The owners of Nanaimo's new Kirby's Source for Sports North location at 1925 Bowen Rd. said their first week of business in the city has been as good as they hoped. The Nanaimo store is the second location for the Victoriabased company, which specializes in hockey, lacrosse, baseball, soccer and softball equipment sales and service.
Co-owner Sean Tackaberry said Kirby's Source for Sports began in Victoria on 2000 and, after three moves in that city that has seen it expand to 12,000 squarefeet of floor space, the company is now one of the biggest sports supply stores in the province.
Tackaberry said the expansion to Nanaimo is meant to fill the growing need for such services in the central Island.
Source for Sports is a buying group consisting of approximately 150 independently operated sports stores in Canada that allows them to be able to better compete with the large-brand companies.
Tackaberry said Kirby's Source for Sports, named for the company's majority owner Kirby Yeats, feels it will have success in Nanaimo because of the strong business model that it has successfully established in Victoria. Tackaberry said one of the most important aspects of the store is its dedication to excellent customer service and its commitment to hire only those who love sports, are still actively engaged in sports pursuits and are fully knowledgeable about the products they are selling.
"Our store motto is 'We Know Our Stuff' and we reflect that philosophy in our hiring practices," Tackaberry said.
"We currently have nine employees on our Nanaimo store, including our assistant manager Karen Ranger who has been an active member of Nanaimo's sports community for years."
Tackaberry said that while at 4,000 square feet, the Nanaimo store is currently smaller than the Victoria location, hopes are high that the business will grow quickly in Nanaimo as it did in Victoria. He said that with no comparable store in Parksville and Port Alberni, the prospects for people from those areas travelling to Nanaimo to fill their sports needs are good.
"There's lots of hockey and soccer in that area and lacrosse is building as well," Tackaberry said.
"Our service department is also attracting attention and we're already well-known in Victoria for providing the best skatesharpening service that can be found in the city and we're continuing that service in Nanaimo. We're excited with our new store in Nanaimo and we plan to serve our customers as well in our new location as we continue to do in Victoria."
© Copyright 2013