LIMA — About 50 people lined up outside of Dunham’s Sports Friday morning, eagerly awaiting the black sliding doors to give way to the brand new sporting goods store.
Dunham’s Sports officially opened in Lima Friday and store manager Brandon Clem is excited for residents to mosey in and see what the store is all about.
“In the back left corner, we have guns and archery, so for a lot of our outdoors men, especially with the hunting season in full swing,” Clem said. “We have tons of exercise equipment and that’s really popular, as well. We also sell a lot of boats and golf, too.”
Every store offers a full line of traditional sporting goods and athletic equipment along with a variety of sports apparel and footwear.
The new store location is in the Lima Plaza, where the Pharm used to be. The shopping plaza at the corner of Elida and Cable roads is filling back up, after the Pharm and Deals closed their locations there several years ago. The plaza is also home to Office Max and Toys ‘R Us.
Clem, who has worked in retail for five years, said the store will benefit Lima residents because of the low prices and deals.
“The sporting goods that we sell, we get at discount prices,” he said. “So we can bring them to the customer at a little lower prices than what you might see at other places. We also have what we call, ‘value prices.’”
Another store recently opened in Celina and has been attracting tons of customers, Clem said.
“Our market research has indicated that the Lima area fits perfectly into Dunham’s growth strategy,” said Jeff Lynn, chairman and chief executive officer of Dunham’s Athleisure Corp. “And we are excited about our continued expansion in the state of Ohio.”
And the store is opening just in time to kick off the holiday season, exactly a week before Black Friday.
“We’re expecting a big crowd,” he said. “The goal is for all of us to have different start times so that different retailers can get different crowds at different times of the day. So we’re expecting a more steady crowd this year instead of the sudden pound that we had in previous years.”
The store will open at midnight Friday. Normal store hours are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The store has 42 employees now, but the goal is to get to 50 employees for the holidays, Clem said.
“We’re going to hopefully keep them all on because 42 is pretty much a normal running number for this size of store,” he said. “But we are going to start hiring some more people just as some extra help for the season.”
Ruler Foods, a subsidiary of the Kroger Co., will move into the former Deals space next to Office Max in the Lima Plaza, with renovations currently under way. Ruler foods is a discount grocery store that sells Kroger-brand food and a limited assortment of national brand items.
You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.