PLAINS TWP. — A discount sporting goods retailer will close its doors by the end of the month.
Play It Again Sports, in the 315 Plaza, is having a half-off store-wide sale. The store has been buying, trading and selling gently used sports equipment for eight years. The business offers cost-conscious parents the chance to equip their children for a variety of sports without having to spend too much money on new shoes, gloves, pads or bats that they’ll soon outgrow. The store also sells new equipment.
Paulette Drew, of Kingston Township, was leaving the store with her son Tyler and a bag filled with baseball equipment for the upcoming season and lamented the news of the pending closure.
“We’ve been coming here for years. We spent on this entire bag of equipment what we would have spent on just one new item had we gone to Dick’s or somewhere else,” Drew said holding up the bag bulging with items on which she spent just $40. “A lot of parents don’t have money to spend on new stuff season after season and we relied on this place to save some money. Then after the season, we would come back and sell it back or trade it in for larger sizes or equipment for the next sport whose season was coming.”
Steve McAndrew, who owns the outlet with his wife, Trudy, said the decision to close was due to the poor economy and competition from online retailers that offer free shipping and no sales tax.
McAndrew, of Dallas, said he tried looking at relocating but rents were too high. He also said he tried to sell the franchise rights but got “a few kicking the tires” but no takers. He purchased the Allentown franchise store and moved it up here. He said “in hindsight, I should have kept it down there.” He said annual sales down there, in a smaller location, were $700,000. His best year up here was $390,000.
“It was 10 or 11 months of negative (comparable year-to-year sales),” he said. In addition, he was being asked by corporate to make about $10,000 in upgrades. “That was the final push that pushed me over the edge,” McAndrew said.
Play It Again Sports is based in Minneapolis, Minn., and has dozens of locations nationwide. The next closest Play It Again Sports in is Lancaster.