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West Fargo sporting goods store closing after 27 years

After selling sports-related gear for 27 years, Dennis Diede is closing the doors at Valley Sporting Goods. “I started out in my home in 1988 selling printed material,” he said. Photo by David Samson

Valley Sporting Goods is closing its doors after 27 years of business in West Fargo.

Owner Dennis Diede said the store will close sometime in June but a “store closing sale” is currently underway at 1122 Prairie Parkway.

The building has already been sold but fixtures and printing equipment is still for sale, Diede said.

The sale marks the end of an era in Diede’s life.

“I started out in my home in 1988 selling printed material,” he said.

Diede opened his first store on Sheyenne Street in 1990, later moving to another Sheyenne location.

Initially, his inventory included some team apparel, a few bats and some (West Fargo) Packer apparel, Diede said.

Diede opened his current store in July 1999.

“We built the building. We went from 1,200 square feet to 3,000 square feet,” he said. “It gave us more room to add the printing equipment.

“This just gave us an opportunity to expand our hockey and baseball lines, he said.

His father, Albert Diede, often helped him run the store.

Valley Sporting Goods did the majority of its screen printing on-site, Diede said.

That included team jerseys and club T-shirts for intramural teams and softball leagues.

His customer base was mostly from West Fargo and a few regulars from out of town who liked the store, Diede said.

The small-store atmosphere, he said, gave him an opportunity to deal with customers on a more personal basis.

In recent years, Diede has been serving a whole new generation of customers.

“The little kids that were in hockey, now their kids are coming through,” he said.”

Diede said he hasn’t decided what his future plans are.

“I just want to do something else. I’ve been kind of contemplating this for a couple of years,” Diede said.