The number of locally owned sporting goods stores continues to shrink in Whatcom County.
Mayberry Sporting Goods is closing its doors on Thursday, Jan. 30. The store will begin a liquidation sale on Friday, Jan. 3, said store owner Emily Mallahan. The store is at 703 W. Holly St., near the Pacific Marine Exchange and Gallery.
Mallahan said sales have not been what they had hoped, and decided to close before debts started piling up.
This comes on the heels of the announced closure of Sportsman Chalet, which began its liquidation sale last month and is in its final days, according to the store's voicemail message.
Mayberry Sporting Goods opened in February 2011 at 1827 Cornwall Ave., near Bellingham High School. The company moved into a smaller space on Holly Street in May 2013. At the 11,000-square-foot Cornwall Avenue space, the business also had an old-fashioned fountain shop, offering milkshakes and sandwiches. The space was also home to a barbershop.
Mallahan said while they liked the concept of being a neighborhood sporting goods store and local hangout, it turned out to be too big a space for the company, prompting the move to Holly Street. Looking back, she said they should have started with the smaller space.
Mallahan said they did develop a loyal customer base for its archery and fishing products, the group of customers stuck with them as the moved to the smaller space.
One of the factors for the closure is the difficult economic climate, particularly for locally owned businesses, she said. Several national chains have entered the market in recent years and the Internet has also had an impact. She noted that even the national stores were offering bigger discounts that usual this holiday season, something that's difficult for locally owned stores to match.
"I think the local, smaller business owner is getting hit harder by this economy," she said. "It is an uneven picture for business right now."