Nicklasson’s to close after 76 years
NEW ULM — A mainstay Broadway business is closing after 76 years in business.
Nicklasson Athletic is shutting down its retail operation next month and BSN Sports will take over the school and association supply side of the business.
Nicklasson Athletic was started in 1946 by Henry Nicklasson. Early on, Nicklasson would call on the local schools in the morning to determine what athletic equipment they need and by mid-day ship out the order. In later years, Henry was joined by his brothers Clarence and Gordy.
In 1988, Mitch More, Brad Wieland and Steve Prunty bought the business from the Nicklassons.
More said they had already been working for them and wanted to take over. The company kept its name even after switching hands.
More said the business was always focused on athletics. Area students were always in need of uniforms and equipment. Most of the business focused on ordering uniforms and equipment for area schools and sports associations; however, Nicklasson also had a strong local retail presence. The business carried shoes, clothes and other sports equipment for individual needs.
In 2018, Nicklasson reduced its retail side of the business. More said the retail side of the business had taken a hit because of online sales. This limited how much Nicklasson could sell.
More said he and Wieland decided to sell the business to BSN Sports once they reached retirement age. BSN Sports made an offer and they decided it was a good exit play. Prunty had already retired from the business.
BSN Sports will be taking over the athletic supply business and will also take on some of Nicklasson employees. More said BSN Sports will be offering the same goods but under a different name. BSN is a nationwide supplier, meaning they can provide other brands not previously available through Nicklasson.
The Nicklasson store at 1217 S. Broadway will be closing down as the company transitions into BSN Sport. More will continue to work for BSN to help with the school and association supply side of the business, but the company will not have a physical presence in New Ulm.
Nicklasson also operated a trophy, plaque and engraving business. This was sold to Crissy Rogotzke of Springfield. Rogotzke had been handling Nicklasson’s engraving operation for the last four years. She officially acquired ownership of the engraving business on Jan. 18. More said all client information will be forwarded to Rogotzke.
Brad Wieland will continue to run The A+ Design business, Nicklasson’s screen printing and embroidery shop, out of St. James.
“I like to thank New Ulm and the surrounding community for their loyalty and support,” More said. “We’re fortunate and happy BSN saw our potential and excited to become part of their organization.”
Closing Nicklasson after over seven decades in business is sad, but More is proud of its longevity. He credits their years of success with great customer service.
“That’s why we lasted so long,” he said. “You got taken care of when you walk through our door.”
That was also the secret of working with the schools and associations. Every organization was important to Nicklasson.
“You were not just a number to us,” More said.
Reflecting on his time with Nicklasson, More said there was a lot of nostalgia with customers. It was not unusual for people coming into the store to be second or third generations customers. A parent would come into the store to buy a kid’s equipment. Years later that kid would come back with their kids to do the same and even grandkids.
“Three generations would come through,” More said. “That was fun.”
The Nicklasson storefront on South Broadway is currently holding a close-out sale for the next few weeks. The store will have significant discounts on any remaining athletic apparel. It is also a chance for loyal customers to visit Nicklasson one last time to relive the memories.