Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Century Martial Art Supply to Expand / with Second Retail Store

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Century Martial Art Supply to Expand / with Second Retail Store

Article excerpt

A second retail Karate Store will be opened Friday by Century Martial Art Supply Inc. of Midwest City in the Heritage Plaza, i t was announced Tuesday.

In addition, Century is seeking more retail outlets.

However, despite Century's success as the world's largest supplier of martial art equipment, and despite the success of the firm's successful retail store at Crossroads Mall, retail space has been hard to find, said Chairman Michael Dillard.

Century would be in a position to open "numerous stores next month" if the firm could find the space in larger malls, he said.

"Karate has an image problem," said Dillard, "and mall owners have been apprehensive about the kind of products sold and the kind of people the store would attract.

"However, the Crossroads store is changing their minds, he added.

The Crossroads store, the first in the nation for Century, is expected to complete its first year with sales of about $200,000 in only 750 square feet of space. It is being reopned after being closed for two weeks to complete a $9,000 renovation.

Century, which manufactures uniforms in Midwest City and is a national supplier, has projected overall sales of $13 million for this year, mostly through martial art schools.

The new Karate Store will occupy 1,000 square feet at Heritage Plaza.

"We have been extremely pleased with the results from the Crossroads Mall store," said Dillard. "Its success is the reason we are opening our second store in Midest City.

"We have the highest dollar volume per square feet among the specialty tenants at Crossroads Mall. We are a star out there.

"However, most managers don't understand the broad appeal of our products. …

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