CNBCDick’s Sporting Goods just opened a massive store with a virtual driving range and outdoor track. Here’s a look inside

April 9, 20210
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Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

Dick’s Sporting Goods on Friday is holding the grand opening of the biggest store it has ever built.

Called House of Sport, this new format has a ton of features. The retailer’s goal was to create a space where visitors not only come to buy sneakers but to spend an afternoon playing sports and other physical activities.

The more than 100,000-square-foot space is at the Eastview Mall in the Rochester suburb of Victor, New York. It includes an indoor rock climbing wall, golf driving bays, a putting green and a health-and-wellness shop, as well as an outdoor track and a turf field — all things that Dick’s is testing for the first time.

Dozens of big-name brands, including Yeti and Vans, have dedicated spaces within the store to show off new products. They sit alongside Dick’s private labels DSG, Calia and VRST. Nike has the most space of all, including an area near the mall’s entrance for the Jordan brand. It’s the most room Dick’s has ever given Nike within a store.

Dick’s is already planning to open its second House of Sport this year in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to Ed Stack, executive chairman, chief merchant and former CEO, more stores will be opening in other states with this format in coming years.

“The vision that I laid out for this concept was that we wanted to build the store, … the experience, that would put Dick’s Sporting Goods out of business,” Stack said in a recent interview.

“This is the biggest innovation we’ve ever done,” he said. “This is the biggest leap forward in any concept that we’ve done. And I think we got it right.”

According to Stack and Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart, certain elements of House of Sport are going to slowly be incorporated into more of Dick’s current locations, based on how well they’re received. The mini health-and-wellness juice shops or the space dedicated to cleats, for example, could become features in dozens of the retailer’s other stores.

The company said it plans to allow local sports teams to use its field for meetups, and it has a conference room that can be booked for other types of gatherings.

“Between the service model that we put in [House of Sport], the experiences, the games, the product … we really look at this as it’s almost like starting a brand new company,” Stack said.

Here’s a glimpse inside — and outside

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

Beyond the footwear department, there’s a space dedicated to cleats, and it holds more than 380 pairs of shoes.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

The rock climbing wall soars 30 feet and can be booked in advance online.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

A mini health shop inside sells local juice, snacks, vitamins, yoga gear and other wellness products.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

In the baseball department, Dick’s brought in batting cages with an automatic pitching machine for customers to test products.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

Next to the golf merchandise are three virtual driving bays, which can be booked for special occasions.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

A 17,000-square-foot portion of the parking lot has been turned into a track and turf field. Dick’s plans to convert the area into an ice skating rink during the winter.

Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods PR

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