Riding Warehouse is newest branch of SLO sporting goods retailer

sduerr@thetribunenews.comMay 10, 2013 

Riding Warehouse sells tack, apparel, boots, horse blankets and stable equipment for English, Western and endurance riders on its website, www.ridingwarehouse.com.

A global online retail company based in San Luis Obispo has added a seventh warehouse to its lineup, selling such items as tack, apparel, boots, horse blankets and stable equipment for English, Western and Endurance riders.

Tracy Bailey, who owns Riding Warehouse with Sports Warehouse owners Drew Munster and Mark Sczbecki, said Munster approached her last August about joining forces. At the time she had just relocated her 17-year-old company, Long Riders Gear, to Atascadero from San Luis Obispo, she said.

“I had taken my business pretty much as far as I could, I felt, and I had e-commerce and a retail store, and it was growing probably 30 to 40 percent each year in sales,” Bailey said, adding that she was at a turning point.

“I needed more help to grow it further.’’

Munster, whose daughters ride horses, had been thinking about such a venture for years, Bailey said. They formed their partnership in November and opened the warehouse in December at 181 Suburban Road, near Tennis Warehouse and Running Warehouse, she said.

When asked what distinguishes Riding Warehouse from competitors, Bailey replied low prices, customer service and the diverse product selection in the three markets it serves: English, Western and Endurance riding. Doing so expands the clientele, she said.

“Very few companies offer all three, especially endurance and competitive trail riding,” which includes 50-mile and 100-mile races in one day, Bailey said.

Long Riders Gear was one of the leading endurance suppliers in the world, she said. Bailey, who grew up in the Los Angeles area and moved here 25 years ago, formed it in 1996 while competing in endurance and competitive trail riding events.

Bailey hopes that Riding Warehouse will achieve at least $1 million in sales this year through the website, www.ridingwarehouse.com, and retail location. She declined to disclose expected profits.

The Sports Warehouse umbrella operates seven firms specializing in equipment for tennis, running, skateboarding, fishing, cycling, inline skating and riding. Each warehouse has different owners in addition to Munster and Sczbecki.

Riding Warehouse, which has 12 employees, will celebrate its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with raffles, in-store discounts and giveaways.

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