school and college athletes, and “weekend warriors.”
For both Bentley and Spry, the store was a natural extension of their abiding interest in all things sports.
“I was thinking for a long time about opening a sporting retail store that had running shoes and athletic apparel,” Bentley said. “There was no place around here you could get things like athletic cleats and things like that. I finally decided to just pull the trigger and let ‘er go.”
Bentley already had a small business that produced local high school basketball and football games for radio. Spry also had a “sideline” business, making custom graphic shirts, mostly for area teams.
“Andy wanted to come in on it with me, and with his stuff it just kind of all came together,” Bentley said.
“I’ve been with Bruce since the beginning,” Spry added. “We got together before the store opened and just sort of merged our businesses.”
Since opening its doors, Sports Galore has been doing a fairly steady business and though nobody’s getting rich quick (both men have second jobs to help pay the bills) the store is making money.
“It’s been pretty busy lately,” Spry said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s paying off. We’re managing to keep our heads above water.”
According to Bentley, things have actually been better than originally expected.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, revenue-wise,” Bentley said. “But we feel we’ve done pretty good so far. Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes it’s slow, but we’re doing all right. And I think a lot of people still don’t realize we’re here and what we’re doing.”
In addition to team apparel and custom order shirts, Sports Galore also offers full lines of athletic shoes from both Asics and New Balance.
“Asics is the world’s largest running shoe company,” Bentley said. “And New Balance is great for people with wider feet. Also, they’re assembled in the United States.”
The store also offers a full line of sandals and Majestic brand gear. Majestic, Bentley points out, is the official uniform supplier to major league baseball. The store carries Tigers jerseys as well as collegiate apparel for Michigan State University and the University of Michigan and will soon stock more Detroit Lions apparel.
In addition to gear, one of the store’s most popular offerings is the batting cages, where local players can hone their skills in and indoor setting.
“The batting cage has been real popular,” Spry said. “We get a lot of schools that come in and utilize hat when there’s inclement weather. It’s definitely been a plus for the store. We’ve had it since we opened.”
Sports Galore maintains a Facebook page and Spry said a website is currently under construction.
“We’re hoping to launch it soon, at the same time we do our one-year sale, which is coming up in a couple weeks,” Spry said.
Hours for the store are Monday through Friday, noon-7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, contact the store at (616) 225-8900.
Sports Galore is located at 600 N. Lafayette St. next to Mobile Audio.