Wilson Sporting Goods Co. celebrated the grand opening of its first retail location Thursday in its hometown of Chicago. Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, the store, located at 932 N. Rush Street, opened with executives, Wilson’s advisory staff and influential Chicagoans.

“With 108 years of history here in Chicago, it was only right that we start this next chapter in our hometown,” said Joe Dudy, president, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. “Wilson is so proud to be Chicago-based, and we hope this new store brings our city that same feeling of pride in our brand.”

“Following the launch of our Wilson sportswear line earlier this summer, it was important that we introduce physical retail locations so that our athletes can experience and interact with our sports equipment and apparel in person,” said Gordon Devin, president, Wilson Sportswear. “Our first-ever retail location centers around Wilson’s heritage serving as a physical ‘love letter’ to our city.”

The 2,247 square-foot store will offer a curated collection of sporting goods inclusive of Wilson’s sports equipment across many sports categories including tennis, baseball, football, basketball, and golf, and Wilson’s new athletic-lifestyle sportswear collection for both men and women.

The store will open with limited-edition products, such as a Chicago-inspired color of the Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Exclusive merchandise will drop seasonally, aligned with key sports moments. Athletes can have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.

This store will also serve as a test lab to gather feedback and input from athletes and customers. Wilson’s heritage catalog content and historical memorabilia will be featured creating a museum-like in-store environment. The store also features a leather-inspired Wilson signature fragrance, and technological elements to elevate the shopping experience. The company will also pilot Mood Media’s Mood Social offering to allow customers to interact with the store’s playlist at any given time.

Wilson noted that while the brand is new to retail, it had executed pop-up stores at sporting events including the Super Bowl, College World Series and the US Open for decades. Wilson will continue its direct-to-consumer expansion opening flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Shanghai in 2021.

Photo courtesy Wilson Sporting Goods