Next generation takes over at Burghardt sporting Goods

Brian, Carl and Kathy Burghardt recently purchased Burghardt Sporting Goods from their mother and father, Connie and Chip Burghardt. The purchase was finalized in early February and made the brothers and sister the fifth generation of the Burghardt family to own the sporting goods store, in business since 1881.

The three are equal partners in the business.

The buyout agreement calls for Chip and Connie Burghardt to be paid out over a 10-year period, Brian Burghardt said. Chip Burghardt will continue working at the store for the foreseeable future.

That 10-year transfer process fits in with the fifth-generation owners’ plans for the business.

“It’s our intention to grow it for the sixth generation,” Brian Burghardt said. “We’ll treat it as Chip has. It’s something that you work during your career and prepare to pass it on. That’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to go so long.”

Brian and Kathy have been working in the family sporting goods store for about 13 years, and Carl has been working there for about eight years. Kathy handles the store’s human resources and office management functions, while Brian and Carl deal with buying and sales matters.

Most of Burghardt Sporting Goods’ sales are in team sports such as baseball, football, lacrosse and softball. Because the store is locally owned and keeps in regular contact with officials from local leagues and high school and college sports teams, it is able to react quickly to rule changes or trends.

“People like the hands-on approach,” Kathy said.

Brian agreed, and said the family routinely deals with parents who started as little league coaches and have moved into coaching club and high school teams as their children get older.

In 2007, Burghardt Sporting Goods’ sales grew by about 10 percent from the previous year.

The store now has about 40 employees and occupies 20,000 square feet at 14660 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield.

The sporting goods store was expanded by 5,000 square feet two years ago and has enough room for at least the next two years, Brian said. However, its new owners are already thinking about the company’s next expansion.

“The next step would be a second location,” he said. “In the next couple of years, we will seriously go after that second location.”

Neither Chip, Brian, Carl or Kathy would speculate where a second Burghardt Sporting Goods location would be, but all four said the store will find ways to serve new customers and markets.

“We all have ideas of expansion in the future,” Brian said.

Burghardt Sporting Goods

Address: 14660 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield
Employees: 40
2007 sales growth: 10 percent
Web site:

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