Sporting goods stores adapt to COVID-19

Play It Again Sports in Eugene has seen a spike in sales over the last week.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 6:44 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2020 6:58 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Sporting goods stores such as Play It Again Sports are seeing more business than ever. Dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance bands are among the items flying off the shelves. 

"We're getting calls nonstop," Play It Again Sports owner Jay DeKalb said. "We'll answer a call and have three voicemails."

They resorted to delivery and curbside pickup orders only. Even with that, the store sold about 90% of its free-weight inventory in a matter of a few days.

"Even the factories are backed up and out of everything as well," DeKalb said. "It's been an interesting process."

DeKalb said they're working as quickly as possible to order more equipment.

"We're just helping people stay active until we can get these gyms back open, which is what people want," DeKalb said. "Right now you've got families that are stuck in their homes with kids, needing something to do to keep active."

Other stores, such as the Eugene Running Company, have seen a decrease in sales. 

"It's dropped tremendously because we don't have an online business," Eugene Running Company owner Bob Coll said. "We're strictly a brick-and-mortar store."

Similar to Play It Again Sports, Eugene Running Company has moved to delivery and curbside pickup only. The store prices its running shoes at an average of $120. They are only taking orders over the phone and social media platforms. 

"I feel in my heart that we are in better shape than a lot of our neighbors," Coll said. "It's a great way to reduce stress and being active is a component of staying healthy."

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