Shop Local vs. Online Sporting Goods Stores

When shopping for sporting goods, which is your better option: purchasing from a local, independent sports store or taking your business to an online marketplace? With so many online sports retailers and so many online options that seem to promise great deals, we know that our competition is out there. You can probably guess what our answer will be, but we can back our opinion up with some pretty convincing facts as to why you should shop at local sporting goods stores!

Knowledgeable Employees Ready to Help

Local businesses are more likely to provide training to their employees that goes far beyond just learning how to run a cash register. In a small store environment, you have a much better chance of encountering an employee with in-depth knowledge of the merchandise they are selling. They know enough about the products to make solid recommendations to potential customers and can explain the often nuanced differences between different models and styles. This is very rare in big box stores, where product-specific training is rare and the turnover of employees can be quite high. In fact, big box stores are known for a more hands-off approach to customer browsing which can make for a frustrating shopping experience when you have important questions. And online stores are even less helpful when you need specific information. Often you have to rely on customer reviews, not knowledgable professionals

Responsiveness to Customer Needs

Local sporting goods store tennis

Another benefit of taking your business to a local sports shop as opposed to a big box or online store lies in how fast they can respond to feedback. A local shop does not have the long chain of command that a big box store has, which means that complaints or requests for new products are handled far more quickly by your local shop. And it often feels like online stores don’t even read the feedback they’re given. With an independent sports store, the owner is free to add products and change policies without waiting to hear back from upper management. This means that a local sports shop can be far more responsive to customer feedback.

Quality Over Quantity

With a local sports store, you can count on the quality of the merchandise you purchase, and this is due in no small part to the responsiveness of local stores. Once they discover a product is not performing as promised, they are far more free (and far more likely) to do something about it rather than to keep selling it to unsuspecting customers. This attitude toward quality is also enhanced, no doubt, by the relationship that the store owner and its employees have with the local community. There is a sense of responsibility to customers that is simply not found in online stores where the decision-makers can hide behind a screen.

Support Healthy Competition

When you stop shopping at independent, local stores, then they will eventually be forced to go out of business. The online stores that did receive your business (often because of lower prices) will then have little to no local competition and are free to raise their prices as much as they want. When this happens, the community suffers, and customer service continues to go the way of the dinosaur.

Inventory that Reflects the Community

Local sporting goods store soccer

In local stores, you will find a greater quantity and variety of products that reflect the needs of local teams and sports clubs. You can find many different types of clothing and accessories with team logos, including middle school, high school, college, and professional sports in a local store. You will also find a wider variety of equipment choices for sports that are strongly supported by the community. For example, if soccer is a popular game in your area, then you can expect to find far more than just one or two choices when it comes to vital equipment such as cleats.

Support of the Local Community

When you shop local, you are investing in a store that in turn reinvests in the community. So many times you will find that local store owners, especially when it comes to sporting goods, will support local teams, schools, and community events through sponsorships, donations, online team stores, fundraisers, and direct financial contributions. When disaster strikes their area, local shops are often the first to begin donating articles of clothing and other items to help the survivors. And the sales tax you pay on items you buy in a local store goes to help your community, unlike purchases made online. Those taxes will help support the local infrastructure, libraries, parks, and law enforcement. By supporting your local sports store, you are supporting the community you live in.

Conclusion

Local sporting goods store baseball

Local stores are far more likely to have very knowledgeable employees ready to help even the most clueless of customers and they are far more responsive to customer needs. They emphasize quality over quantity, and they provide competition to help keep prices lower for everyone. At a local store, you will find inventory that has been customized over the years to reflect the needs of locals rather than a national sales plan implemented by someone who may not even know your city exists. Finally, when you take your business to a local store, you know that not only will your sales tax support the local community but the business itself supports the community, too.

Wayne Sporting Goods

Wayne Sporting Goods wants to encourage you to shop local! We are a 3rd generation, family-owned and operated business with a deep sense of commitment to our community. Not only do we support local sports teams and events, but we offer Online Team Stores to aid with fundraising products. We supply both retail and team customers with everything you need in the form of equipment, apparel, and footwear. WSG products are top quality and offered at competitive prices with unparalleled customer service. Stop by today to see why shopping local is the right choice for you!

Our History

The future of Wayne Sporting Goods looks very bright because the principles that the business was founded on over 60 years ago are still alive today. We look forward to the next 60 years!

READ OUR STORY

The WSG Experience

Check out our video to take a virtual stroll through WSG!