Herman's World of Sporting Goods

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Herman's World of Sporting Goods
Type Defunct
Industry Retail
Founded 1916
Headquarters Carteret, New Jersey
Products Sporting Goods

Herman's World of Sporting Goods was a sporting goods retailer in the United States. It was founded by Herman Steinlauf in 1916 as a music store.[1] At one time, there was a gentleman's agreement with west coast competitor Oshman's Sporting Goods, that the Herman's chain would stay east of the Mississippi, while Oshman's would be dominant on the west coast. Later on, Herman's did expand west with the acquisition of Salt Lake City-based Sunset Sports Centers, although this was short lived. The company entered bankruptcy in 1993, first closing the stores out of the New York metropolitan area, then the New York City stores.[2] Herman's could not compete with the warehouse size stores of Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority, as most locations were in malls or strip malls.

Herman's main executive offices and warehouse were co-located in Carteret, New Jersey, at 2 Germak Drive.[3] This building is now used by P.C. Richard & Son.[4]

The company was purchased by W. R. Grace and Company in 1970, as part of Grace's retail division, which sold it to the Dee Corporation, of England, in 1986.[1] Later, it was sold to a Dutch firm. Herman's closed all its remaining stores in 1996.[5]

Some of the slogans the company used included "Herman's.. We Are Sports." one of the most popular locations was located in Valley Stream LI, serving the boroughs of Queens and Nassau county. Herman's was one of Manhattan's—and later most of the U.S.-- most visible retail stores. While Herman's was a large sporting goods retailer, about half of the floor space of any store was soft goods, including ski jackets, and other apparel. Herman's had their own label, made by other vendors.

On several occasions, Herman's sponsored a Free Ski Day in Central Park, providing cross country skis and poles for free, where people could ski on the great lawn or go downhill on an artificial hill.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Janofsky, Michael. "COMPANY NEWS; New Owners For Herman's Sports Chain", The New York Times, February 10, 1993. Accessed November 16, 2007. "Founded in 1916 by Herman and Eddie Steinlauf as a music store in lower Manhattan. The first store was at 110 Nassau Street, in Lower Manhattan. Later, the chain expanded to East 42nd Street and East 34th Street, then to Paramus, New Jersey. The chain kept growing as time went on, in the New York metropolitan area, and later other areas. Herman's later became a sporting goods outlet and was sold as a four-store group in 1970 to W. R. Grace & Company. Eddie Steinlauf's son Leonard expanded into a fourth store in Paramus, NJ, creating the first sporting goods superstore. This drew the attention of conglomerate W.R. Grace, who made a play for the company. Leonard Steinlauf fought the sale, siting his vision of creating a national chain of sporting goods superstores. He believed that Herman's should stay a family company. Herman Steinlauf and Leonard Steinlauf's sister pressured Leonard into selling his 25% of the company, a decision he would later regret. Leonard Steinlauf became Herman's CEO, but lasted less than ten years under a strained relationship with W.R. Grace. Fully expanded by 1986, the chain was sold to the Dee Corporation in Britain; Dee later changed its name to Gateway."
  2. ^ " COMPANY NEWS; Bankruptcy Protection Is Sought for Herman's", The New York Times, March 16, 1993. Accessed November 16, 2007.
  3. ^ Studley website "Press room" http://www.studley.com/page.ww?name=Press+Release&section=Press+Room&newsItem.id=552&titleParam=P.C.+RICHARD+&+SON+DOUBLES+SIZE+OF+ITS+NEW+JERSEY+WAREHOUSE+AND+DISTRIBUTION+FACILITY Press room
  4. ^ P.C. Richard website "employment opportunities" http://www.pcrichard.com/custserv/content.jsp?pageName=EmploymentBenefits&PIPELINE_SESSION_ID=7cea4b78c0a8778401d5280f2d759130 P.C. Richard & Son employment opportunities
  5. ^ http://articles.nydailynews.com/1996-05-02/news/17994305_1_sports-authority-going-out-of-business-sales-rockefeller-center
  6. ^ Leimbach, Dulcie. "For Children", The New York Times, February 7, 1992. Accessed November 16, 2007.