SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Over 40 years ago, South Plainfield natives Tom Kiczulaand Kevin Brown set out to offer sporting goods and apparel to residents of the South Plainfield, Piscataway and Edison areas.
“Back then, I was out of a college for a year, working for Mack Drugs in Woodbridge Center as an assistant manager. I got to talking with my high school friend, Kevin Brown,” said Kiczula. “We thought opening a sporting goods store would be a good idea because there wasn't much around at that time and there was a need.”
Kiczula and Brown opened Sportworld in the Golden Acres Shopping Center in 1977 and, for a period of time, also operated the business at a second location in Hadley Center. Sportworld relocated to its current space in the former Pik-A-Toy and old movie theater complex on South Plainfield Avenue in in 2002.
Over the past 42 years, Sportworld has sold sports apparel and goods and offered custom on-premise silkscreen printing and embroidery. Sportworld also boasts a 2,800-square foot indoor baseball/softball training facility. Earlier this year, however, Brown made the decision to retire, but Sportworld, said Kiczula, isn’t going anywhere.
In the coming weeks, Kiczula’s nephew, Ryan Hutchison, will be taking over as co-owner with the store looking to focus more on expanding and updating both its on-premise silkscreening and embroidery offerings and training facility.
“We’ll have some new blood in the business; he is young and enthusiastic,” Kiczula told TAPinto South Plainfield. “Our goal is to bring in new business, maybe change the focus up a little bit and bring Sportworld into 2019. He has some good ideas.”
Sportworld’s upstairs indoor baseball/softball training facility features two batting cages and two pitching tunnels and Kiczulasaid plans are under way to add strength and agility classesalong with possibly offering personal fitness training atthe facility. “We encourage individuals and teams to come here and use it,” said Kiczula, noting that private instruction is also available.
During the transition, said Kiczula, customers can expect ‘business as usual’ as well as take advantage of the reorganization clearance sale taking place.
Currently, the store’s entire stock of apparel, including jackets, shirts, baseball and softball pants as well as baseball equipment (bags, helmets, fieldersand batting gloves), football and soccer supplies, cleats, Under Armour items, and more for men, women and children, is marked 25- to 50-percent off.
“This is a great time to stop down, say hello, and get some great deals,” wrote Kiczula in a letter to the editor sent to TAPinto South Plainfield last week. “I hope all our existing customers will continue to shop with us and hopefully some new customers, both team and corporate, will discover Sportworld.
He added, “We have made some great friends and customers over the years and again, I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done for us.”
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