Dick’s Sporting Goods Focuses on Experiential Store Expansion and Hybrid Tech Approach
More About House of Sport
Experiential in-store elements include HitTrax batting cages, TrackMan golf simulators, a rock climbing wall, a putting green, an outdoor turf field and running track, and premium full-service footwear decks.
“They inspire confidence in our athletes and reinforce the power of our expertise.” — Lauren Hobart, President & CEO
This year, the company plans to open up nine more House of Sport locations (eight of which will be Dick’s and Field & Stream combo stores, and one will be a relocation). Next year, the plan is to begin construction on 10 more locations. New locations include downtown Boston, Pittsburgh, and Binghamton, N.Y.
“Dick's House of Sport is redefining sports retail. It's an experiential destination…that fosters deep community involvement, goes well beyond traditional retail, and has become a destination where athletes can fuel their passions,” said Lauren Hobart, the company’s president and CEO, during the call with investors.
“House of Sport will be a significant part of our future growth story. And over the next five years, we could have as many as 75 to 100 Houses of Sport [stores] across the country,” Hobart added.
Additional changes include converting more than 100 existing stores to premium full-service footwear locations, converting temporary value chain stores to permanent locations, and growing the footprint of new store concepts like its Golf Galaxy business through Golf Galaxy Performance Center.
Just last month, the company also acquired outdoor retailer Moosejaw from Walmart. “A real affirmation of our commitment to growth in the multibillion-dollar outdoor category,” said Hobart.
The company said it will continue to elevate its omnichannel experiences through “meaningful investments” in technology with a long-term outlook. Through recent innovations, we see how Dick’s Sporting Goods is achieving a strong hybrid in-person and online experience.
“We've leveraged distinct in-store elements powered by technology to provide an unparalleled athlete experience. These strategies in combination with our personalized marketing engine and brand building efforts are working,” said Hobart.
This past summer, for example, the company released a virtual play on its House of Sport store model via a Roblox experience named School of Sport. It consisted of six virtual spaces, taking place at Dick's Sporting Goods High and mimicking the characteristics of a real-world high school.
Additionally, last year, Dick’s announced it was loading its in-store tablets with inventory monitoring technology called “Shoe Runner.” The tech allows consumers to scan a shoe to see if the size is in stock; if it’s not, they can either order it from their phone or see other shoes that are in stock in that size.
RIS News recently spoke with Penelope Sur, the vice president of talent management for Dick’s Sporting Goods, who outlined how the team has embedded flexibility into benefits, how greater autonomy fits into the broader well-being strategy, and the impacts these initiatives are having on the business.
“There are varying needs across our teammate population (store, corporate, and distribution centers). We work to identify what the biggest needs are by group and address accordingly,” Sur said.