November 5, 2013
Central Ohio’s competitive sporting-goods market will become even more crowded next year when Dick’s Sporting Goods brings one of its new specialty Field & Stream retail stores and a new prototype of its Dick’s Sporting Goods store to Easton Gateway.
The two stores will join outdoor-equipment company REI at Easton Gateway, the 54-acre addition to the existing Easton Town Center and Easton Market retail centers. REI is set to open a 23,400-square-foot store at the shopping center in May.
Other sporting-goods retailers also have added to the competition.
In February, Gander Mountain opened its first Firearms Super Center in Ohio — and second in the nation — in its Reynoldsburg store. In March, Cabela’s opened a Polaris-area store, its first in Ohio.
Although the Field & Stream and REI stores both focus on outdoors, “I think the two will complement each other well,” said Yaromir Steiner, founder and chief executive officer of Steiner & Associates. Along with the Georgetown Co. and Limited Brands, it is a developer and operator of Easton.
“It’s like saying, if you’ve got a Nordstrom’s, why do you have a Macy’s?” Steiner said. “They segment differently.”
Easton’s developing cluster of sporting-goods stores is “a powerful thing,” said retail analyst Chris Boring, principal at Boulevard Strategies. “The stores will have more synergy than they would at separate locations.”
The 50,000-square-foot Field & Stream store will be the first of its kind in Ohio and one of only a few in the nation. The first Field & Stream retail store opened in August in Pennsylvania, 20 miles north of the retailer’s Pittsburgh headquarters. The second store opened last week in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati.
Named after the outdoor-magazine brand, the Field & Stream stores feature hunting, fishing and archery equipment and compete with such specialty stores as Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, REI and Gander Mountain.
“Obviously, Field & Stream is Dick’s answer to Cabela’s and Gander Mountain,” Boring said. “ A lot of growth in sporting goods is coming from outdoor recreation — hunting, fishing, camping, hiking. Dick’s is built more around team sports, things that people play in school and carry into adult life. They’ve never been as focused on outdoors as some of their competitors have.”
The Field & Stream stores are part of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ efforts to diversify with specialty-store concepts. Dick’s bought golf specialty store Golf Galaxy in late 2006 and opened its first running specialty store, True Runner, in 2012.
The new, 80,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods store will be on two levels and feature expanded female fitness options.
The fate of a Dick’s that is at nearby Easton Market is unclear. Calls to the retailer and to the property manager about that store were not returned.
“They may have to keep two stores open for a short amount of time,” Boring said. “They may still have some time left on the lease at the older location (at Easton Market). But it’s going to be in the landlord’s best interest to get something in there.”
Dick’s operates 527 sporting-goods stores in 44 states and 81 Golf Galaxy stores in 30 states. The company reported 2012 net income of $318.3 million on $5.8 billion in sales.
Easton Gateway is home to a 148,000-square-foot Costco Wholesale store. Other retailers moving into the shopping center include Whole Foods, set to open a 45,000-square-foot store in May 2015, and Saks Off 5th, which will open a 28,000-square-foot store in May 2014.
More announcements of store openings will be made in the next few months as officials fill in the Easton Gateway development, which is almost two-thirds filled with prospective tenants, Steiner said.