Storefront square footage reduces by half as Conklin’s Mercantile takes over other half

A look at Maine Sport Outfitters’ new Main Street renovation

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 10:45am

CAMDEN—Like the bellows of an accordian, Maine Sport Outfitters has expanded over the years and has now contracted, essentially splitting the square footage of the storefront in half and re-opening with renovations to its Main Street, Camden, location.

“The original Maine Sport store was in this exact space maybe 25 years ago,” said Tyler Smith, Director of Property Management and Development Bayview Management. “Before that, it had been on Bay View Street in two locations in the mid-1980s, before we moved to Main Street.”

In the 1990s, after being in the Main Street location, the store had gone through an expansion.

“At one point the candy store, Candy Harbor, was next door,” said Smith. “Then Maine Sport took over both spaces and we put in an archway to connect it to the other storefront space.”

But, for the summer of 2020, and Smith said well before the COVID-19 pandemic began, plans had already been in place to reduce the store back to its original footprint.  On the other side, Conklin Mercantile now has taken up residence. 

Among the renovations to Maine Sport include the removal of granite sills to make an entrance ramp ADA-complaint.

Inside, the archway to the other side of the store has been bricked over, the floors have been refinished and a new tin ceiling has been installed.

“We put in a brand new ceiling for both Conklin Mercantile and Maine Sport, so it harkens back to the building’s original architecture and provides a little nostalgia,” said Smith.

The industrial decor inside Maine Sport Outfitters’ Camden location takes a page from a section of its Rockport location.

“We partnered with Patagonia [an outdoor clothing and gear company] and brought some of those same elements from the Rockport store to the Camden location with exposed brick and task lighting instead of fluorescent lighting,” said Smith.

Tying in a local aesthetic to highlight Maine artists, Maine Sport ran a photo contest last year and awarded the winner, Amanda Shelmerdine a prominent display of her lakefront photograph behind the register. And as part of the Poetry on Windows campaign that ran early June, writer/poet Kristen Lindquist’s oceanic poem graces the glass window.

To comply with COVID-19 regulations, Maine Sport only allows five customers into the store at a time and masks are required. For more information about Maine Sport Outfitters visit: https://mainesport.com


Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com