Special notice signage replaces Northwest T-shirts and Spoofhound hoodies in the glass storefront windows of Jock’s Nitch Sporting Goods in Maryville.
The former Bearcat and Spoofhound gear hub Jock’s Nitch announced Nov. 4 that it will be closing its business in Maryville and will hold a liquidation sale for overstocked sporting goods as the business prepares to leave town. The official date of closure is set for Nov. 11.
The sale will come along with special hours Nov. 7-10, and the entire inventory will be marked at 25% to 80% off retail value.
Phil Minton, president and CEO of Jock’s Nitch said the company made the decision to terminate the Maryville store in October. He said the store has not been making money for the company in a little more than five years.
“While our expenses in property tax, insurance and building cost was going up, our sales remained steady, and even staggered, and weren’t rising to meet the needs of the company,” Minton said.
Jock’s Nitch opened as a company in 1979 in Pittsburg, Kansas, and has five locations in that state. The company specializes in outfitting local universities in the towns they reside with apparel and merchandise.
Jock’s Nitch came to Maryville in 2006 when Northwest football was proving itself as a force to be dealt with in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Minton said 2009, a year the Bearcats won the national championship, was the best year for sales.
“When (Northwest football) won another championship in 2013, we only got one-eighth of the sales we made in 2009,” Minton said.
In relation to the closure announcement, Jock’s Nitch has reached out to Northwest Director of Athletics Andy Peterson with an interest in keeping a small team store in Maryville. It would continue to sell Bearcat apparel and merchandise.
“I reached out to Andy (Peterson) and it’s still just talk as of now, but he seems interested,” Minton said.
Jock’s Nitch used to offer special discounts for Northwest students; some items sold for up to 45% off. Minton said the discount brought a lot of students in and is part of why bringing back a small team store may be a good idea.
Senior Nikki Wagner said she regularly shopped at Jock’s Nitch because of the discount.
“It was cheaper than The Student Body,” Wagner said. “I went there at least once a month to check out the deals. It was my go-to place for Bearcat gear.”
Minton said he is sad to have to move business elsewhere because he has become a Bearcat fan.
“Northwest Missouri State has a phenomenal program,” Minton said. “We hate to go. This was strictly a business decision that had to be made.