Will its Public Lands concept store help Dick’s conquer the great outdoors?
It’s only one store, but Dick’s Sporting Goods sees big things ahead for its new Public Lands concept, which will celebrate its grand opening on Sept. 24 in Pennsylvania.
“We see a real opportunity to reinvent the outdoor marketplace, and we believe Public Lands can be a great growth vehicle for us, while also supporting the local community through conservation, access and equity-based initiatives,” said Dick’s president and CEO Lauren Hobart on the company’s second quarter earnings call in July.
The first Public Lands location will be 50,000-square-feet and feature a 30-foot rock wall for climbing, in-store gear repair and rental department and in-store shops dedicated to specific activities such as biking, camping, climbing, fishing, hiking, paddling, running and skiing. Public Lands will offer a premium assortment of outdoor and lifestyle apparel, footwear and gear.
The store, which will employ about 120 people, will be located about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. Management says it will emphasize the customer experience with trained associates who are outdoor enthusiasts themselves sharing their “love for the outdoors” and a philosophy “of protecting” the public lands that Americans enjoy. One percent of all sales made at Public Lands will go into local and national conservation. Dick’s said it will “support the local outdoor community through conservation and access & equity-based initiatives.”
The concept, which Dick’s said last year was in the planning before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, moves into a highly competitive market. That competitiveness, in large part, is due to the significant growth that outdoors and sporting products have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.
Outdoor equipment sales were up 23 percent in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2019, according to The NPD Group. Sales grew 17 percent in physical stores and 31 percent online across categories including camping, climbing, protective gear and water sports.
“The areas where specialty retail really seems to thrive today is in the add-on categories tied to enhancing comfort and convenience,” said Dirk Sorenson, sports industry analyst at NPD, in a statement. “After making the basic, fundamental investments to get outdoors, consumers are now turning to the expertise of specialty outlets and their sales associates to extend the experience and make it more comfortable.”
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Announces Grand Opening of its First Outdoor Concept Store – Public Lands – Dick’s Sporting Goods/PRNewswire
- Dick’s Sporting Goods, inc (DKS) Q2 2021 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept – RetailWire
- Equipment Sales in the US Sports Specialty Market Grew 23% in the First Half of 2021, According to NPD – The NPD Group
- Creature Comforts on the Campground – The NPD Group
- Switching Gears: Are We Finally Seeing a Decline in Bicycle Sales? – The NPD Group
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the Public Lands concept as in-tune with the needs of consumers in the outdoors lifestyle market? What will Dick’s need to do to compete with successful retailers currently operating in the market and what will that mean for scaling the Public Lands concept?