Dick’s Sporting Goods aims to ‘redefine’ sports retail

PITTSBURGH (TNS) — Findlay-based Dick’s Sporting Goods continues to shift away from the Field & Stream brand in favor of its House of Sport concept with an announcement of nine new House of Sport stores — significantly larger and more profitable versions of traditional Dick’s stores.

House of Sport — an approximately 100,000-square-foot store — differs from a standard Dick’s Sporting Goods store in that it provides not just athletic gear and apparel, but amenities such as athletic training facilities, rock climbing walls, batting cages and outdoor fields, and services for activities ranging from cycling to golf.

The new stores opened in July and August, the company said in the Aug. 18 announcement. Texas and New York (Latham and Binghamton) saw two new openings, while single stores opened in Iowa, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, in Scranton.

“These grand openings have been a superb way to introduce the House of Sport store to our customers in these markets,” Toni Roeller, senior vice president of in-store environment, visual merchandising and House of Sport, said in a statement. “We’re equally excited about bringing House of Sport to more communities in 2024 and beyond.”

The company plans to open 10 more House of Sport stores in 2024 and 75 to 100 by the end of 2027, said Lauren Hobart, president and chief executive officer of Dick’s Sporting Goods, during the company’s first quarter earnings conference call, in May.

Dick’s previously announced that a House of Sport will open in Pittsburgh, but no timeline was given. Company officials did not respond to a request for comment on the Pittsburgh store.

Dick’s opened its first Field & Stream in Cranberry in 2013, catering to outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. The company began moving away from Field & Stream when it introduced its outdoor concept store Public Lands following the 2018 decision to stop selling assault-style rifles following the massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

Hobart predicted that House of Sport will be a “significant driver” for the company’s growth in sales and square footage.

During a March earnings call, she described the House of Sport store format as “redefining sports retail.”

“It’s an experiential destination that was inspired by (Dick’s Chairman) Ed (Stack) as he challenged us to create the concept that, if built across the street from a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, we’d put that store out of business,” she said. “Since launching House of Sport in 2021, our initial three locations have exceeded our expectations (while) delivering much higher total sales and profit as well as much higher sales and profit on a per square foot basis.”

Dick’s has 10 stores across Western New York from Rochester to Buffalo, including Batavia. A Dick’s House of Sport is located in Eastview Mall, Victor.

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