CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston’s Sport Mart, which has served the community for more than eight decades, will soon close its doors for good.
Located near the Patrick Street Bridge, it has provided the area with sports paraphernalia since it was founded in 1930.
Schools in Kanawha, Putnam and Boone County have used Sport Mart for years to print apparel for their various sport teams and fans. The store is also frequented by West Virginia University and Marshall University fans looking to stock up on game day gear.
Breann Thomas of Winfield said she has been a regular at Sport Mart since she was in high school.
“Their closing comes as a big shock to me,” Thomas said. “I work in Charleston and the store is on my way home so I can easily stop by whenever I need something.
“Now I don’t know where I’ll go.”
A liquidation sale is set to begin Aug. 1, according to a press release.
Competition from big chain stores, Internet retailers, a shift in the local economy and demographics of Charleston all were cited as reasons for closing.
The company has been for sale for several months, said Tim Huter, a representative for the owners or Sport Mart. There are still hopes that someone will buy the store.
“We still have a lot of potential buyers that haven’t said yes but also haven’t said no,” Huter said.