Timm Bartlett will open Pro Image in Heritage Mall on June 14th. The Lebanon High School graduate will feature apparel and other professional and collegs sports merchandise.
As Timm Bartlett walked alongside the mostly vacant walls he envisioned exactly how it will look a week from today.
Bartlett will open the newest store in Heritage Mall on Monday, June 14th whe Pro Image greets mid-valley customers for the first time and his walls will burst with sports apparel and merchandise.
"This is a wonderful location," said Bartlett, who grew up in Lebanon and is glad to bring his store to Albany. "I know how it will lay out."
Pro Image is all about sports and Bartlett thingks that sports fans stay loyal to their team or their favorite player. He's banking on that connection to bring the kind of sales he has experienced at his first store in Bend.
"I've had that store for five years. It is what got me interested in opening a second store here," he said.
Bartlett noticed that visitors to Bend often commented about not having a similar store in the valley.
"I saw a need. There are a lot of sports fans and we have everything for the fan. If a player is wearing it, we carry it," he said.
The walls at Pro Image will be sectioned off for easy shopping according to Bartlett. One side is dedicated to novelty sports items like watches, clocks, banners and mugs. The rest of the store will split between professional and college sportswear.
"The back of the store will be dedicated to college sports. A lot of Oregon and Oregon State gear," Bartlett said.
Still he has plans to adapt as seasons change. The middle of the store will feature items from whichever sport is in season. He'll rely on hats, jerseys and jackets to account for a lot of sales but Bartlett will adjust to what his customers are seeking.
"We will special order and we'll have some collectibles," said Bartlett, who said autographed baseballs and footballs will be available. "At first we'll take some baby steps and see who is shopping ... what they're looking for."
Based in Utah, Pro Image provides Bartlett with strong corporate backing. He said custom and online orders will be available.
"There are 75 stores across the nation but only my two in Oregon," noted Bartlett, who has been involved in retail for 30 years.
Always a sports fan, Bartlett worked a number of years for Nike before taking the next step to his own business in Bend. The Heritage Mall store offers 2,900-square-feet, nearly twice what he has in Bend.
Bartlett will open with five employees but expects once football season apporaches he'll need more all the way through the holiday season.
"Our people love sports and know sports," he said. "The recession has hurt but I think people are readjusting and doing the things they have a passion for again. A lot of those things revolve around sports."
Heritage Mall Marketing Director Melody Clard said bringing Pro Image in was a big step for the mall.
"It's a store with a good following and Timm has a gread head for business," she said. "Hopefully we can callaborate with him on special events."
One special event will jump-start the store on Friday, June 18th, when a grand opening will take place. Special sales and drawings will take place thoughout the day.
Pro Image is open in the mall from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The store phone number is (541) 981-2983, and Pro Image can be reached online at www.proimage.net.