This month, one of the top shops for sporting gear in town is celebrating five years in business, and is having a party to celebrate.
On Sept. 5, Gear Hub is having a party as a way to thank its loyal customers who help keep its doors open year after year.
Mark Hall, who owns the store with Jon Levesque, said the key to a successful business is both thinking outside the box and providing excellent customer service.
Hall said because roughly 90 per cent of his business is supported by locals, he likes to let them know he appreciates them with events like the one this weekend.
“It’s our customer appreciation event and it’s gotten bigger. Every year, it gets bigger and bigger because it’s crazy deals. We bring the whole store out. If’ you’re around and you know about it, you’re going to save a fortune.”
Customers can save up to more than 60 per cent off on certain items, and while they’re at it, enjoy sumo wrestling in the parking lot where there will be dj spinning tracks.
“We sponsor a smash up derby car every year, so it will be parked here prior to the derby,” Hall said. “And we will have cake on Sunday.”
After working for more than two decades for others in the sporting goods market, Hall learned what worked and what didn’t and figured he could do a better job if he was in charge.
Five years in, business continues to grow and Hall has his eyes set on the future.
“ Long-term, creative, outside the box thinking makes us see the need to go direct ourselves and do our own importing so that we can be on par with online pricing and be able to match online pricing and still make a margin.”
The only way to survive is to look at what can be done to increase business, he said.
“If you’re not looking at outside influences or looking at the big picture and think that being a little, local store is going to keep you alive? No way.”
Hall said what sets his store apart from other local businesses is the way his clients are treated.
“We’re known for our customer service,” he said, adding it’s about building and fostering relationships with his clientele. “We’ve won a lot of local awards for our service, which is great. For me, that’s the biggest thing is the local support.”
That local connection is key, he said.
“We set the stage for that customer experience; we make it happen for people. We empower our staff to make sure people leave happy, be flexible and make it happen.”