The owner of a 40-year-old sports store that’s for sale believes that after six years on the market, it will sell within the next four years or so.
Bob Park, who has been with All Seasons Source for Sports since its beginning in 1972, says he knew it would take 10 years to sell the business and he plans to retire when it does sell.
“It’s the right time, I’m the right age,” he said, adding his immediate plans are to stay in Terrace.
He has seen many changes in the business since the beginning; the biggest one being the technological changes in sports equipment.
“There’s lots of changes. Everything is lighter and more sophisticated now, computer designed now,” he said, adding that hockey sticks now made of composite materials used to be wooden and wooden bats aren’t seen very often anymore.
Way back, the cash register only went up to $99, so for anything $100 or more, staff had to add it up by hand on paper, he said.
He began working at the store back when it was called All Seasons Sporting Store after two brothers opened it and asked him, then 14-years-old, to come work with them after they met on the golf course.
Park had just moved to town with his parents who came here to run the golf course.
He started as a clerk in the sports store and then nine years later bought the business – at that point, he was a major shareholder, he said.
The very first location was where the Cotton Picking Quilt store is now and took up half of the Trigo’s building – Trigo’s had a shoe store in the other half of the building, he said.
The fall of 1972 when the store opened was also when the arena opened.
“That’s why we specialized in hockey from the start,” said Park.
The store moved to the ski shop around the corner where the barber shop is now until the spring of 1973 and then moved to where National Rent-a-Car is now.
“I purchased it and did a temporary pit stop where the hearing clinic is,” he said.
Then the store moved to where Gemma’s is now, then to the Bank of Montreal spot for eight or nine years.
He bought into a national buying group but didn’t fly that same banner until 1982, then it became All Seasons Source for Sports.
The constant moves were for a variety of reasons, he said.
“Number one is to expand our size and then to be closer to the marketplace and rent factors and then to own my own building,” said Park, adding he spent a year designing the store and layout as it still is today.
Seventeen years ago, the current building was constructed and he moved into it.
All Seasons sold bikes for a while and the variety of products has changed over the years due to the economy and buying habits.
“The box stores really hurt the independent businesses and now we’re dealing with internet online shopping,” he said.
“But we have been able to maintain a very steady clientele base and I’m pretty proud of what I have right now,” he said.
A lot of the business is servicing equipment, he said.
And the staff at first with just him and the owners but now sometimes he’s up to 13 or 14 staff members.