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Texas company buys Spokane-based Kimmel Athletic Supply; three retail stores to close

UPDATED: Thu., April 6, 2017

Larry Randall and his wife Nancy with Kimmel Athletic Supply sold Gonzaga No. 1 T-shirts Feb. 4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Larry Randall and his wife Nancy with Kimmel Athletic Supply sold Gonzaga No. 1 T-shirts Feb. 4 in the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane’s major supplier of sports equipment and school team apparel has been sold to a Texas company and will close its retail store.

Kimmel Athletic Supply, which has helped outfit Gonzaga University athletes and other schools throughout the region, has been acquired by Dallas-based BSN SPORTS, the country’s largest distributor of sports apparel and equipment.

Kimmel will close its retail stores in Spokane, at 202 E. Mission Ave., and in Redmond and Yakima. The stores are planning closeout sales “so that we can focus on the team customer,” Kimmel says on its website.

The company, which opened in 1969, bills itself as the leading distributor of customized team apparel, letterman jackets and more in the Pacific Northwest. It supplies football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, track and field, and cross country.

Kimmel has supplied Gonzaga over the years, but the private Spokane university also has used other suppliers, including BSN, said Todd Zeidler, a spokesman for GU Athletics.

A division of Varsity Brands, BSN supplies college athletics, middle and high school teams and recreational programs nationwide via catalog, e-commerce and direct sales. The company has over 2,000 employees.

“The same sales pros you’ve been working with will continue to serve you,” Kimmel said on its website. “BSN Sports will provide your school, club and recreational sports teams with real solutions that make a difference to your budget….”

Brothers Jim and Paul Kimmel are joining the BSN SPORTS management team, and some of the other Kimmel employees in Washington are going to work for BSN as well.

In a news release, Kimmel Chairman Bill Davis describes BSN SPORTS as a company “which operates with the same commendable mission, but with greater resources and state-of-the-art technology, giving our employees the ability to continue providing our loyal customers the same level of service to which they have been accustomed.”

The Kimmel purchase follows BSN acquisitions of three other sports apparel retailers: Lowe’s Sporting Goods in London, Kentucky; the team division of Erie Sport Store in Erie, Pennsylvania; and Marlow Sports in Forestville, Maryland.

“We are excited to have brought four premiere properties onto the BSN SPORTS platform within the last 90 days,” CEO Adam Blumenfeld said. “We will continue to rapidly pursue both digital strategies and personal relationships that enhance our local presence and expand upon our capacity to provide a highly personalized level of service to communities across America.”

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