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Bilsons continues to thrive in Turlock
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Steve Moe, co-owner of Bilsons Sport Shop, credits the stores commitment to the community as part of its long-term success. - photo by NATALIE WINTERS/The Journal

Name of Business: Bilson’s Sport Shop

Type of Business: Sporting Goods Store

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: 201 Lander Ave.

Contact Information: 209-634-4543

Business Specialty: Hunting and Team Sports

Small town Turlock thrives on small-town business and no sporting goods store knows that better than Bilson’s Sport Shop.

Specializing in team sports, hunting, athletic apparel and embroidery—Bilson’s prides themselves in being an all season venue.

“We have a specialty person in every department that knows technical information about the product,” said Steve Moe, co-owner of Bilson’s Sport Shop. “That’s the biggest thing, especially in areas of guns. If a customer has something specific in mind—they want to be able to go in, ask questions and make a decision without having to worry about finding someone for help.”

The business started in 1955 when Bill Bilson opened the store in Ceres, later moving to Turlock.  Brad Bilson and Steve Moe bought the business from Bill (Brad’s father) in 1997 and have had a successful co-ownership.

“Our people and our staff set us apart from the big corporate owned sporting goods stores,” said Moe. “Most everybody here has worked in the sporting goods industry for a long time, and has experience and knowledge that they bring with them.”

A physical feature that off sets Bilson’s from a corporate owned store is the mounted taxidermy on the walls given to them by clients, alongside sponsorship plaques from teams throughout the area.

“We are a small town business that cares about our customers,” said Moe. “It’s important for us to stay in touch with the community and we love to give back.”

Bilson’s is constantly working on retail, as they compete with corporate stores that outsize them by roughly 38,000 feet. 

“We can’t fill the shelves as high as corporate stores, but ordering is huge for us; we always have orders going—customer orders, school orders—probably every 10 minutes,” said Moe. “There’s a network of people in town and they get it—they shop local. It’s small businesses helping small businesses.