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NWRPC News

Posted on: February 5, 2020

Northwest WI Regional Economic Development Fund Enhances Baders Sports Center Retail Store

The Northwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Fund, Inc. (NWREDF) awarded funding to help Baders Sports Center renovate the sales floor to better display its expanded retail offerings.

Baders Sports Center has been a family owned business since 1888.  Michael Bader purchased full ownership in 2007 and has been continually expanding it over the past 12 years. The first major change was moving the physical footprint of the store from its original location on Main Street in Kennan, Wisconsin to Phillips. Initially, Bader Sports Center rented the facility for two years before purchasing the current location at 262 South Lake Ave, Phillips. 

Since relocating, Baders Sports Center has been realizing sales increases because of the expanded space and product offering. Baders Sports Center has moved into the mixed virtual sales realm by launching a web platform that is doing very well.

“In order to keep with today’s retail climate, we seek continual process improvement and efficiencies, wither updated POS /Inventory System that allows management the ability to monitor the sales of each item to a user friendly website,” explained Bader.

“We’ve also implemented simple offerings such as installing a minnow tank, which has increased foot traffic and indirectly increased sales of fishing supplies,” Bader continued.

Other footprint expansions have included installing an exterior cage to sell lawn art, deer/bear feed and firewood, and becoming an authorized a Lacrosse and Redwing boots by allowing a 1,500 square foot sales floor for the footwear products.

NWREDF funding most recently helped Bader expand inventory and retail floor displays in the following areas:  Kayaks, Hiking Clothing, Hiking Supplies, Outdoor Cooking, Meat Processing Supplies, and an increased selection of hunting and camping accessories. 

This funding really helped Baders Sport Center reach full potential for its physical and virtual footprint, and now Bader is looking at ways that connecting the consumer in a holistic “off the wall into the water” approach. “Stay tuned,” Bader exclaimed.

NWREDF revolving loan funding provided the critical gap financing to Baders Sports Center to complete inventory and facility upgrades. This project helped retain five and create three full time jobs in Phillips, Wisconsin. To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product at NWRPC, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.

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