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Downtown Farmington sporting goods store will close its doors

The walls and racks look a little bare these days as The Fan Club Athletics tries to get rid of its merchandise before closing later this month.

Store will close by the end of September

Michelle Leonard

Staff writer

Normally, the months between homecoming and Christmas are the busiest time of the year for The Fan Club Athletics in downtown Farmington. This year, though, The Fan Club will be closed by the time homecoming rolls around.

In August, owner Stacey Schultz announced plans to close the business this fall. Schultz and her husband, Nick, have operated The Fan Club for several years, but now that their kids are out of high school and moving on with life, the Schultzes have chosen to move on with their own lives, as well.

Although the announcement may surprise some — especially just as a new school year gets started — Stacey Schultz said the closing has been coming for more than a year. Competition from Farmington High School’s school store and online sportswear companies have contributed to a decrease in sales over the past few years, she said.

“We haven’t really made enough in the past two years to continue doing it,” Schultz said. “We talked about it last year, but I wasn’t ready yet. I hadn’t made my personal peace with it.”

But last year’s cold winter stretched into a cool and damp spring. Business that ordinarily came along during the spring months was slow to come. The summer months went by. And finally Nick and Stacey decided the time had come to close The Fan Club.

Since their kids are no longer in the local schools, they don’t have the ties with FHS they did before. Nick has another business, and Stacey has already been looking for a new job in the corporate world.

Simply put, the time has come to move on.

“This never was our lifelong dream, to operate a sports apparel store or an ice cream shop,” said Schultz, who also formerly owned Bugaloo’s ice cream shop. “Those were just moments of opportunity that presented themselves in our lives.”

The move to close has been coming on all summer, she added. She’s been running deep discounts on many items and putting clearance tags on others in an attempt to whittle down the store’s inventory. Schultz worked out a deal with the FHS school store for them to take the remaining Tiger-wear inventory, and that went out over the weekend. As word of the store closing has gotten around, even some of the racks used to hold the inventory have been sold.

The Fan Club has also served the students at Rosemount High School, and Schultz has an array of Irish-wear still available at the store, and will cut prices on those items.

The Schultzes own several buildings in downtown Farmington, and they plan to hang on to the property. They are also working to line up new tenants for The Fan Club’s site.

But by the time homecoming rolls around at the end of the month, The Fan Club itself will most likely be closed.

“Homecoming week is not going to be pretty, but we can’t run a business based on one week out of the year,” Schultz said.

The Fan Club will continue to sell out its remaining inventory until the end of September. Whatever is left at that time will be donated to an area charity.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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