Duke's merger

H+W Sports owner Shaun Hord, center, poses Monday morning for a photo with Duke’s Sporting Goods’ owners Dale Keith, left, and Tony Carter, right. The two stores have merged, bringing together more than 100 years of experience in the sporting goods industry.

Duke’s Sporting Goods and H+W Sports have merged, bringing together more than 100 years of experience in the sporting goods industry.

The merger became final Monday. Tony Carter, co-owner of Duke’s, said the deal had been in negotiations for about six months. He said he and his business partner, Dale Keith, are getting older and just thought it was time to merge.

Carter said Shaun Hord, owner of H+W Sports in Campbellsville, gave them that opportunity.

“We thought the timing was correct,” he said, noting there will be no name change. “It is still going to be called Duke’s Sporting Goods, which this community has known for 52 years.”

In addition, Carter and Keith said they’re not going anywhere. They’ll still be at the store, continuing to see customers, new and old.

Carter said they’re adopting the motto, “Better together.”

“We’re not known for the cheapest price, we’re known for our customer service and when you combine two companies that are known for that, hopefully that will be a next level type service,” Hord said.

Other than reading about the merger in the news, Carter said the general public won’t notice any difference at the stores.

“Unless, when they come in our stores, they realize that we’re all getting better,” Hord added.

H+W Sport Shop was founded in May 1969 primarily as a retail store, according to its Facebook page. Throughout the past years, H+W has transformed into a diversified sporting goods store.

Now, H+W is primarily focused on team sales to schools, colleges, and organizations, while still focusing on retail, its Facebook page said. Hord’s father, Ronnie Hord, is a founder of the sporting goods store.

Hord said the merger will bump the stores into the top 15 Adidas team dealers in the nation. Duke’s already is the second biggest school jacket seller in the nation. Hord said this could potential bump them to the top slot.

Keith said he thinks the merger is a “great thing.”

“A lot of times when you have a merger you get bigger, but bigger is not always better,” Hord said, noting the goal is to be better and bigger. “We want it to be a win, win, win for not only us as leaders/business owners but for the team and also for the customers.”

“The biggest thing is we want to get better. We want to operate a better service by bringing them together,” he added.

Duke’s Bowling Green location is included in the transaction.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.