Suffolk Sports has new lure
Suffolk Sports owner Chris Doust spent a lot of time fishing and shooting with his dad, Lindsay.
His father opened Suffolk Sports and ran the business for 16 years, six of them in partnership with his son.
For the last three years Chris has been the sole trader.
During his years in the business he has learnt a lot, he said.
“The hardest thing was reading people and what they really wanted,” he said.
“The best thing is to listen to what they want, lead them to it and then find the right price bracket for them.”
Customers enjoy the range of goods in the store, Chris said, and the recent expansion of Suffolk Sports, just two doors up from the previous Keen Street shop, means they can now stock even more.
The new store is three times bigger.
“Many customers hadn’t realised we had moved, and thought they had just walked into a different shop,” he said.
There are the fishing lures, guns, gun bags and ammunition, archery equipment, knives, darts and even croc shoes.
It took two months to fit out the shop and Chris did most of it himself.
To reduce inconvenience to customers he closed at lunchtime on Saturday, and moved everything on Sunday to open again Monday morning.
He didn’t lose any trade.
For a store that started in the 1930s, it’s come a long way.
“It is only in the last eight years that we haven’t had a barber in the shop, and we have dropped the selling of ciggies,” he said.
Traditionally sports stores have had barbers and tobacconists working among the sports equipment.
Suffolk Sports nowadays has exceptional security because of the firearms sold.
There is an alarm system and sensors in the ceiling and all firearms are securely locked away.
Police regularly inspect the security system at Suffolk Sports.
Summer is the busiest time for Suffolk Sports as there are more outdoor sporting activities in the warmer months.
His father still helps out at the store and the recent addition of an administration assistant has given Chris a little more time off.
When Chris isn’t at the shop he is pursuing his own sporting pursuits and pleasures.
“Every day I’m not here, I am out shooting or fishing,” he said.
He shoots twice a week at his gun club and likes any type of fishing, whether it is freshwater or off-shore.