SPORTING GOODS STAPLE
What’s old is new again for Saline County holiday shoppers in 2022 with its legacy sporting goods staple, Sport Shop, now serving the community under new ownership. Long regarded as the “go to” place for sporting goods and apparel, Sport Shop first opened in the late 1970s and was best known under the ownership of Jim and Becky Blake.
Located in the same space it has called home for almost forty years, Sport Shop is now owned by Jon and Breanna Tatum, who bought the business in May.
“As a small business owner, I was interested in expanding and moving into retail,” Jon said. “I had shopped at Sport Shop for years, and after speaking to several business owners across Benton, I decided with Breanna it was a good investment opportunity.”
In addition to Sport Shop, the Tatum’s also own Spartan Baseball/Softball Development Academy, an athletic training academy Jon started based on the experience gained through his collegiate and professional baseball career. That background makes the decision to buy Sports Shop naturally understandable, but Breanna sees the young couple’s move as something more meaningful for their family.
“This created a real chance for Jon and me to work together,” she said. “We have different strengths when it comes to the business, and I think it serves us well in this setting. He’s a much better talker than I am, and I’m more creative. So far, it’s made for a pretty good fit.”
Along with the top-tier sporting goods and equipment available at the store, Breanna’s creative flair shines through the sports apparel for students and fans representing the different schools that call Saline County home.
“It doesn’t matter if your son plays football for Benton or if your daughter cheers for Bryant—we have the best clothing options in the area,” Breanna said. “In fact, we’re the only store that offers fan gear for all Saline County schools in one spot.
“What I really like is working with customers when it comes to selecting their gear,” she added. “We have all the school colors on-hand, along with several different designs to choose from. If someone has an idea they want to check out or doesn’t see exactly what he or she wants, I’ll get with them and work with them to get it right.”
And whether it be the upcoming holiday season or any other shopping day on the calendar, that level of customer service is what the Tatum’s say will always separate them from their competitors.
“We’re a small-town, family-owned retailer, and our customer service will always be what sets us apart,” Jon said. “There’s a lot of history with the Sport Shop name, but we know we’re new. We’re just getting started and may not always get it right. We admit that, but we’ll strive to get it right for every customer, and that starts with giving them the best in-store experience we can.”
With spring baseball right around the corner, the Tatum’s say you can expect to find tons of gear for all ages, along with a wide assortment of clothing including jackets, sweatshirts, hoodies, and beanies for the holidays. Special orders are also available.
“Ultimately, we want to be everyone’s first choice when they think of sporting goods in Saline County,” Jon said. “We’re just getting started, but I believe we’ll get there.”
Sport Shop is located at 1212 Military Road, Ste. A, in Benton. You can visit their Facebook page or give them a call at 501.315.1212.