A cornerstone of the vibrant Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Sportech has been on the cutting edge of the fitness market for 22 years.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
A cornerstone of the vibrant Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Sportech has been on the cutting edge of the fitness market for 22 years. When it comes to sports apparel, footwear, and equipment, the shop has run the marathon and accelerated at every turn.
“My devoted co-owners and employees have enabled us to keep this business growing for so many years. There’s a synergy for all of us,” said co-owner Mel Siegel about his partners’ contributions to the longevity of their successful business.
The co-owners of which he speaks are Head Buyer Karen Moriarty, Retail Manager Soung Kim, and Head Racquet Technician Marc Kessler. Sadly, original partner David Meyers passed away last month.
Way before Sportech was a twinkle in his eye, Siegel was an educator. In addition to teaching all grade levels from pre-school to college, he was the headmaster of the third largest Montessori School in the country in Lafayette, California.
“After being responsible for the financial well-being of an entire school, I thought I’d try my hand in business,” he recalled. Since he was an avid tennis player and a sports enthusiast, he teamed up with his cousin Meyers, “a sharp retailer and a talented head tennis pro.” Together they opened the original store, the Tennis Professional, in 1986. It’s still thriving at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Port Chester.
Shortly thereafter, influenced by the momentum of women in sports, Siegel decided to expand their horizons and opened Sportech with his partners in Rye Brook in 1991. The store continues to embrace women’s sports by carrying specifically designed sporting goods, as well as a fashionable collection of sports wear, accessories, and undergarments.
In addition, the bright 3,900 square-foot store carries the complete sports-related gamut for men and kids also. It specializes in tennis and racquet sport equipment, but also offers a wide array of sporting goods for soccer, squash, basketball, volleyball, running, yoga, and cross fitness. Extensive athletic footwear lines, with shoe fitting specialists on hand, are also available. Patrons also rely on a vast selection of sports watches and sunglasses, orthotics, armbands for iPods, water bottles, and hats.
Buying merchandise for the shop for over 20 years, Moriarty said, “The technical aspect sets us apart. We offer unusual products and we always experiment with various trends and colors.”
She closely follows the evolution of technical fabrics, such as moisture wicking and UV protective sportswear. “We’ve gone from basic polyester to Nike’s Dri-Fit clothing and Adidas’ Climalite. Now, with the availability of technical cottons and wools, we’re going back to natural fibers,” said Moriarty about the high performance textiles that can breathe better and dry faster.
“Beside our merchandise and our technical expertise, customer service has always set us apart,” added Siegel. “We have a long-term connection to our customers.”
Sportech is located at 124 South Ridge Street in Rye Brook. Log on to www.sportechryebrook.com or call 934-0001.