LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A staple in the community for sporting goods for 73 years is closing in December.
The Bell Family says sporting goods is what they do best.
However, the owner says their sales are declining as online sales have done away with their retail business.
“Internet sales have pretty much done away with all of our retail business.,” President of Bell’s Sporting Goods, David Bell, said. “We have very little retail business due to the big box stores, but primarily, I believe Amazon and the online sales companies.”
Bell’s has been a family business since 1946. David Bell has worked there for 50 years, starting in the summer of eighth grade.
“Over the years, we made just lots of relationships with the coaches and customers and that’s the part I’m going to miss is the relationships that we built over the years,” explained Bell.
Frank Burbank has worked in the fitness department at Bell’s for 37 years.
He plans to do personal service for fitness equipment after the store closes.
“It took me a little while to get over the shock after so long of being somewhere, but after I started making phone calls to all these sales guys and women that I’ve been buying from forever, I wanted to just do the service end,” said Burbank.
Customers of Bell’s said the business has been important to the community.
Joseph Prejean, with Big Poppa’s Fitness Gym and a customer of Bell’s, said, “It’s sad to see a business that’s been here so long to leave our community. We have to invest back in our community and make sure our community knows how important they are and how the business is to the community.”
“I get texts and emails from people that haven’t been here in quite a while, but did a lot of business with us, and it’s sad to see us go and thanked us for everything that we’ve helped them with in their need for sports,” said Bell.
There’s 50% off of almost everything on the retail side. Only a few football items are not discounted as much.
On the fitness side, each item has its own discount primarily 25%.