The ultimate M Den
Unfortunately, just a few years later, big-box sporting goods stores started popping up, selling cheaper versions of their top-end products. Their business took a big hit, and Hirth and Horning started looking for ways to reposition themselves. They'd always carried Michigan clothing, and when they saw an empty storefront in Briarwood mall's center court in the early '80s, they took another plunge. "We put in a store that just carried Michigan clothing and gifts, and we called it the M Den."
They, changed the name of the Main Street store to M Den, too, got rid of the sporting goods, and did so well they were eventually able to open a third location in Livonia and a fourth in Novi. M Den is also the sole concessionaire for the Michigan athletic department (the contract comes up for renewal at the end of June), and it has the Michigan clothing concessions at Michigan Stadium and Crisler and Yost arenas.
Now that they've hit the big time, Hirth and Horning have no plans to expand further. "The State Street location is a major, major, major step," says Hirth. "We're expanded."