Author: Kevin Thibeault, BSU student
Strike F/X Pro Shops LLC is a Bowling Pro Shop Chain operating in Southeastern Massachusetts as well as parts of Rhode Island. The business began to operate in 2006 with three locations in Cranston RI, Somerset MA, and Westport MA. While the Westport location is no longer operational, the business as a whole continues to grow at a steady pace. There are now a total of six locations: three in Massachusetts - Brockton, Somerset, New Bedford MA, - and three in Rhode Island which include East Providence, Cranston and Wakefield RI.
Each location is equipped with the necessary equipment and tools needed to perform the entire ball drilling process. This includes everything from custom fitting a person’s hand, drilling the ball, and installing additional items such as finger and thumb inserts. Other tasks can also be taken care of in the shops such as plugging, sanding, and resurfacing bowling balls.
What sets Strike F/X apart from its competitors is customer service and attention to detail. The overall feeling the customer gets of knowing their equipment will be handled with care at any of the six locations is largely attractive, and consistently thorough work ultimately keeps customers satisfied.
Mainly, customers find out about our pro shops through word of mouth. Strike F/X is already well established across the South Shore, Southeastern MA, and Rhode Island regions, but new bowlers generally find out about them through other people within their league or bowling centers. Other casual bowlers who do not take part in leagues have found their way into the stores through internet resources, as well as various social media platforms, mainly Instagram, Facebook, and the main website. Each individual store location has its own Facebook page displaying business hours, a link to the website, an address to the shop’s location, and a phone number. These pages are updated weekly to keep our customers up to date on what is happening in our stores and also in the industry. The Instagram page gives both existing and potential customers a visual of all six locations and is another great option for people to find out about new product releases and stay in the loop. The website, while still in an early stage can be used for contact info with a future goal of it being used to make online sales and help expand the reach beyond the current region.
2020 was without a doubt a tough year to own and operate a small business, and especially tough when operating within another business. Strike F/X is a separate entity from each of the bowling centers it operates inside of, so there was always a feeling of being somewhat helpless against the decisions the bowling centers were making. Bowling centers fall under the entertainment business category whereas the pro shop falls under retail, so in a sense each store location was a retail business being forced to follow guidelines for an entertainment complex. The business is rebounding slowly, but surely and a strong tight knit customer base will keep it afloat. Leagues are beginning to bounce back, and more tournaments are popping up all over the region which in turn will generate more business opportunities for the shops.
The main driver of the business is passion. Everybody who is employed at Strike F/X loves the sport of bowling and wants to do their part in helping other bowlers get where they want to be. As customer service is what the business was built on, having employees who want to see their customers succeed is key.
Visit Strike F/X Pro Shops at 65 Westgate Drive in Brockton, MA.
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