Wyffels reflects on his Borch’s Sporting Goods experiences
MARSHALL — Former owner Chad Wyffels has seen a lot of changes throughout his tenure at Borch’s Sporting Goods.
Wyffels came on board in 1976 after graduating from Southwest State University and ended up buying the store then known as Poor Borch’s from Merle Borchert in 1987.
“One of the biggest changes is the use of social media for advertising,” Wyffels said. “You just have to change with the times (in order to stay competitive).”
Wyffels said he doesn’t handle the social media, but the store has employees that keep up with Instagram and Facebook that aid in marketing.
Styles have a lot to do with Borch’s Sporting Goods success as well. Styles change, preferences change over the years, he said, remembering the western wear he sold at the original location across the street from the current location.
“Name brand inventory helps,” Wyffels said. “Our merchandise has changed from farm-oriented clothing to sports hats and clothing and other fashion-oriented items that reflect consumer choices. Our biggest line is athletic wear, followed by embroidery, heat-transfers (iron-on designs) and corporate accounts (i.e. uniforms).”
That turn in fashion occurred in 1983-84, he said. Although they still carry sporting equipment and you can still order a show saddle there.
Wyffels went on to list some local high school, college and professional sports teams whose brand name clothing can be purchased at the store.
Location is always a key factor in success. In 1997, the store moved to the current location across East College Drive from the old one.
The larger display area in their current location made a difference, he said.
“There’s room for more inventory,” he said.
Other factors, such as agriculture prices and gas prices, also affect businesses, he said.
“When farmers have a good year, the retailers have a good year. It definitely makes a difference,” Wyffels said.
However, Christmas sales are still the best in his business, he said.
“For us, our Christmas sales are still very good,” Wyffels said. “Our brand-name products are what customers want for gift-giving.”
Last fall Wyffels sold his business to two long-time employees, Mike Dalager and Steve Sussner, but still spends a lot of time at the store helping with the transition. He said he is looking forward to traveling more during his retirement.