BELLINGHAM - 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 at 703 W. Holly St., near the Pacific Marine Exchange and Gallery, will begin a liquidation sale on Friday, Jan. 3, said owner Emily Mallahan.
Sales have not been as good as hoped for, Mallahan said, and she decided to close it 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, and was home to a barbershop.
Mallahan said while she liked the concept of being a neighborhood sporting goods store and local hangout, it turned out to be too big of a space for the company, prompting the move to Holly Street. Looking back, she said, the store should have started in the smaller space.
Mallahan said Mayberry did develop a loyal customer base for archery and fishing products: That group of customers stuck with them as the store moved to Holly Street.
One factor 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 also has had an impact. She noted that even the national stores were offering bigger discounts than 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."