By Ryan LoTemple
As we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to find ways to adapt. One of those businesses is Ultimate Sports and Apparel, a clothing store owned by Wendy Riddell. Riddell says its been a hard time keeping her business afloat.
Riddell says her business suffered because she sells products that she describes as “wants” rather than “needs.”
In other words, most people would buy essential items, the items that Riddell sells wouldn’t be described as essential by most people.
“We sell clothing for schools and sports teams, not many people are going to buy our products during this time,” said Riddell.
Riddell says the only people who bought products on a regular basis were coaches but since most sports were canceled or postponed, the business had no more customers to buy their products regularly.
The business was also very low on resources to create their products. Other businesses that distributed such resources to Riddell’s business were either shut down or were also limited on resources. This would cause a slowdown in production for Riddell’s business.
Riddell had to find other ways to help the business make profit.
“It was hard, I was so used to my business being busy. We had to find ways to get some sort of profit,” said Riddell.
How they adapted
Riddell started making masks a new clothing/accessory item that would be available to the public. Reusable masks are a very popular item that is being sold throughout the country, and with this popular product in stock, it would sell quickly.
Not only that, this strategy would also lead to customers seeing what else Riddell’s business has to offer.
Since most people couldn’t/can’t leave their homes, the business also has their own website where people can order their apparel.
Customers can choose what apparel they want from the website, have it customized (if they want), and choose to have their order delivered to their house or pick it up from the store.
“Thankfully we’re back to where we should be,” said Riddell.
These business strategies were helpful in making profits during the worst of the pandemic, and now the business is practically back to normal.
About Ultimate Sports and Apparel
Ultimate Sports and Apparel is a family owned business that was started in 2004. The business sells quality clothing for schools, sports teams and booster clubs all around Monroe, Wayne, and Orleans County, all for a low price.
The business’s intention is to give people a variety of clothing options to choose from and strives to be a reliable business.
The business sells Brockport, Churchville, Gates Chili, Spencerport and Hilton high school apparel sold directly from the store.
Riddell says that she is “one of the few women owners in the sports clothing business”, and takes pride in the fact that she is proving to herself and the public that this is a job for everyone.