Cultivating a local athletic community is almost instinctual for John Duchouquette (JD).
The Play It Again Sports® franchise owner spent four years in the mid-1990s on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. Now, his four kids keep him busy with a wide variety of athletic involvement. Meanwhile, he has coached football, basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and other sports within his community for more than a decade.
“I’m drawn towards athletics and enjoy working with kids,” JD said. “I think sports create a great environment for kids to develop socially and build confidence.”
On the outskirts of Austin, where winter temperatures are still favorable for athletics, JD is well-positioned to keep the local athletic community playing year-round as a sporting goods resale store owner, selling a mix of new and quality used equipment. His store is located between four golf courses, down the street from a YMCA and within a short driving distance to multiple athletic complexes. And with a growing number of ice skating rinks, JD is seeing a rapidly growing interest in hockey equipment that you wouldn’t expect in the middle of Texas.
“The environment of youth sports is very rich,” JD said. “But, the opportunity to buy quality used equipment is limited.”
He’s seen firsthand how the cost of sports like lacrosse can create a barrier to entry for many kids. As a business owner, John feels that he’s able to help kids in the community overcome the financial hurdle imposed by different types of athletic teams.
“I would enjoy the opportunity to help youth to cast a wider net into sports that they may not be able to try,” JD said. “If a family has multiple athletes playing multiple sports, it can be economically challenging.”
Because even the used equipment is high-quality, athletes can purchase from JD and still play at a high level. For example, he has seen baseball bats from last year that are consistently in strong demand.
An Awakening to Make a Difference as Sporting Goods Business Owner
Prior to becoming a franchise owner, JD had been Vice President of Operations for DataQuick, an information technology and services firm.
“I think it was always a hidden dream of mine to own my own business and give back to the community,” JD explained.
JD grew up in El Paso but had moved to Austin to study at the University of Texas - Austin. It was then that he first encountered Play It Again Sports as a customer in need of affordable equipment.
Looking for a competitive advantage as a business owner, JD sought out a location with a larger footprint in order to carry an even and extensive mix of new and quality used equipment. Instead of having customers trade in their used merchandise for cash and then head down the road to a big-box sporting goods store, John has created the opportunity to capture both sides of the transaction. The customer can sell their quality used goods and buy a brand new product all in the same retail location.
“In essence, they’re creating their own discount,” he said.
At the same time, JD’s strategy is playing into consumer demand for convenience. Customers can physically hold the used and new version of a piece of equipment, compare prices and decide for themselves which one they prefer. And for a multi-athlete family in need of new goods, the one-stop-shop experience is difficult to find in other retail environments.
As a parent and athlete, JD has a keen understanding of his customers. He and his team of eight employees are invested in offering solutions for anyone who walks into the store. And seeing that his store is located in the middle of one of the fastest-growing counties in the Lone Star State, he’ll likely have plenty of opportunities to help keep the local athletic community strong.
Interested in bringing a Play It Again Sports to your community? Learn more about our franchise opportunities here.