HomeShoppingGame on for new, competitive Co Wexford sports shop owners

Game on for new, competitive Co Wexford sports shop owners


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Adding to their growing business interests – having run Lady Melia and Bridge Stores in the town for many years and Revolution clothes shop for several years now also, along with Freedom Footwear – Ann Marie said so far there has been a lot of interest in the sports shop, which is located at the landmark, former Hanrahan’s pub site. “We saw an opening in the market and have been working on this for the last twelve months,” said Ann Marie.

Having opened a smaller, pop-up shop in the autumn beside Freedom Footwear, Ann Marie got a good sense of what local clubs, athletes and sports fans in the town and area wanted.

“We get a lot from local sports clubs. They want their colours and for us to stock a lot of their stock for them, especially their kits. We do really well with the socks and the shorts and we are doing a lot runner wise. It means people don’t have to travel to Wexford or Waterford for what they need.” With people increasingly up to speed with sports tech, customers are able to tell Ann Marie and the staff at Elite Sports exactly what they want and the team does their best to source the goods.

“Stock has been the hardest part as the bigger companies only want to deal with the big shops. That has been a big learning curve, probably the toughest of all the businesses that I‘ve opened, but we’ll get around it.”

Elite sports shop opens in North street. From left; Jackie Cass, Gemma Whelan and John Finn owner. Photo; Mary Browne

Ann Marie said there has been a return to people enjoying shopping in bricks and mortar businesses after the pandemic.

Her other businesses also operate online and she is seeing a lot of interest from customers across Ireland and worldwide, as she stocks a lot of European brands.

“We get a kickback from places like Spain and Denmark. Definitely, it is tougher this time of year with bills and the cost of living going up, but we’re trying our best, especially to be a bit more affordable. We’re not stocking the really high end stuff yet. It’s more affordable, good quality items.”

Ann Marie Finn, Elite Sports shop owner, in New Ross.

Expressing confidence in New Ross and its retail scene, Ann Marie said: “I think the main thing is you need a lot of support in your own town. You can’t keep knocking it, saying there’s nothing in the town. If you don’t support your town, your town can’t grow. We’re a team of ten here (between the four shops).

“Whether it’s getting a cup of coffee, every euro counts. Give the town a chance. The more people who are in town, the better the atmosphere.”

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