A recent Wharton graduate has returned to Philadelphia in order to "give something back" to the University campus in the form of sporting goods store geared specifically toward its students. As a tennis player during his undergraduate days, 1988 graduate Watson Brown said he thought the area around campus lacked a sporting goods store that sold the equipment he needed. His store, the Athletic Department, will specialize in tennis racket restringing and t-shirt silk-screening, and will also sell sports apparel and footwear. Brown said he hopes that if his store is successful, more area retailers will focus on the students, and expand the University community. A slide show showing University students in action on the court and the field will run against the back wall. Brown said he looked into many state grants to finance the store. He was able to get a state Minority Business Development Authority Grant, but in order to qualify, he had to have already raised 25 percent of the money and have selected a location. Brown got the initial 25 percent from the West Philadelphia Project, an organization funded by 1979 Wharton Graduate Michael Milken. Brown said the store will have an urban motif and a staff that is knowlegeable about the merchandise. "In today's active society, we are dealing with an educated consumer who knows what he is buying," said Manager Rob Gardner. The store's Grand Opening is slated for a week before Thanksgiving, although it may open in late October.Comments powered by Disqus
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