In the retail space, the divide between outdoor-focused brands and sporting goods retailers is becoming increasingly blurred. But no one has done more to integrate all manners of recreational gear under one company than Dick’s Sporting Goods. The retailer operates several specialized brands to cater to customers looking for equipment to support a diverse range of activities, from golf to fishing to team sports to yoga.
To better understand this sector, we took a closer look at the wider ecosystem of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Foot Traffic Remains Strong
Dick’s foot traffic surged over the pandemic. Consumers purchasing home workout equipment or gearing up for camping and other COVID-friendly activities in the great outdoors drove visit increases across the brand’s 700+ stores. And recent foot traffic data indicates that the retailer is holding on to much of its foot traffic gains. Despite the challenges of the wider retail context, year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) weekly visits have been up every week since mid-March 2022.
So, while recent year-over-year (YoY) visits may be down slightly relative to 2020 – perhaps due to the comparison with the retailer’s particularly successful 2021 – the brand’s Yo3Y visit data indicates that Dick’s is still very strongly positioned.
Brick and Mortar Channel Diversity
One of the secret’s to Dick’s success is its deep understanding of its brick and mortar potential. In addition to Dick’s Sporting Goods, which carries a variety of athletic wear, sports equipment, and outdoor gear, the company also operates the hunting and fishing-focused Field & Stream and the golf-centered Golf Galaxy. These separate offline channels allow Dick’s to cater to customers seeking expert knowledge on specific products and activities. And because the different brands attract different types of customers, the company has been able to grow and maintain strong foot traffic across the board without one brand cannibalizing the other.
The success of Dick’s specialized offline channels shows that customers want more than just a place to shop. And while some customers are looking for personalized customer service and knowledgeable salespeople to facilitate the right product selection, others are increasingly looking to stores as places to build community, explore, and have new experiences.
Over the past two years, Dick’s has been increasingly investing in experiential offerings. In September 2021 the company opened Public Lands, a new experiential outdoor-focused specialty concept. Dick’s also operates three House of Sport stores designed to “explore the future of retail through multi-sport experiences inside and outside the store,” according to their grand opening announcement in the Spring of 2021. The first House of Sport opened in Victor, NY in April 2021 and the second store opened in Knoxville, TN two months later.
So far, foot traffic data from these two stores shows that average visits per House of Sport store are significantly outpacing average visits per venue for regular Dick’s Sporting Goods locations – which bodes well for the third House of Sport location in Minnetonka, MN.
Dick’s has always been a leader in this space and its latest offline strategies are proving to be a true success. As more and more athletic retailers such as Nike and REI start building out their own experiential ecosystems with additional concept stores and new partnerships, it will be interesting to see how Dick’s further enhances its omnichannel approaches to continue its offline strength.
For more data-driven retail insights, visit our blog.