Scheels All Sports has reportedly accelerated construction of its new 265,000 sf flagship store and corporate headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota, due primarily to a strengthening economy. Work on the $32 million project was to begin in a year, but will now start in the next thirty days with a 2006 completion date.
Scheels shook off suggestions that the move was in response to the rapid expansion of Cabelas, Gander Mountain and others. “We don't pay too much attention to the competition,” said Steve Scheel, chairman and CEO. “Business is good all over the Midwest. We've seen that with the last four stores we opened.”
The new store will boast a restored 50-year-old, 45-foot-high Ferris wheel in a 70-foot-tall central atrium. Scheel said it will feature 88 shops under one roof.
Separate shops are set aside for antique weapons, home accents, fudge, Starbucks coffee and cross-country skiing. The Fargo store also will have a day-care center for 65 children, for use by employees.
“If we go into Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee or Denver, we want to experiment here first,” Scheel said in a local report. “We're looking seriously at some big markets right now.”
Sportsman's Warehouse is entering the Milwaukee area with a 61,000-square-foot store on October 15 in New Berlin, Wisconsin. The retailer is expected to open another store the end of the month in De Pere, WI and another in Boise, Idaho.
Sportsman's Warehouse will have 30 stores by the end of 2004, according to a company spokesperson, up from 20 stores at the end of 2003.
The New Berlin location for Sportsman's Warehouse will have 70 employees, said manager Howard Spero. He declined to say whether the chain is planning any additional stores for the Milwaukee area.
Dicks Sporting Goods will enter the Fayette Mall in Lexington, Kentucky with a 80,000-square-foot two-level store. Dick's will anchor a 140,000-square-foot mall expansion on the southwest side of mall. Work is expected to start in January and be completed by October 2005.
Hibbett Sporting Goods will have a larger presence at the Becker Village Mall in Roanoke Rapids, VA, opening a new 11,580 sf store in the mall, expanding from its current 4,700-square foot location. The store is expected to be the largest full-line sports equipment store in the area.
Gander Mountain opened its outdoor superstore in Cicero, NY last week, joining Bass Pro Shops, which opened its first New York state store in June in Auburn. Gander Mountain opened a store in Watertown, NY the previous week, joining is expected to open in New Hartford in the next two weeks.