Hibbett Sports’ addition, impact on the Newton community

Addie Lindenmeyer

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Recall all the times when you were forced to drive to Wichita for an article of clothing on short notice. With the recent addition of a Hibbett Sports on Main Street, no longer will driving an implausible distance for something as simple as a pair of shoes be necessary.

Store manager Steve Joe has noticed that numbers of customers have mentioned the convenience of not have to drive to Wichita.

“We like to think of ourselves as a hometown store. Most of the stores that we have are located in small college towns. We appreciate that and we like the hometown feel. Locations that we have are bringing people in just from the outskirts of a particular suburb,” Joe said.

While the store provides a wide array of products, one might ask what this means for the Famous Footwear located in the Chisholm Trail Center. Joe said that the majority of customers so far have been looking out for shoes.

“We always love competition. Competition brings out the best in most companies… As far as seeing what may or may not happen to some of the other brick and mortar companies, it’s how they are trained,” Joe said. “It’s what they’re built of on the inside that really brings out the best in what they need in the community.”

Joe said that it is not just the local Hibbett, but Hibbett stores everywhere that are trying to reach out to communities.

“One of the things that I have learned is that Hibbett wants us to get out, talk and be at some of the sporting events,” Joe said. “You start to understand you live in a glass house. People that you see in your community will recognize you if you’re out at dinner, if you are out at lunch or recognize you if you’re just running to the grocery store. Getting out there in the community is a big thing.”

Joe has been working at Hibbett’s in surrounding areas for the past year and a half. From his exposure, he has learned of the many opportunities that Hibbett provides and said he believes that such a job would positively benefit those looking for experience in retail.

“The biggest thing that we focus on when it comes to characteristics or even just people in general that come in and apply for the position is that we want them to be able to build a rapport with other folks that are coming in,” Joe said. “We would really love it if you are enthusiastic and passionate about people and are willing to talk to just about anybody. That doesn’t mean that if you can’t do it at first you are automatically disqualified from getting a position here, it’s just that those are some of the things we work towards coaching.”

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