BEST ATHLETIC GEAR SHOP & STORE STAFF
Despite a mild winter and early spring that throttled down the snowmobile and ice fishing business, Jay’s Sporting Goods of Gaylord is off to a rousing start in 2012.
“Business has been surprisingly good,” says Chad Stearns, Jay’s vice president of operations who has been with the company for 22 years. “Even with the weather, it’s been a great start to the year for us.”
Founded in 1971 in Clare, Jay’s built the 40,000-squarefoot Gaylord store in 2000 and has a staff of about 75 employees. The Clare store is larger, with about 125 workers serving customers in the 125,000 square-foot facility.
Across Northern Michigan, Jay’s is a mecca for anyone interested in the outdoors. Whether you need gear for camping, fishing, hunting, archery, athletics, clothing or firearms you’ll find it at Jay’s. And the selection is impressive.
For example, their gun department features some 3,700 different firearms, according to Front End Manager Katie Ferrigan. “We have everything from muzzle loaders, to handguns, to shotguns to deer rifles in stock,” she says.
And they carry a wide variety of familiar brand names, not knockoffs or private label items. Look along their shelves and racks and you’ll see familiar outdoor names like Carhartt, Woolrich, Bear Archery, Browning, Buck Knives, Coleman, Leatherman Tool, Minnkota, Remington, Shimano Under Armour and Winchester.
So what makes Jay’s more than just a shop to pick up outdoor gear?
“When you come in to Jay’s you’re not just a customer,” says Ferrigan, who has been with the company for three years. “We think of you as part of the family.”
And there will be a big “family” reunion coming up this weekend when the store hosts two of its big annual events.
March 23-25 are “Fishing Days” when Jay’s offers low prices throughout the fishing department. Almost all of the fishing gear is marked down. For example, anglers can bring in their reels and Jay’s will spool them with Maxima, Trilene XL & XT, Stren Original or Berkley Big Game (2 lbs to 20 lbs.) for 1 cent per yard on bulk fishing line. There will be door prizes and also a series of free seminars hosted by expert fishermen. It’s a great chance for anglers to get geared up for the 2012 season.
Over the same three days, Jay’s will be offering its annual Safe Expo, with sale prices on every safe in stock. Big names like Browning, Heritage and Black Diamond will be available.
“These are the best prices on safes that we offer all year,” says Stearns. “If you’re at all interested in a safe, this is the time to buy. We’d love to see all of our customers come by and take advantage of this. You know, the Gaylord community has been great to us and given us lots of support. We appreciate their business.”
Jay’s Sporting Goods is located at 150 Dale Drive in Gaylord. For more information, call (989) 705-1339.