VERONA, NJ - After 48 years in business, Verona Sports Center announced its “Store Closing Retirement Sale,” and the store will be closing its doors permanently in the foreseeable future. The store’s owner, Ben Leuzzi, noted that all items in the store are at least 50 percent off, and no closing date has been determined.
With the recent closure of Terry’s Pharmacy, Leuzzi says 2019 is proving to be the perfect storm for two Verona business owners approaching retirement while online shopping has continued to grow. “Unfortunately, we are not positioned for mail order and the 2018 holiday shopping season was our lowest ever in sales,” said Leuzzi. “Retail will continue to take big hits with industry changes.”
A mainstay in Verona for nearly half a century, the impact the store has had in the community is immeasurable.
“We’ve provided excellent customer service to our community partners in Verona representing many different sports and types of organizations,” said Leuzzi. “We’ve provided equipment and t-shirts to the Verona Recreation Department. Players from the Verona Eagles have come in for equipment and ordered their team jackets. We’ve sponsored teams in the Verona Baseball/Softball League as well as the former American Legion Post 183 Summer team. We’ve supported our schools in many ways including with booster club support and for silent auctions.”
Leuzzi takes great pride in his store and has gone above and beyond for his customers. “We’ve kept a full supply line of gloves, bats, and other necessities that people could conveniently buy even just moments before a game,” he said. “We’ve also proudly sold Verona spirit wear that customers could buy even for a last-minute gift. For many years we were able to offer convenient hours sometimes until 8pm and beyond if someone needed to be outfitted in full ice hockey gear.”
Verona Sports Center customers took to Facebook to express their gratitude for decades of unwavering support and fond memories. Former Verona High School Athletic Director Rich Meyer wrote, “Ben was always helpful to our athletic program. We appreciated all that you did for our athletes!”
“Bought my first set of equipment from Ben, got the ‘tour’ of downstairs when I was being fitted . . .and remember the old man fondly sharpening skates . . . enjoy retirement, you deserve to relax and kick back . . . you’ll definitely be missed,” wrote Tommy Bowers.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.