Sports Page closing May 1
Owner Todd Thimesch: ‘We are consolidating’
A well-know local sporting goods retailer and long-time tenant at the Marshalltown Mall is closing May 1.
Sports Page owner Todd Thimesch announced the decision via a Facebook post earlier this week.
“With a heavy heart, we will be closing the Marshalltown location,” said Thimesch. “The changing retail landscape where consumers can purchase items and secure services influenced this decision.”
In an interview with the Times-Republican, Thimesch said now was the best time to make the announcement and consolidate.
“Our (Marshalltown) lease was going to expire soon, and despite extensive efforts by us and the Lerner Corp. — the company which manages the mall — to negotiate favorable terms, we believed it was in our best interest to close local operations and consolidate efforts in our Altoona and Pella retail stores as well as our online sporting goods business.”
Executive Vice President-Brokerage Services Boh Kurylo of the Lerner Co., based in Omaha, Neb., corroborated Thimesch.
“We are disappointed,” said Kurylo. “He is a great tenant (that) we have had a long time. He was great for the mall and for the community. We did every thing we could to try to keep him, we worked with him financially on some different alternatives to keep him a longer period.”
Kurylo cited other factors possibly influencing Thimesch’s decision.
“He opened a new store in Altoona, then they opened in the outlet mall, I think that had an impact. Retail sales on the Internet are impacting him. He is doing more and more in that (his online business). He does need as much from the brick and mortar standpoint. That (the decision to close) was a combination of things come into play. We tried hard to keep him, he tried hard, but in the end it was a business decision.”
Thimesch said he “loved every minute of doing business at the Marshalltown Mall and in Marshalltown.”
“I want to thank all of my employees, their families, and customers who have been with us 29 years,” he said. “Additionally, I had an excellent relationship with mall ownership and management during that time. The mall has been a major positive asset to Marshalltown for more than three decades. They have been outstanding to work with. In recent years, (former) mall employees Susan Krough and Ken Huge were superb, both worked hard to help keep Sports Page viable.”
Thimesch also saluted local manufacturers who invested in Marshalltown.
“I want to acknowledge Lennox Manufacturing and Emerson Process Management/Fisher Controls for their multimillion dollar investments locally over the years. As a result, it gave us and other retailers an opportunity to do business.”
News of the decision resulted in dozens of posts on the Sports Page Facebook page saying they will miss the business and staff.
Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer weighed-in.
“Todd and Amy (Todd’s spouse), you have been stalwarts at two locations in the mall,” wrote Greer. “And great community contributors. And it has been fun to follow your kids that excelled in sports. I regret that our daughters and we no loner need the soccer shin guards, tennis gear and running shoes we have always secured there, but just know that you are great people and your store will be missed!”
Thimesch said the consolidation will strengthen the Altoona and Pella stores and the online business — shopspgear.com.
“And we have found a niche in making team uniforms, and other custom apparel work,” he said.
Thimesch congratulated a number of local small businesses — such as Thompson True Value — for holding their own in challenging economic times.
“It is small business that has made America great,” he said. “They work hard to provide goods and services, so it is important people remember to shop local.”
CEO of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership David Barajas, Jr. echoed Thimesch’s ‘buy local’ philosophy.
“It is becoming more challenging for ‘brick and mortar’ stores competing against online retail sales,” he said. “Thanks to the folks at Sports Page for 29 years of service to our community. That is a pretty good run. However, many are saddened Sports Page is closing its retail location. It is a reminder to people in our community we must support local businesses when we shop on a daily basis. We must do as much as we can in town to support our retailers and other businesses. It is especially important, those local small businesses are investing in Marshalltown providing not only employment, but paying sales and property taxes too.”
Thimesch said he and Amy will continue to live in Marshalltown, where they have made their home for many years.
Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org