The company name may not be well known in Orange County.
Although there are certainly places.
“All I have to say is, ‘We’re the old Fries,'” said Eden Sledin, regional director of Sports Basement Southern California. I know it.’ It’s like.”
Sports and outdoor retailer Sports Basement plans to open its first Southern California location when the calendar hits November. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday.
Bay Area fixtures have 11 stores in Northern California, but are now expanding into Fountain Valley, replacing the long-standing Fry’s Electronics store just off the 405 Freeway.
Sports Basement Orange County offers a full ski, snowboard and bike shop and rentals to match. The store has state-of-the-art Wintersteiger Mercury ski tuning machines.
We also saw basketballs, backpacks, gloves and a myriad of other sporting goods for the whole family along the walls of the store during our tour last week.
There are also sofas and chairs for guests to relax.
“One of our mottos is ‘couch over profit,'” says Slezin, who has been with the company for 16 years. “We like having a relaxing living room-like space. We hope it will be a very enjoyable shopping experience.”
At the back of the 80,000-square-foot warehouse is a community space with tables and chairs. Free reservations for local businesses, schools and other groups.
A bike ride meetup, a Boy Scout meeting, or a small ski movie screening might be held here.
How do Orange County consumers differ from those in the Bay Area? That’s an intriguing question for Srejin as temperatures start to drop.
“In the north, it’s very seasonal,” he said. I can’t imagine not wearing shorts and a t-shirt every day, even in the middle of winter, but we’ll see.
Fry’s Electronics permanently closed all of its stores in February 2021. Slezin said Sports Basement is interested in a larger space and has been talking about expanding to Southern California for years.
Many large sporting goods stores have closed in recent years, such as Sports Authority and Sport Chalet. Sports Basement aims to be a one-stop shop of sorts.
“We see it all the time,” said Yuta Sano, senior assistant general manager at Sports Basement. “People say, ‘I came here to buy soccer shin guards for my kids, and now I’m here to buy bikes.'” Cool experience. People come back sometimes every week just to see what’s going on. Lots of stuff coming in and out, lots of product coming and going all the time…it’s a fun place. “
That’s the vibe the company wants to express, along with community participation through the Basementeer program. Through membership in this program, the customer receives his 10% discount on purchases and his 10% of profits go back to the local non-profit organization of choice.
The program typically costs $25 to join, but you can sign up for free as part of the grand opening, said Ryan Broccolo, senior marketer for Sports Basement Orange County. Last year, the company donated more than $1 million of his money to local schools and charities, Slezin said.
Broccolo has established a company presence at community events in recent weeks, lining up additional schools and beneficiaries.
Mr. Sano, who has been with the company for eight years, is a member of the American triathlon team of the same age. He will head to Abu Dhabi for his World Triathlon Championship finals in late November.
I hope Sports Basement starts making an impact in the area before he goes. Additionally, the “Grand Snow-pening” event on December 3 will feature Snow Company vendors, food trucks and special giveaways.
“I want to make sure we create the right atmosphere,” Sano said. “For many of our stores and staff, it’s a special place in the North Bay. For many it’s like a third place. It’s been an interesting endeavor to port it to a new location, and we want to be open to what Southern California needs and wants. I’m trying to find one, and I should be happy to do so.”
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