Why Stores are Essential for Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Continued Success – Footwear News

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ CEO says the chain’s strong first quarter results highlight the continued strength of its business resulting from focused strategies and long-term transformation.

Dick’s, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, reported a 17 percent increase in net income for the period ended April 29 to $305 million from $261 million the prior year on a 5.3 percent gain in sales to $2.8 billion from $2.7 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 3.4 percent in the period, driven by a 2.7 percent increase in transactions as well as higher average ticket prices, the company said.

CEO Lauren Hobart told analysts in a Tuesday call discussing the company’s earnings results for Q1 that innovating within the company’s omnichannel customer experience is at the heart of its growth strategies, with enhancing its “highly engaging” in-store service model as a top priority.

“The very best expression of this is Dick’s House of Sport, which is redefining sports retail and over the long term will be a significant part of our growth story and the primary driver of our square footage growth,” the CEO said. “House of Sport is fostering very strong engagement with both our athletes and our brand partners all while delivering much higher sales and profit.”

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Hobart noted that this year, Dick’s is on track to open nine House of Sport locations ahead of the back-to-school season and is beginning construction on more than 10 additional locations that will open throughout 2024. “By the end of 2027, we continue to estimate that we will have between 75 to 100 House of Sport locations nationwide,” the CEO added.

DICK'S Sporting Goods

The rock-climbing wall featured inside the Dick’s House of Sport location in Knoxville, Tenn.

CREDIT: DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc.

The House of Sport concept, which first launched in 2021, aims to “explore the future of retail” through multi-sport experiences inside and outside the store. One of the initial stores, located in Knoxville, Tenn., features a 24,000-square-foot outdoor turf field and running track, a rock-climbing wall, a batting cage, golf hitting bays, a putting green and more.

Hobart added that the company is also providing a “completely redesigned and reimagined experience” through its next-generation Dick’s store translated into its more traditional 50,000-square-foot format.

“This prototype is a great representation of key athlete insights that we’ve gained from House of Sport, including premium experiences, an elevated service model and enhanced visual expression,” Hobart said. “Our first location opened last week in South Bend, Ind. We are really excited about this opportunity and look forward to continuing to develop and learn from this new store format.”

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DICK'S Sporting Goods

Outside of Dick’s House of Sport location in Knoxville, Tenn.

CREDIT: DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc.

The CEO added that Dick’s will also continue to grow its Golf Galaxy Performance Center and is “really happy” with the Going, Going, Gone! and warehouse store strategy. “What it has allowed us to do is to move more clearance inventory out of the Dick’s store into our Going, Going, Gone! channel,” said Hobart.

In terms of the store count itself, Hobart noted Going, Going, Gone! had 15 stores with 40 warehouse stores at the end of Q1. “We are converting 10 of the warehouse locations into Going, Going, Gone! Stores as part of the confidence that we have in those locations,” she added.

As for its footwear business, Hobart doubled down on the importance of shoes. “We think footwear is the engine that drives the train,” Hobart said. “Footwear is a really important part of our entire assortment. So we’re not looking time when footwear becomes less of a driver.”

“During the quarter, we converted nearly 20 additional stores to include premium full-service footwear,” Hobart continued. “And by the end of the year, we’ll take this experience to more than 75 percent of the Dick’s chain. Our premium footwear decks have enabled us to expand our access to a wider assortment of differentiated product from key brand partners as well as new and emerging brands.”

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