For the second week running, the Spalding Guardian’s Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign concentrates on both shopping and playing locally.
After last week’s story on PeeWee Saddlery, Long Sutton, bowls, cricket and darts enthusiasts can be reassured that equipment for their sports are available right on their own doorstep at D & M Sports, Vine Street, Spalding.
Owned by David Broadhurst and Margaret Howes, the reason for the shop’s name, D & M Sports also sells equipment for rugby union, football, hockey and swimming.
David said: “The shop started out as a small bowls retailer in The Crescent called Bowled Over which opened in 1999.
“We had an opportunity to move into other premises in 2003 and over the years, we’ve formed good relationships with many of the local sports clubs such as Spalding Rugby Club, Moulton Harrox and Spalding Cricket Clubs, along with Spalding Hockey Club.
“We’ve adjusted to the challenge of the larger sports outlets by giving our customers a more personal service, giving help, advice and doing our best to get things in, rather than saying ‘what you see is what you get’.”
D & M Sports have made another move to a larger shop in Vine Street but David and Margaret plan to continue providing parents and sports club members with a similar range of goods to that currently in stock.
“A lot of people haven’t realised that we’ve moved round the corner but when they have, they say ‘thank heavens you’re still here’.
“People like the fact that the shop doesn’t just have branded sports goods and that they can get most of the sports equipment they need here.”
Independent retailers like D &M Sports are coming under increasing pressure from both larger high street names and specialist suppliers of sports equipment, with the internet becoming the main battleground.
David said: “Before the recession hit about six years ago, the number of customers coming into the shop was much higher.
“We’ve needed to boost our internet presence but at the same time many times parents will come into us in a bit of a panic for shinguards or mouthpieces for their children at school.
“If the shop wasn’t here, there would be a lot of disappointed people in South Holland.”