Friday, November 27, 2020

Downtown EL store Campus Street Sportwear to close its doors permanently

October 21, 2020
<p>Campus Street Sportsware, located on East Grand River Avenue, is scheduled to close down indefinitely before 2021. Everything in store is 30% regular price. Shot on Oct. 21, 2020.</p>

Campus Street Sportsware, located on East Grand River Avenue, is scheduled to close down indefinitely before 2021. Everything in store is 30% regular price. Shot on Oct. 21, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Campus Street Sportwear will be closing its doors permanently, according to a statement released on Wednesday from its owner. 

The store, which is located next to The Peanut Barrel on the 500 East Grand River in Downtown East Lansing, will be closing its doors after replacing Steve & Barry’s, another athletic clothing store, in 2009.

“The couple of years prior to the Covid outbreak had been difficult, but this year was just a bit too much to bear,” owner Dave Smaby said in the statement. “With no football games with fans and no student foot traffic, we just do not see a viable path to stay open until next Fall.”

According to Smaby, all merchandise is already marked down by 30%. He said he hopes to have all merchandise sold by the new year. Many store fixtures are for sale, as well.

Smaby said he pondered the decision for months, but ultimately decided to shut down due to the unknowns surrounding the future of the coronavirus.

“I’ve been juggling the decision for the past two months,” Smaby said. “It’s one of those things where we could definitely make it to next fall, but we would end up burning through all of our cash, all of our inventory. I just don’t think it would be worth it, especially when I just don’t see things getting better any time soon.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, several East Lansing staples — including Espresso Royale, Quality Dairy and Blaze Pizza locations — have had to shut down for good. 

Many businesses reported having troubles attracting a customer base this summer, given the ongoing pandemic and executive orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer limiting the amount of people allowed in an establishment at one time. 

“We had a good run, but it’s time to move on to new opportunities,” Smaby said in the release. “The support we have received from the community, MSU students and fans over the years has been wonderful. Leaving after eleven years will not be easy.”

Smaby, however, knows the impact his store has had on the community, and the legacy that it will leave behind.

“As soon as we put the signs up, we had a lot of customers coming in, and I got a lot of emails and phone calls from locals and from loyal customers that we’ve had over the years … offering their condolences,” Smaby said. “I don’t find myself doing that to many stores that would close up. I don’t have that connection with a lot of them. It made me feel humbled to know that people thought of us and the store.”

Smaby said he would love to reopen in the future, but it would likely be in 2022.

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