NEW YORK – The Sporting Goods Store Frank’s Sports Shop, which has been open in the Bronx for almost 100 years, is going through a difficult time. The owner said that the stock of a multibillion-dollar company could put him on the streets, at a time in history when, according to him, he needs more support from them.
For 98 years, Frank’s Sports Shop, located on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, has sold all kinds of sporting goods. For almost half that time, owner Moe Stein has been selling Nike products, however that is coming to an end, as Nike told Stein that it can no longer continue to sell its products.
“Yes, I think there is a certain amount of disloyalty, there is,” Stein said.
Nike informed Stein and his son Ron that they would cancel their account. Stein describes that action as a slap in the face, especially as many small businesses are struggling to survive during the pandemic.
“They didn’t really give any reason at the beginning, except for the standard line, ‘We re-evaluate our accounts on an ongoing basis,” said Ron Stein. “We have been a Nike account for over 40 years, probably one of the first accounts in the New York metropolitan area.”
Nike said in a statement that the company “is always looking at the market and how best to serve our consumers. As part of this, from time to time we make adjustments to our sales channels to optimize distribution.”
The store Frank’s Sports Shop it has survived a lot in the last century, from the Great Depression to multiple wars and neighborhood changes. Stein says they, too, will survive this, but he says Nike’s decision is a betrayal: a multibillion-dollar corporation sidelining a small business, ignoring the low-income communities that helped them rise to the top.
“I know one thing: my people are rich in heart, rich in attitude and never in the mood, and I don’t like it when they treat us like a depressed place,” Stein said.
“After this many years, it’s really incredible,” said Ron Stein.