Sporting goods stores find alternative route amid COVID-19

MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (3/24/2020) - With gyms closed, outdoor activities seem like a good bet for some exercise.

But without the right equipment, workouts could be over before they begin.

“When all this started to happen, the buying was different in a way. People came in they didn’t spend as much time splitting hairs over stuff. It was just that one let’s go," said Ron Stack, owner of Cycle Fit Sports.

Stack said business was nonstop when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer imposed a stay home order on Monday to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Stack was forced to close.

But, his phone has still been ringing off the hook.

“Besides freaking out. What we’re doing is we call it ‘Curb Side drop off” or a tune up repair service," said Stack.

Customers call or email if their bike needs repair, they drop it off at the shore, and Stack takes the bike in his shop and the customer pays online. It’s his way of providing none face to face service to the public.

“We know the governor recommended hiking, walking the dog and cycling as one of the recommendation," said Stack. "Kind of what to enable them to blow the stink-off or manage stress in a healthy way.”

Anyone who doesn't ride bicycles can go outside and walk and jog. But, new running shoes will have to be ordered online.

“It has ground down to a slow halt as of yesterday. You know, we’re now closed a retail location and we’re just doing online and pick-up at the storefront," said Mark Bauman, owner of Bauman’s Running & Walking Shop.

The store has been in business since 1974. Usually March is when business starts to pick-up.

Although Bauman doesn’t anticipate a spike in sales, he still wants the public to get up and active.

"Walking is a great exercise, it builds up your immune system, and it gets you up and outside. So that you’re not claustrophobic or stuck in the house all day," said Bauman.