1949. Lt. Col. Allen Shepherd completed his duties at Madison’s Truax field upon arriving home from Europe after WWII, then found himself assigned to Wausau, WI where he was happy to settle near Stanley Schaller, also a Vet and brother-in-law too. With expertise and an itch for outdoor recreation, the two set up shop downtown. An awesome photo of our founders is hanging above our front counter. Have you seen it?
Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods’ first store was only a few hundred square feet but it was big enough to stock what folks in the area wanted for hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, diving, bowling and athletics. A new location up the block a few years later let them expand their offering as customer expectations grew. They had grown to become a destination and part of the heartbeat of Downtown Wausau at 324 Scott Street.
Shep’s (as the locals know us) has always been about relationships. Al and Stan knew their customers by name. They rolled up their sleeves and served the community and the industry. In no time at all, they were making their mark on the local, regional and national landscape, leading the local Rotary Club, chairing the Wisconsin Merchants Federation, and directing the National Sporting Goods Association, to name a few.
Jump ahead 70 years. Shep’s has grown by a few thousand square feet (with the addition of the neighboring building) refined our product mix to Outdoor Specialty. Repairs and rentals get full-time, expert attention, and an e-commerce site mean’s Shep’s sells nationwide. We’re still family owned and operated but as always our team is built of enthusiastic experts who play as hard as they work. We still support local teams and organizations with funds, time and talent.
Our building is 120-years-old and was once home to the first JC Penney store east of the Mississippi. Some say it’s haunted (you can Google it). Our sales floor will remind you of a mountain ski shop. It features artifacts and furnishings from our long history – everything gets re-used. We modify our merchandise mix every season to stay ahead of trends. But what makes us truly unique is our 70-year history, which provides unparalleled insight into Wausau area culture, customer tastes and needs.
Our owner, Robb Shepherd, has been at the helm since 1986. He grew our footprint with a second location in Wisconsin Rapids in the 1990s. He’s known and respected by ski and snowboard manufacturers industry-wide and often serves as a consultant to Nations Best Sports in behalf of other small shops trying to complete with big box stores. As for the sports categories we’ve presented over the years? He walks the walk.
Our 10 full-time employees collectively have 120 years of retail experience to help customers have the best time possible on snow, trails, or wherever the outdoors takes them. Even if it is old fashioned, it’s been personal to us since 1949.
As we prepare our for our 70th Anniversary Celebration in 2019, where we’re going from here will continue to evolve, but our history will always flavor your experience shopping at Shep’s .
It’s our party and you’re invited! Shepherd & Schaller is 65 years old and we’re not getting tired yet. In fact, we’re feeling more energetic than ever here at historic 324 Scott Street in downtown Wausau. Shop during our Anniversary Celebration September 18-21 and enjoy special opportunities and huge discounts in every department.
Our Anniversary falls during our month-long Preseason Snow Sports Sale, so you know the savings and excitement are outrageous. Here’s what you’ll get when you shop:
Lowest prices of the season on all new Ski and Snowboard Equipment
Up to 20% off all new fall and winter Outerwear, Clothing, Footwear and Accessories (Spin the Wheel for great discounts!)
Smartwool Socks – Buy 3, Get 1 Free
Shoes – Buy 1 Pair, Get the 2nd Half Off
Shop our 65% off Rack featuring winter outerwear, sportswear, swimwear and yoga clothes.
Enter to Win! We’re giving away great prizes including a Stormy Kromer Hats, a Free Season Pass to Granite Peak Ski Area, Free lift passes for Granite Peak Fall Color Chairlift Rides, and Free Tickets to Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back” and our Apres’ Ski Party at the Grand Theater on Nov. 15th.
Partner with us as we work to keep our entire community warm this winter. Drop off a clean, reusable coat and we will deliver it to the Wausau Women’s Community, who will make sure every donation get in the hands of someone who needs it. You’ll get a coupon for *25% off your purchase of a new coat or jacket during our Anniversary Event for each jacket you drop off. Thank you for helping.
Thank you Wausau and Central Wisconsin for 65 wonderful years!
*Discount may not be combined with other discounts or sale offers. Discounts are not retroactive to prior purchases.
Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods first store, in 1949, was only a few hundred square feet. You could call it a “tiny box store.” But it was big enough for Allen Shepherd & Stan Schaller to stock what folks in the area wanted for hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, diving, bowling and athletics. A new location up the block a few years later let them expand their offering as customer expectations grew. They had grown to become a “small box” store at 324 Scott Street in Downtown Wausau.
Shep’s (as the locals know us) has always been about relationships. Al and Stan knew their customers by name and their suppliers too. They rolled up their sleeves and served the community and the industry. In no time at all, the they were making their mark on the local, regional and national landscape, leading the local Rotary Club, chairing the Wisconsin Merchants Federation, and directing the National Sporting Goods Association, to name a few.
Jump ahead more than 60 years and only a few things have changed. Shep’s has refined our product mix to specialize in Outdoor products for skiers and snowboarders, paddlers and cyclists, water sports lovers, disc golfers, footwear fanatics and trend setters who follow fashion hand-in-hand with function. Repairs and rentals get a lot of attention, as well as custom orders. We’re still family owned and operated and as always our team is staffed by enthusiastic experts who play as hard as they work. We still support local teams and organizations with funds, time and talent, and partner with people who get things done for the communities they serve, like Nations Best Sports, so we can bring you big-box prices with mom-and-pop service.
With the Ski Department occupying 90% of the sales floor September through March; Shepherd & Schaller is integral to the local ski community. We host annual used equipment swaps, fundraisers for local ski and snowboard teams, race league nights. We sponsor an annual New Gear Demo each March at Wisconsin’s premier ski destination – Granite Peak Ski Area. We develop contests and organize community events including the Warren Miller film premier and Après Ski Party. The entire staff is involved at Granite Peak Ski Area as ski and snowboard instructors, ski patrols, racers, gatekeepers, etc. Our own Brian Trybula is the Salomon Pro in the Midwest, and Josh Haight is the K2 Snowboard Pro for the area. Seth Alwin is an Iron Man and telemark expert. When he’s not body kiting or grass skiing, Tony Selenske is setting new boundaries for skiing far outside the lines. Like the rest of our team, all are known far outside of Wausau for their talent on-snow and expert guidance in the store.
What makes us unique? Shepherd and Schaller is a one-of-a-kind place to shop and a cornerstone of the Downtown Wausau community. Customers shop three floors, including our famous basement “Dungeon.” Our building is 115-years-old and was once the home to the first JC Penney store east of the Mississippi. Some say it’s haunted (you can Google it). Our sales floor is merchandised like a mountain ski shop and features artifacts and furnishings from our long history – everything gets re-used. We rent skis, boards, snowshoes and ice skates in winter, at prices much lower than local ski areas, and we offer long-term leases as well. We modify our merchandise mix very season as customers demand and our community evolves. But what makes us truly unique is our 65-year history, which provides unparalleled insight into how we run our business and serve our customers. Our owner Robb Shepherd has been at the helm since 1986. He is known and respected by ski and snowboard suppliers industry-wide and often serves as a consultant to Nations Best Sports in behalf of other small shops trying to complete with big box stores. Our 10 full-time employees collectively have 118 years experience in our store alone to help customers have the best time possible on snow, trails, or wherever the outdoors takes them. We respect our suppliers and the challenges they face and we consider our sales representatives friends, understanding that they can help us make great decisions, satisfy our customers and grow our business.
Some ask us “Why would anyone want to be an independent retailer?” Our answer is, with competition at every turn, an economy we all struggle in, and only 24 hours in a day, is it worth it? We can’t answer for anyone else, but because ours is a toy store for grown-ups in a community that values integrity, family and the environment, the answer is Yes! We wouldn’t have it any other way. Who wouldn’t love our job? We offer the coolest gear for outdoor enthusiasts, the manufacturers we work with believe in the things that matter, the events we host and support make a difference, the community we work in appreciates the effort and most importantly the customers we serve are our friends. As Tom Hanks says in the film You’ve Got Mail, to us “It’s personal.”
The presidents and CEOs of the most respected manufacturers in sport are our friends, not just names on a database. These relationships help us to know the ins and outs of the industry like no one else you might shop with.We don’t just sell. We shop. We personally select the products we offer, compare them, test them, inspect them and help customers choose them. It’s a difference we enjoy when we ourselves shop locally and we’re told it’s meaningful here at Shep’s. Even if it is old fashioned, it’s been personal to us since 1949.
The best part of what we do is watch excited customers head out with new gear that is just what they wanted, knowing we took care of all the steps necessary to bring those products to town and position them to make someone’s day. We love hearing stories of adventure and family when folks come back to share. (Join us during Christmas break – Shep’s is a gathering place for friends who can’t wait to reconnect!)
When dad, Allen Shepherd, coined the original shop tag line “It pays to play” he didn’t mean we’d get rich working this hard. He meant it is critical for personal and family health and happiness to include exercise and relaxation in your life. He was right, and we feel fortunate to have 65 years of experience to guide us. So while there are moments of craziness in every day, we’re not crazy. We honestly enjoy being an independent retailer.
A few last words as we prepare our Anniversary Celebration: We pack 15,000+ square feet of retail space full with the best performing brand name apparel, equipment, and accessories for any outdoor adventure. We scour trade shows for the latest must-have item and work to keep our store full of the most sought after gear. For those who can’t travel to exotic downtown Wausau, Wisconsin, shopping http://www.shepssports.com is an easy way to take advantage of our selection and service. Our web store was launched in 2011 and demonstrates our commitment to providing service and resources our customers demand. We write our own Blog and support our community by sharing news of the great stuff that happens around own too.
Our sales events are advertised regionally on television, radio and local newspapers and our message and invitation to join the fun is shared via social media daily. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare. Please look for us there!
Our fabulous store and staff are available to customers seven days a week. We trim hours a little during the summer, but during the height of ski season you can visit us as follows:
Information on store ours and events is updated regularly at www.shepssports.com. Come see us at one of our 2014 Fall/Winter events:
September – Shep’s Month-long Preseason Snow Sports Sale
Sept 6-7 – Shep’s Tent Sale during Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend
Sept 18-21 – Shep’s Anniversary Event
Oct 4 – Granite Peak Ski Team Ski Swap (at Granite Peak/Fundraiser)
Oct 22-26 – Shep’s Annual Dungeon Sale
Nov 1 – Rib Mountain Ski Club Ski Swap (Marathon Park)
Nov 6 – Team Night @ Shep’s
Nov 15 – Warren Miller Premier (at the Grand Theater) & Shep’s 65th Anniversary Après Ski Party!
Nov 28 – Black Friday Sale
Dec 1 – Cyber Monday Sale
Check our some of our Milestones
September 1949 – Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods opens at 212 Scott Street, downtown Wausau, WI (current location of BMO Bank Plaza Patio)
September 1961 – Store moves to current location at 324 Scott Street. Building is purchased.
1988 – Robb Shepherd assumes day-to-day operations and ownership.
1988 – Second store location at Shopko Plaza in Wisconsin Rapids opens. (store closed 1992)
Spring 1994 – Parking lot at Scott Street and 4th Street purchased for customer convenience.
Spring 1999 – Adjacent building at 320 Scott Street is purchased; store expanded creating over 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space, adding warehouse space. Two 1300 sq. ft. studio apartments created and retail space at 318 Scott Street remodeled. Historic renovation of both storefronts completed.
65-years-old and we’ve never looked better. Why not celebrate our 65th Anniversary rather than let it slide by while waiting in line for an AARP card? Let’s PAR-TAY!
Sept 18-20th, smack in the middle of our month-long Preseason Snow Sports Sale, Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods will give you the gifts. Register to win a free season pass to Granite Peak Ski Area (the midwest’s premier destination with another brand new high speed 6-pack chairlift to enjoy.) You could also win a free Night Pass to introduce a friend to skiing or snowboarding too. Other great prizes are on tap, along with special savings like these:
Buy 3 Get 1 Free Smartwool Socks
65% off select Winter Outerwear
Get Half Off your 2nd pair of Shoes
Get Half Off matching snow pants with every new Ski or Snowboard Jacket
Spin the Discount Wheel for up to 20% off any in stock winter clothing or footwear item
Unfortunately you can’t combine these great Anniversary Event deals with other discounts or offers.
Join us November 15th too, when we host a proper Apres Ski Party at the Grand Theater in Downtown Wausau following Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back”, which just happens to be the famous filmmakers homage to 65 years of mountain culture and adventure film making.