Is Field and Stream going out of business? There have been rumors going around the community that Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream would shut down. Many Champaign-Urbana locals are curious about the upcoming changes to these famous retailers. Josh Parsons, manager at Dick’s Sporting Goods, was thrilled to announce significantly better plans for the future. Also, he has verified that the locations are closing.
He clarified that the shutdown was just a temporary solution. The area is going to reopen as the “House of Sport.” Thus, a new concept shop for Dick’s Sporting Goods is being planned to allow for remodeling.
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Do field and Stream still exist?
Pittsburgh-based Edward Stack, the retiring CEO and board chairman of Dick’s Sporting Goods, stated in 2020 that the business intends to launch “Public Lands.” It is an outdoor idea as it prepares to leave the Field & Stream and firearms businesses. Based on a transcript on the financial website, Stack made the news on an earnings call while replying to a query on a call with analysts.
He said they have been working on this concept for a few years. As a result, they are considering leaving the field and Stream and firearms industries. But this was where they believed there was a significant possibility: the outdoors. They have been working on this even before the COVID outbreak.
“As we are aware, they always try new things, and they will have a few stores,” he added. Thus, they expected to open two Public Lands locations in 2021 since they think it’s a big outdoor idea.
What is replacing Field and Stream?
According to Stack, the first two Field & Stream locations to be replaced are in Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. “We believe there is a genuine opportunity for people who get outdoors—to camp, walk, ride, kayak, and fish,” he added. According to their research, the company believes there is a significant market opportunity.
According to Stack, the Field & Stream assets the business owns will provide good facilities for the new concept. The hunting department will be removed as part of the transition from Field & Stream to Public Lands. Also, a few other departments would undergo changes.
According to a CNN story, Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped supplying firearms at several stores over the past few years. It happened after the company announced in 2018 that it would no longer sell semi-automatic rifles.
Eight Dick’s Sporting Goods Field & Stream outlets were sold in 2019. This applies to Sportsman’s Warehouse’s store, which is situated in Lower Allen Township’s Capital City Mall. The retailer’s website indicates that 23 Field & Stream locations will be available in 2020.
According to Stack, there will be a 20% overlap in the products that Public Lands and Dick’s Sporting Goods offer. At that time, Dick’s Sporting Goods chain had more than 700 locations, and the business owned Golf Galaxy.
In 2021, Stack would leave his role, and Lauren Hobart would take over. The Stack will keep working for the business. Executive chairman and chief merchant are his new positions. To leave Field & Stream and the sale of firearms, Dick’s Sporting Goods intends to open a new outdoor retailer called “Public Lands” in 2020.
Field and Stream locations
The brand and the weapons are no more. In November 2021, Public Lands reopened in the former Field & Stream location in Polaris Fashion Place. The accent is still on the outdoors, but buyers would discover running shoes and climbing equipment rather than guns and weapons.
When the store opened in November 2021, Public Lands President Todd Spaletto cut the ribbon and observed, “There’s an entirely different sort of passion in the outdoors.” The outdoors are now emotionally renewing for many consumers, so it’s not only about the “core” or “smart” outdoor customers.
After Pittsburgh began operations in September 2021, Polaris is the following Public Lands location. Public lands, just like Field & Stream, are held by Dick’s Sporting Goods. But this remains located at Polaris, just next door.
The 60,000-square-foot store’s main attraction is clothing. But specialty stores around it sell equipment for eight different sports: skiing, jogging, climbing, bicycling, hiking, and fishing.
Spaletto previously held executive positions with The North Face and Wolverine Worldwide. He noted that apparel is the store’s primary focus. It features a wide range of high-end brands, a few new to Columbus, such as Outdoor Voices.
The store features an “art bar” where customers, most often youngsters, can draw or color. They also have decorations made from pictures of neighboring sites like Hocking Hills. Additionally, it has a climbing wall that is 30 feet high. There is also a tiny area of locally produced food items like Charqui Jerky and Lapp It Up! Kombucha, and Roosevelt Coffee.
For another three to six months, Spaletto expects to test public lands. Thus, he could make adjustments to its two stores before moving further. Lauren Hobart, CEO of parent company Dick’s, believes Public Lands can find a niche in the crowded outdoor retail market. This is even though it is clearly in the testing phase.
Dick’s another New Concept Store
In 2022, a new retailer with the tagline “celebrate and defend public lands for everybody” planned to open its third shop in Kennesaw. When Public Lands opens in Town Center Common, just off Barrett Parkway, it will take the place of Field & Stream, another Dick’s sibling brand. Opening in Kennesaw in late July 2017 and closing in March of the same year, Field & Stream took the place of a former JC Penney Home Store.
As previously mentioned, Dick’s introduced Public Lands in September 2021, opening its first location in Pennsylvania’s Cranberry Township. A similar arrangement will be used at the Kennesaw location, with access from inside to Dick’s store next door.
Todd Spaletto is the CEO of Public Lands. Per his LinkedIn page, he has almost two decades of retail experience. He has worked for V.F. companies like The North Face and JanSport. He served as Group President of Michigan Businesses for Wolverine Worldwide most recently.
The idea behind Public Lands is similar to that of REI. It has roughly 170 sites nationwide. This includes five in Georgia, with a Kennesaw store in Barrett Pavilion directly across the street from the new Dick’s concept. But Dick won’t openly admit it. The future public lands will be more than 42,000 square feet, compared to the Kennesaw REI’s little more than 25,000 square feet.
The business is a member of 1% for The Planet and has big ambitions to get active in the Kennesaw area community. Public Lands are dedicated to donating 1% of all revenues to the Public Resources Fund. This supports organizations preserving new lands, enhancing existing lands, and promoting equality and accessibility outdoors.
A fourth Public Lands branch is scheduled to open at Shoppers World. It is a sizable shopping complex in Framingham, Massachusetts, and one in Kennesaw. With just over 49,000 square feet, the Framingham location would join other younger players. This includes sister stores Golf Galaxy, TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeSense, and Sierra, focusing exclusively on outdoor clothing and accessories.
The new Public Lands store in Framingham occupies what was formerly Bob’s Stores branch. This was in contrast to the other three stores, renovating old Field & Stream locations.
As of December 2022, Dick’s new concept store has three locations throughout the country. They all offer interactive sports activities in a sports store environment. Parsons stated that the other locations now have climbing walls, baseball batting cages, and more. He is still determining which facilities and services will be offered at the future Champaign facility.
A golf pro shop, outdoor fields, ice rinks, and many community activities are all included on the Dick’s Sporting Goods House of Sports site. Their website claims the House of Sports sites provide a place to “meet and enjoy sports.” It ranges from ice skate honing to golf instruction with a PGA pro and residential P.E. classes.
According to Parsons, the Champaign outlets will likely close in January 2023. He couldn’t give an exact date when the House of Sport would reopen.