Youngsters who have outgrown their gear and adults picking up a new sport can outfit themselves with selections from Play It Again Sports, the largest sporting-goods resale franchise in North America. In its stores, brand-name equipment—from popular makers such as Adidas, Nike, and Wilson—shines in displays alongside gently used wares. This gear helps equip competitive athletes playing sports such as soccer and golf as well as noncompetitive sportspeople who just want to fill golf carts with soccer balls for fun. Patrons can also trade in or sell their equipment, provided that it is still in working condition, and put that money toward new gear.
Gangs of ottomans and mattresses populate Atlantic Bedding and Furniture, whose continually changing designs from Coaster, Forbidden City, Harden, Sealy, Old Town Imports, and other top brands help customers to capture the furniture species of their choice. Treat hard-working eye awnings to a decadent break with a solid hardwood Leonardo bed backed by a strong, modern headboard covered with tufted upholstery that boasts the color of morning cappuccino but the flavor of tufted upholstery ($347 for a queen; $516 for a king). Taking home a Davenport nightstand means never having to precariously perch glasses or bequeathed dentures on thin windowsills ($125). Home-office workers can perch glowing Internet portals atop a classic table desk, creating an imposing pedestal that distracts interning offspring from their demands for a salary ($400).
IT specialists aren’t renowned for their friendliness, but the quartet of technicians at Computer Troubleshooters breaks the mold with their welcoming service. The Anderson branch of the franchise sports the resources and savvy of its award-winning parent and lives up to the company tagline of “Local Service – Global Strength.” Understanding the hair-pulling frustration that occurs when a beloved computer goes on the fritz, the veteran tech surgeons fully revivify Macs and PCs during complete overhauls. Owners can simply drop off their ailing computers with the skillful technicians, who offer a 90-day guarantee on all repairs. Computer tune-ups get slowpoke processors up to speed, virus and spyware removal stops hackers, and data recovery exhumes pictures, business projects, and unfinished novels from their digital graves.
On any given weekend at BattleCat Sports, there can be a robbery, hostage rescue, bomb defusing, or VIP escort in progress. The BattleCat staff specialize in these adrenaline-pumping scenarios as well as team eliminations and last-man-standing games inside the 10,000-square-foot facility, which was designed by military and law-enforcement members as well as airsoft enthusiasts to create a challenging experience. Players grab specially outfitted rifles that shoot BBs in a game that is similar to paintball but without the mess. And to ensure that everyone aged 10 and up can enjoy their time in the arena, the staff enforces rules and provides safety briefings to all participants.
Most people probably don't consider the television to be a danger to their fresh bouquet of flowers. But because it's an appliance that gives off heat, it can easily wilt or dry out blooms. This is the kind of expert advice doled out by the women of Valentin Occasions, who in their years of flower-shop ownership have perfected the challenging art of ensuring flowers last as long as possible. Their experience has made them adept at handling a variety of jobs—they can put together everything from bridal bouquets and corsages to birthday vases and casket sprays. They also deliver weekly to businesses after an onsite visit to determine the appropriate size and shape for reception or boardroom bouquets.