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Way to Go

Van, Julie and Jacob Allen

Van’s Sporting Goods

Cullman, Alabama


A Sporting Goods Store Finds Local Banking A Natural Fit

Vans Sporting Goods’ owner Van Allen doesn’t worry about competition from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Outdoor or even Bass Pro Shop. His secret? A wider selection at competitive prices. His customers don’t worry about having to make a long drive to find what they’re looking for. Located less than 10 miles from Smith Lake, Vans Sporting Goods is the go-to store for people in the Cullman area who can’t wait for deer season. Van credits Merchants for helping him stay competitive. “My business is seasonal. Getting the right selection means having to buy early in the year. Merchants gave me the line of credit that enables me to keep a competitive inventory.”

Van grew up working in his family’s grocery store in Mississippi. At night, he processed deer for local hunters, building a business that would expand from a 1,500 square foot facility to 8,800 square feet to the 25,000 square foot store he has today. Van’s wife Julie runs the Cullman store which is over 15,000 square feet. His stores’ success haven’t just answered the needs of his customers. Like many small business owners, I’m able provide good jobs to the area with 401Ks and benefits.Though growing a successful retail business hasn’t been easy, Van says that a smaller bank makes banking easy.

They know you on a personal level. You can get what you need quicker from someone you’ve been with a while. It’s all about that relationship.


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