The pandemic posed many retailers for closure. Here’s how Dick’s Sporting Goods skirted the crisis and what it’s doing now to keep it that way going forward.
With the crisis came the closure of not only several retailers, but of gyms as well. As such, Dick’s experienced a surge in sales from consumers gearing up to work out, waste time, and simply escape their homes for the great outdoors. For the quarter ended Jan. 30, the brand reaped $3.13 billion in revenue, exceeding all expectations. As the post-pandemic world takes shape, Dick’s is putting its profits to good use with a new experience-based store concept that could connect with consumers in a new way. The store, which opened in Rochester, New York, is called Dick’s House of Sports and incorporates both shopping and activities. The store will be decked out with an entire outdoor field for sporting events, a rock-climbing wall, and indoor wellness spaces to boot. Shoppers can also get advice from in-store fitness experts on how to use equipment and revive their workout routines. The goal is to build a fitness community, and a second store is already in progress for Knoxville, Tennessee this May.
Dick’s decision to go experiential echoes the movement toward virtual (the next best thing after reality) that many brands have been leaning toward lately. The brand, which banks a high spot in the Gifted class of Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, demonstrates an important lesson in marketing for today’s consumer. Though going virtual is quickly becoming as standard as digital commerce itself, consumers are still looking for a way out of their current routines, so a store focused on replicating and enhancing digital experiences, like virtual consultations and tutorials, in a real environment makes sense. Only time will tell if Dick’s new store succeeds, but one thing is clear: consumers crave escape.