MIDWEST CITY — Faced with a big box competitor opening in town, Jami Snell opted to close up shop.
The dominance Dick's Sporting Goods asserted when opening four metro-area stores this week, including one less than two miles from Snell's store, Twids Sporting Goods, was the main reason Snell decided to shutter the store's Midwest City location. Twids, which has been in business 41 years, has long been the go-to for Little League and school sports teams for uniforms and other sporting gear.
“Twids was an icon. It was the only place to go. It was hard to make the decision to close,” said Snell, who purchased the business three years ago from the Twidwell family. She also has an Edmond location called Rookies by Twids.
However, Mojo Sports in Choctaw, has decided to take a chance on the former Twids building and plans to reopen its business in the store, 6001 SE 15, next month. Co-owner Wade Brewer said the location is larger and well-established as a sporting goods store.
Mojo Sports' main business, like Twids, is screen printing and embroidering sports uniforms and T-shirts. Brewer said competing with Dick's isn't worrisome because the two stores are different.
“Dick's is retail. We're more about putting all the bells and whistles on it,” he said. He admits that having Dick's in town will affect the retail side of his business, but it's not the store's main focus.
Four stores open
Dick's Sporting Goods, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., opened four metro-area stores Wednesday — two in Oklahoma City and one each in Moore and Midwest City. Similarly, the retailer entered the Tulsa market last November, with three stores opening simultaneously.
Snell said Dick's impending opening wasn't the only reason she closed her Midwest City store, but it was a major factor.
Already, she said she was facing a trend of schools ordering team uniforms from larger, out-of-state companies, saving the school money but costing Twids business. She estimated of her store's $7 million annual sales, $5 million was outside sales to schools.
Her business setbacks also included losing sales associates with established customers and glitches in her digital inventory and software controlling system.
Dakil Auctioneers held an auction of the store's remaining contents on Oct. 27. Snell said she originally planned to close the Edmond store as well, but has decided to keep it open with a focus on Little League teams.
Dave Twidwell, whose father, Carl Twidwell, founded Twids in 1971, said it was sad to see the doors close at his family's former store.
“We serviced the community for so long. We had good employees. We created some memories we'll never forget,” he said.