New owners reinventing sports shop
Taking over International Sports Shop is a ‘good fit’ sporty new owners say
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 10:43 AM
Four long-time buddies have taken their love of sports to the next level by pooling their resources and entering the world of retail together.
Partners Derek Hurdle, Daniel Morgan, Brian Purvey, and Harry Andrews bought out the International Sports Shop in Bermudiana Road in June, with a view of bringing "new and modern ideas" to the store.
Each of the partners are more-less well known in the island's sporting community, and each partner is intent on bringing in the newest and best sports equipment to the shop.
"The International Sports Shop fits us perfectly," Mr. Hurdle said. "I'm captain of the national rugby team, Daniel is a physiotherapist, he played for the cricket team, Brian plays basketball and is a gym teacher at MSA."
They closed the shop on Saturday and are now in the process of renovating the interior to better suit the shop's presentation of the equipment; they're even knocking down walls in order to increase floor space.
When the shop reopens in early November, all the existing merchandise will be on sale, along with the new items they plan to bring in.
"We're breathing new life into [the store]," Mr. Hurdle said. "We're bringing some new ideas, new product lines, clothing and footwear lines."
He wouldn't get into specifics about what new products and brand names they planned to bring in - or how much the renovations cost - but he said there would be more of a focus on sporting apparel than there was under the previous owner.
"The products will be a bit more modern, and the renovations will be reflective of that, as being edgy and more modern," Mr. Hurdle, who's also the shop's full-time manager, said.
"We will be carrying all the major fitness equipment that the store had before," he said. "Before, the shop didn't focus on apparel - there was no apparel for women and children - we're going to bring that in ... footwear as well," he said. "We're just going to basically enhance what was there before."
Asked what, if anything, gave them an edge over the competition, Mr. Hurdle said, like the respective sports they play, it was a team effort that would bring them success.
"It's a collaboration of four minds," he said. "We've got a good grip on each of the sports we play. We also have our personal contacts throughout the island, and we're pretty much well known for certain aspects in the sporting arena. I hope that will push us through."
It's also not their first foray into retail. Each has varying levels of experience. A couple of them have worked behind shop counters in the past - but the most experience award goes to Harry Andrews. He's the vice president of the cycle division at HWP.
Asked how long the group has been planning to open their own business, Mr. Hurdle said they had been toying with the idea for a few years.
"We've been good friends over the years and we were talking about it. But for the past few years we've been actively pursuing the idea, and close to a year ago the opportunity came up when we saw an ad in the paper," he said.
"The old owner was looking to sell the business and retire. So for the past 10 months we've been going through the process of getting bank loans, getting all our ducks in a row, and then we took it over."
They're hoping to open back up for business by November 3, and are planning an official grand opening celebration for November 15, Mr. Hurdle said.