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Royal Oak’s Tennis & Golf Company sold out of Chapter 11

The Tennis & Golf Company on Woodward Avenue has been purchased by two local businessmen who seek to refresh the Royal Oak fixture and add online capabilities.

Founded in 1977, the specialty shop selling tennis, golf, running, and fitness equipment and clothing filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Steve Kopitz, who previously owned Bloomfield Hills-based Summit Sports Inc. which includes the ski shop Don Thomas Sporthaus in Birmingham and online ski retailer Skis.com, purchased the specialty shop with Andy Schepper, former COO of Summit Sports, according to a news release.

The shop was formerly owned by David Schwartz, who was not able to provide comment for health reasons, said Schepper, who serves as CEO of the shop. The store never closed due the bankruptcy, and most of the shop’s 40 existing employees carried over from Schwartz’s reign.

Tennis & Golf Co., marketed as the largest specialty tennis shop in the Midwest, was purchased out of bankruptcy on April 29 for $266,853, according to Schepper. The deal included fixtures and inventory, he said.

In a court filing, the shop’s former general manager Rita Kozlowski attributed the shop’s decline to the rise of online retailers such as Amazon, along with online sporting goods retailers, which drastically cut into the shop’s revenue.

Last year, the shop, which has never had an online transaction, generated $5.5 million in annual revenue, according to Schepper.

The shop’s brands and stellar reputation made the purchase a “no-brainer” for the new owners who plan to apply their internet expertise to create an online specialty shopping experience, Schepper said.

“You don’t come across a lot of opportunities to buy a 42-year-old store that has this kind of reputation,” Schepper said.

The shop features tennis racket brands including Germany-based Völkl and more, along with a “hitting lane” where a machine spits out tennis balls, allowing customers to test demo rackets, the release said.

The 18,500-square-foot location carries menswear and boys’ clothing brands including, Travis Matthew, Mizzen+Main, Devereux and fashion brands such as Polo Golf, Daily Sports, Lucky in Love and Belyn Key, according to the release.

The store has done an “amazing job” at offering a product mix of small, boutique brands and larger brands that changes frequently and attracts a loyal customer base, according to Schepper. The new owners plan to continue that concept and, from an e-commerce standpoint, increase the store’s brand offerings, he said.

As part of a “Kid’s Day” celebration, the shop is giving away tennis rackets to the first 250 kids on July 13 starting at 9 a.m., the release said.

 

Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on July 8, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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