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Beloved local sports retailer to close after six decades
After 66 years in business, local sporting goods retailer Bilson’s is calling it quits (Photo contributed).

After 66 years in business, Bilson’s Sport Shop at 201 Lander Ave. in Turlock is preparing to close its doors.

The well-known shop was opened in 1955 by William Bilson. In 1997, Bilson handed the

business off to his son, Brad, and friend Steven Moe. After decades of a successful co-ownership, the rise of online retailers and continued supply chain shortages have led the team to call it quits.

Bilson was brutally honest in his reasoning for the permanent closure of his business, explaining that trying to compete with ecommerce and bigger box stores is too difficult and the business is no longer fun for him. While this is the case, he acknowledged that stepping away from the business his father built will be a bittersweet experience.

“What I will miss the most is the generations of customers we’ve been able to serve. I have been here since I was 14 years old and still have customers come in to talk about my dad,” Bilson said. “My dad taught me everything about this business and I will miss being able to pass that knowledge on to my customers.”

As part of the closing process, Bilson’s will be having a massive going out of business sale, which will take place over the course of two days next week. Every single piece of sporting goods, apparel, fixtures, equipment and store supplies must be sold, with items being discounted up to 50% off.

The sale will begin on Wednesday in a private session taking place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The general public will have an opportunity to take advantage of discounted items on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Leading up to the two days of blowout sales, the store will remain open during its regular hours which is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Despite their plans to close, Bilson’s ensured that all team sports orders will be fulfilled.

“We’ve been in business for too long, and your business is far too important to us,” the store said in a recent social media post.

The store also encourages customers to visit their website,, and subscribe to emails as they will be providing important updates regarding the store closure.

“To all our regular customers I'd like to say thank you. I've truly enjoyed serving you and appreciate your support over the years,” Bilson said. “To all my new or soon-to-be new customers, I'd like to say, ‘welcome.’ To all my customers, I look forward to helping you enjoy the savings as I embark on my final sale ever.”