Cirencester sports shop D & J Sports celebrates 40 years
Local Cirencester shop D & J Sports Ltd has been in the business of selling sports goods and offering sound advice for 40 years. Charlotte Shepherd met the father and son team who are at the heart of this family-run business.
WHEN Dave Savage, 65, set up D & J Sports in Cirencester in 1972 with his mother Pamela, it was as a fishing shop. “It wasn’t long before we realised we needed to sell a greater range of products and decided to expand into sports equipment,” said Dave. This proved to be a winning move and forty years on at least two thirds of the business is on the sports equipment rather than fishing side.
Fishing is still an important part of the business and in 2005 D & J Sports opened fishing shop the Tackle Den in the heart of the water parks in South Cerney, overseen by director Steve Broadhurst.
D & J Sports has firmly established itself at the heart of the sporting community, and has links to supply sporting equipment to local clubs. It has also been the stockist in the past for the sports uniform for Kingshill School and holds the current contract to stock Deer Park’s school uniform.
“We are part of the local community and have a wonderful relationship with sports clubs and with Deer Park. We are very proud to stock their new uniform,” Dave explained.
The shop is a real family affair and Dave’s father Jack (the ‘J’ in D & J) has also been involved, as has Dave’s sister Julie. His son Mark, 30, who worked in the shop as a teenager, joined the business full-time to look after the sports side and became a director in 2006.
Mark is the next generation of Savage’s guiding D & J Sports through what are tough economic times and is determined that the shop will continue to move with the times. “Our new website is under construction and the idea is that people will be able to order online,” he said.
Despite current competition from Sports Direct, customers are loyal. “It is healthy to have more than one sports shop because it brings people into the town. It means that Cirencester people have a choice,” said Mark. “We have always had competition but we offer a different service. We are very lucky our customers are very loyal.”
Indeed, when D & J Sports first opened its doors there were three other sports shops in town including Ciren Sports.
The Cricklade street shop has outlasted them all and it is partly due to the passion for sport that the team displays. “We love sport and our customers know that we will always try to help them and try to offer sound advice,” said Dave.
• D & J Sports is at 75 Cricklade Street, Cirencester GL7 1HY. Contact 01285 652227 or go to www.djsports.co.uk
• D & J Sports is giving away a signed Gloucester rugby ball in a free competition. For your chance to win, simply fill out a ticket in the shop.