EARLY — The Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods store in Early is going out of business because of lagging gun sales unless owner David Furry finds a buyer, Furry announced Tuesday night on the store’s Facebook page.
Furry bought the sporting goods portion of the Weakley-Watson business in 2013 from the Blagg family, which owned the business at that time. Furry moved the business out of the Fisk Street location in downtown Brownwood and opened the store at 515 Early Blvd. in March 2015. Furry decided to keep the Weakley-Watson name for the sporting goods store, which has two full-time and three part-time employees.
“We are closing the doors and we don’t have a definite date yet,” Furry said in an interview Wednesday at the store. “We are going to sell the items in the store. I do have some potential buyers I am working with, and hopefully that will go through and keep the store open.
“We’re going to try to run through at least the end of August. This is a sad day for us and Brown County. It’s very sad.”
Furry announced on the store’s Facebook page:
“I am sorry to announce to you that we will be closing Weakley Watson sporting goods. The gun industry has been struggling for the last few years and our store is no exception. I have had several potential buyers look at trying to buy it and keep it open, but so far these have fallen through, so I have made the decision to go ahead and close the doors.
“I do want to thank all the dedicated customers for trading with us over the years. We will start selling everything in the store at a 10 percent discount except guns. Guns will be sold at cost plus 10 percent. We will increase the discounts over the next two months until all or most of the inventory is sold. Thanks again for being a customer.”
Furry said he made the decision a week ago to close the business.
Furry said gun sales slowed down after Donald Trump became president because people weren’t buying them up out of fear that the government was going to seize guns.
“It started affecting us a year ago,” Furry said. “We stuck it out through last year, and with the lag in sales, it’s just not good for the industry right now.
“The other thing that’s hurt us a lot of course is online ordering. We just kind of got a double whammy with the gun industry and online sales.”
Furry also owns Leak Surveys Inc. and CMS Home Health Care.