Dunham’s Sports in Rockingham held its grand opening on Friday, and shoppers got more than a bargain.
“Will that be Coke or Diet Coke?” asked the cashier after ringing up a customer. Dunham’s Sports didn’t just hand out refreshments, cashiers gave each customer a six-pack of Coca-Cola with their purchase. Shoppers could also pick up a free T-shirt.
It took a month to stock shelves, arrange pool tables, fishing poles, hunting rifles, shoes and much more at the new location. Training was brief but thorough and all the staff was smiling as first-time customers saw the brand new store.
According to Rockingham City Councilman Steve Morris, there is only one other Dunham’s Sports store in North Carolina and it’s in Burlington.
“I’m delighted that they’re here,” said Morris, while sipping complimentary coffee handed out by staff at the door. “It’s one of the largest sporting goods stores I’ve ever been in. It’s been several months ago that I heard about this coming here.”
Morris said he knows shoppers often leave Richmond County to shop at large commercial retailers, but he thinks Dunham’s Sports will keep a lot of shoppers in Richmond County.
“There is absolutely no reason to leave for this,” said Morris. “I’m going to look at the kayaks and maybe find one to take down Hitchcock Creek.”
The store featured November sales, with pool tables marked down to $199 and Columbia sweaters priced at $34.99, making it ripe for holiday shopping. This store opening was tailored to the Rockingham market with a larger selection of athletic and outdoor apparel, expanded hunting and fitness departments, plus a large value area featuring footwear at savings of 30-50 percent off. The store also has a new Fairway Center golf shop featuring all the top golf brands such as Taylormade, Nike, Callaway and more.
The Team Program allows the coaches of youth sports teams to sign their team up for a money saving weekend so the kids can get all the equipment they will need to participate in their sport. Dunham’s, one of the nations largest retail sporting goods chains, was founded in 1937 in Detroit as Dunham’s Bait and Tackle and has grown to more than 150 stores in 16 Midwestern and Southern states.
Store Manager Deb Welker said she was thrilled to see her store open and functioning as planned.
“This is exciting,” said Welker. “It’s a beautiful store and it’s taken us a long time to get to this point. We’ve got a great team and an assortment of products that range from hunting and fishing to bowling, golf, camping, baseball and football and apparel. We tried to cover all facets.”
Welker was proud to have a half-wall of Richmond Raider gear, made by Nike, that hung over a rack of college team sweaters.
Apart from the store, Welker said she is new in Richmond County and glad to be here.
“I’ve been with the store for 23 years and I moved down here from Pennsylvania,” said Welker. “I’ve always wanted to more to North Carolina and I finally had the chance and I’m happy I did. Everybody has been so nice, it’s a great change from up north. This community is wonderful.”
Dunham’s strives to save people money, with programs like Dunham’s Rewards and our Team Program. In Dunham’s Rewards you can sign up at www.dunhamsrewards.com to receive money saving coupons, tips and information about upcoming events at the local Dunham’s Sports.
The new store is located at the Pineridge Crossing shopping center, 1788 E. Broad Ave., Rockingham.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.