Gerrells Sports Center enjoying new in-store addition.

In June, Gerrells Sports Center, located in downtown Devils Lake, stretched its in-store space with a move into the building next door, what used to be Kelly’s Apparel, but it wasn’t the first time that Gerrells expanded in such a way.

Before transforming into the storefront that the public knows today, Gerrells was even smaller, located next to what used to the be the Sears building. After Sears took their business ventures west out to Hwy. 2, the sporting goods shop decided to take advantage of their neighboring, suddenly vacant space turning the old Sears store into Gerrells’ newest addition.

Now, they’ve done the same thing with Kelly’s, which had sat empty for approximately five years before its transformation this summer, and according to owner Scott Gerrells, he expects that the new addition will only benefit his business going forward.

“We had thought about it for a while, and we just thought that with the increase in our business over the last few years, we thought it would be a good idea to expand our hunting department,” Gerrells said. “We’ve also been a seasonal store in the past, where we’ve had our hockey and baseball items on the floor seasonally.

“This new space gives us the opportunity to have those items on the floor year round.”

Gerrells, who is a third-generation owner of the store, knows that the added space can benefit his company in a number of ways.

Right now, the former Kelly’s building is stocked completely with outdoor supplies, products that include guns and portable fishing shelters among several other miscellaneous items that local gamesmen might find useful.

The store won’t be offering a host of new outdoors-related items, but the new space does give Gerrells an advantage in presenting its hunting department to customers.

“We have more room now,” Gerrells said. “Before, we weren’t able to stock certain items as completely as we may have wanted to, but the new addition will allow us to do that and to have more items on display.”

That seems to be the most influential aspect of the new Gerrells addition: more space, something that the public has taken a liking to, according to Gerrells.

Years ago, even before Gerrells expanded into the old Sears building, this local sporting goods retailer had almost the same amount of merchandise that it carries today shoved into a third of the space it currently occupies, which made the store crowded for paying customers.

Now, such space issues are a thing of the past for Gerrells.

“People would come in, and they were standing on top of each other, especially during the busy times of the year,” Gerrells said. “Now there’s space to walk around and shop a little bit more.

“It’s been a very positive thing for us so far.”

The new addition will also allow the store to expand its product selection, something that Gerrells has indicated he is keen on doing, particularly in the men’s wear department.

According to him, Devils Lake doesn’t have a good enough selection of clothing for men to choose from, and this is a void that his store is hoping to fill in the near future.

“We’ve always carried men’s wear, but it’s always been geared more toward sports,” Gerrells said. “Now we’re going more toward the casual wear as well.”

These products Gerrells speaks of include a wider selection of jeans, button-down shirts, ties and khaki pants among other things. According to Gerrells, it will take approximately a year for the store to gather the inventory that it’s shooting for.

While the store is sports oriented in terms of what it offers its customers, Gerrells sees this as an opportunity to address a need that this town has had for a while.

“There are other stores in town that have some stuff, but it might not be exactly what someone is looking for,” Gerrells said. “If someone is looking for a new tie or a new dress shirt, they shouldn’t have to worry about driving 100 miles to get it.”

Gerrells Sports Center is open Mon.-Wed. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thur. from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat. from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.