Monday December 4, 2023

Dick’s Sporting Goods All-In on Experiential

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Design: Alex Brooks
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Victor, a small town in Western New York, is the new home of the biggest Dick’s Sporting Goods store ever.

If you’re looking to get in a quick workout with gear off the shelf, you’ll want to check out the 100,000-square-foot building in the Eastview Mall. Called House of Sport, the store includes an indoor rock-climbing wall, golf driving bay, putting bay, and health and wellness store. A track-and-turf field sits just outside.

“We really look at this as it’s almost like starting a brand-new company,” said executive chairman and chief merchant Ed Stack. “The vision that I laid out for this concept was we wanted to build the store … the experience that would put Dick’s Sporting Goods out of business.”

House of Sport will act as a test site for other Dick’s Sporting Good stores — elements that perform well are likely to be implemented elsewhere. Dick’s will also allow local sports teams to use its field and groups to use its conference room.

Experiential concepts have been on the rise in retail.

  • YETI’s first flagship store opened in 2017 and includes a YETI bar and performance stage. 
  • Nordstrom recently added Tonal stations to at least 40 locations.
  • The House of Vans includes a skatepark.

The opening comes at a time when shoppers are eager to get back to spending. Bloomberg estimates around $1.7 trillion was saved from the beginning of the pandemic through January, and consumer spending is expected for its strongest showing over the next two quarters in 70 years.

The next House of Sport store is slated open to next month in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dick’s reported Q4 2020 net sales of $3.1 billion. Full-year net sales reached $9.58 billion.

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