The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 24, 2013

Steve Reichert, owner of Sports and Sports, celebrates 30 years in business

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Sports and Sports, 3600 N. Ridge E., is celebrating 30 years of business.

One reason the business is successful is the ability to change with the retail climate, said Steve Reichert, owner of the sporting goods store.

“Things change; we adapted to change,” he said, noting he consolidated his operation under one roof for greater efficiency. “When we started, we were mostly retail. Now, we are retail and team oriented.”

Three years ago, Reichert closed the store in the Ashtabula Harbor, and the 3400 N. Ridge E. store across from the Ashtabula Towne Square. The new building, at 3600 N. Ridge E., is a 12,000-square-foot store with lots of room for the retail and lettering operations.

By consolidating, Reichert was able to expand the retail end of the store, as well as the lettering part, and he purchased new lettering equipment.

“We stay current with the trends,” he said.

The first Sports and Sports store opened in 1983 in Madison, 6582 N. Ridge Road, and expanded in 1987 to Ashtabula.

Reichert employs 21 people total between the Madison location and the Ashtabula store (across from Wal-Mart).

“The staff is key to success,” he said. “We have a lot who have been with us for many years, we do not have much turnover.”

Sports and Sports offers high school sportswear featuring nine area high schools; licensed professional team goods like Browns, Steelers, Indians and Cavaliers; seasonal athletic gear, seasonal and general athletic apparel including shoes, accessories and equipment.

Another key to Reichert’s success is his family: wife, Kathy, who is principal at Lakeside Junior High School; son, Michael, 29; David, 28 and Megan, 18, who works in the store when she’s home from college.

“My whole family has always been very supportive and helpful,” he said. “I believe being consistent, coming to work every day, keeps me going in the right direction.”

Sports and Sports’ newest piece of equipment is a digital graphics printer that is able to manufacture full-color banners, stickers, magnetic cling signs and more. The installation of a new six-color automatic screen-print press allows the store to print up to 30 dozen T-shirts per hour. Reichert also continues to offer embroidery and lettering options for businesses, organizations and teams.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday. For more information, call Sports and Sports at 440-998-4664.