The Outdoor Sportsman, a sporting goods retailer at the northeast corner of Division and Mission that has been in business here for 22 years, apparently plans to close its doors.
Owner Mark Jones couldnt be reached for comment. However, the store, which caters heavily to hunters and fishermen, has put up signs that say its going out of business. An answering-machine recording that plays when the stores phone number is called says the store will cease operations in everything except archery, which will be handled through a business called Spokane Valley Archery that will have 12 practice ranges.
Rumors about the Outdoor Sportsmans closure have been circulating here for some time. Contacted twice in the last month, Jones didnt confirm the now pending closure and said only that he was looking at other possible options.
He opened the store at its present location, at one of the citys busiest intersections, and it became known over the years for its discount-oriented marketing and its large painted outdoor signs beckoning passing motorists.
In 1990, the original 3,000-square-foot store was torn down, and a larger store was built on the same site. Jones said then that the previous two years had been the most profitable years for the business since it opened, and he expected the business to have gross sales of $3 million to $4 million that year.
Since then, however, the business has had to cope with disruptions and traffic shifts caused by construction of the Division-Ruby couplet and an influx of competitors, from specialty stores to large general-merchandise stores with sporting goods departments.
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