As Dick's Sporting Goods continues its string of experiential store rollouts, the retailer is opening its first Golf Galaxy Performance Center. The location is described as an "elevated experience for golfers," according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The redesigned golf store features TrackMan and BioMech golf technologies, hitting bays, golf lessons and custom fittings. Apparel and footwear from top brands is also available, including from the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist.
In 2021 alone, Dick's has plans for 18 remodeled Golf Galaxy stores and expanded technology offerings in 64 Golf Galaxy stores.
Dick's has been on an investment kick lately, testing multiple store concepts, launching and expanding private labels, and remodeling existing stores to bring in more experiential features. In the golf business in particular, remodeled stores are "showing promising results," Executive Chairman and Chief Merchandising Officer Ed Stack said on a call with analysts in May.
"With Golf Galaxy comps significantly outperforming the company average in recent quarters, we're leaning into this streak by investing in our Golf Galaxy business," Stack said at the time, adding that execs "expect golf to have a long runway, and we're committed to leveraging this momentum for future growth within our business."
Experiential soccer shops are also being rolled out, with more than 30 debuting in the first quarter.
In addition to store remodels, Dick's is also in the midst of several new store concept initiatives. In April, the company opened its first House of Sport, a location that offers a rock climbing wall, a turf field, a putting green and wellness services like yoga, among other things.
The launch of its new outdoors-focused Public Lands concept is also coming up. That format will pit Dick's Sporting Goods against the likes of REI as it pursues a deeper business in the outdoors space. The store will focus on conservation efforts and "champion environmental issues," according to Stack.
On the other side of the spectrum, Dick's has also been testing several off-price formats, which analysts believe were likely a product of the pandemic. One of those — Going, Going, Gone — is getting two more locations this month, according to the company. The retailer has been expanding some of its off-price tests in recent months, and ultimately analysts expect the company to end up with at least one of those concepts long-term.
It's a lot of investments for one company to be making, but part of it may be necessary in order to position its stores as experiential destinations. And it's not necessary for all of them to succeed.
"A lot of the things we talked about today, I think will fail. It's not a 100% hit rate," Warren Cheng, a consumer softlines analyst with Evercore ISI, said in July. "But if you want to be innovative, if you want to be forward-thinking and you want to meet the customers needs in the future, even though you don't quite know what they look like yet, then you kind of have to have that mentality."