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Dick’s Sporting Goods to look to outdoors as new growth vehicle


Giant US retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is to launch a new retail concept dedicated to the outdoors.

The group has a reported 10% of the US fishing tackle market and could increase that significantly with new stores under its Public Lands banner.

The first two locations will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio, in the second half of 2021, taking over the company’s Field & Stream stores in those cities.  They will stock equipment, apparel and footwear at ‘elevated price points with elevated brands and elevated service’, says the company.

Dick’s already has around 800 stores across the US and is looking to carve out a different niche with this new concept. The company has been divesting itself of its Field & Stream business over the last 18 months. It sold 10 stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse in late 2019 and early 2020, leaving it with more than 20 locations under that banner.

The fact that the first of the new stores will occupy Field & Stream locations suggests that might be the strategy, with CEO, ED Stack, saying that the architecture of the stores ‘work very well with this concept’.

He also said the overlap between Dick’s current outdoor products and those housed by Public Lands is about 20% or less.  With Dick’s retreating from gun sales since the Parkland, Florida, shooting in 2018, it appears to be switching its outdoor focus from hunting to other outdoor pursuits.

“As we look to exit out of the Field & Stream and the firearms businesses, one of the places where we think there is a great opportunity is the outdoors,” said Stack. “With the research we have done, we think there is a real opportunity from people getting outdoors, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and kayaking. We believe it’s important to protect our public lands and the environment. This concept will be really focused on that.”

Stack described the new concept as a ‘real growth vehicle’ that he will focus on as he moves from CEO to Executive Chairman early next year.

Social distancing requirements allied to COVID have triggered an upsurge in the sales of fishing and outdoor equipment, but Stack said the concept was in development before the pandemic hit.

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