Dick’s House of Sport Concept Store opens in Ridgedale

Replace cosmetics with a wellness department, swap men’s suits for a putting green; belts for batting cages, and you have the makings of what is becoming the department store of the 21st century: an oversized interactive sporting goods storefront.

This weekend marks the grand opening of Dick’s Sporting Goods”House of Sportsat the Ridgedale Center. At 115,000 square feet, the concept store becomes a new anchor for the Minnetonka mall. Dick blew off the roof of an old Sears store to install his 35-foot rock climbing wall. It is only one third of “House of Sport” for the retailer. The other two opened last year in Victor, New York and Knoxville, Tennessee. The company chose the Twin Cities because Dick’s former store in Minnetonka, just one exit east on I-394, was one of the chain’s best-performing, marketing manager Jill Woods said. . And Ridgedale had this vacant anchor ready for redevelopment.

Scheels did the same at Eden Prairie Center in 2020 when it opened a store more than twice the size of the new Dick’s, complete with a Ferris wheel, large hunting department, and similar interactive features like a golf simulator and a batting cage. Of course, REI’s Bloomington store paved the way for an in-store climbing wall years ago, and Cabela’s stores have long been tourist attractions in their own right.

“The category lends itself to person and experience,” said retail expert Beth Perro-Jarvis of Ginger Board in Minneapolis. “It’s also a category with massive global power brands like Nike and Adidas and they have the money for those kinds of stores as well as some cool innovation experimentation.”

Indeed, like Nike withdraw wholesale partnerships in favor of more direct engagement with the consumer, the brand features prominently at Dick’s House of Sports. At 7,000 square feet, the Minnetonka store’s shoe department is the retailer’s largest nationally, Woods said. This is in addition to a separate “House of Cleats” department.

In March, Dick’s introduced a advertising campaign highlighting its female leadership and House of Sports builds on the brand’s intention to appeal to women. At House of Sports, sports bras have their own department with a floor-to-ceiling display wall and pull-out drawers reminiscent of Victoria’s. Secret. The fitting rooms, an afterthought in the old store, now feature a front seating area. “We call them social dressing rooms,” Woods said. “With excellent lighting for taking selfies.”

The store also carries new brands that Dick’s is testing, such as Chubbies swimwear for men, and an expanded assortment of popular brands. Next to Rawlings baseballs and gloves, you will find the brand’s leather shopping bags.

“This is a test and learn environment,” Woods said during a store visit ahead of Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony. She highlighted the flexibility within each department of House of Sport – for example, display cases filled with supplements, sports drinks and “gym bag essentials” like deodorant and moisturizers can be moved around to transform the space in yoga studio. The machine throwing batting cage is available for rent, and shoppers can take a lesson with the store’s resident golf pro.

“We’re very community and event driven,” Woods said. “We want people to try the products.”

Just outside the store, Dick’s is building a 20,000 square foot grass field and track that will open in the fall. When not in use for club soccer and training camp fitness classes, it will be available for open play, Woods said. During the winter, the land will be converted into a hockey rink.

“You can’t ignore the fact that we’re all tired of being home,” Perro-Jarvis said. “Going to a store in person to buy something useful in everyday life, such as sports hobbies, in addition to having an engaging and interesting experience, is just fun right now. And novel The hybrid really is the go-to for just about anything and if there’s a good reason to buy in person, I think consumers will be motivated and excited to get out there.

James T. Quintero