Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept
Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to test a new outdoors concept, called Public Lands, in 2021 as scores of Americans’ have embraced outdoor activities during the pandemic.
“We’ve been working on this even prior to COVID and now with what’s happened with the virus, I think it’s even more timely,” said Ed Stack, Dick’s CEO, last week on the retailer’s third-quarter earnings call with investors.
Public Lands will play up a strong environmental message and carry about 20 percent of the outdoor brands Dick’s flagship offers, with more of a premium positioning. “We think there’s a real opportunity from people getting outdoors — camp, hike, bike, kayaking, fishing, etc. It will be different than what you would see with REI and carve out a different niche,” said Mr. Stack.
Dick’s third-quarter same-store sales jumped 23.2 percent due to continued positive trends across golf, outdoor activities, home fitness and active lifestyle. People are seeking out activities that can be done in open spaces because of the lower risks of COVID-19 transmission as well as the mental and wellness benefits.
NPD reported category sales in June grew 63 percent in cycling, 56 percent in paddle sports and 31 percent across camping.
REI in late October said demand for products like bikes and outdoor furniture have been “off the charts” since the pandemic’s start, and sales of winter gear like cross-country skis and snowshoes were already up more than three and four times, respectively, over last year. Heightened interest in entry-level gear categories also pointed to more people prioritizing outdoor recreation.
“Getting out into nature is one of the best ways to stay balanced during this stressful time, and our numbers are showing more Americans are doing just that,” said Ben Johns, REI general merchandising manager for action sports, in a statement.
A number of executives in the outdoor space have expressed confidence that the surge in outdoor interest will continue after the vaccine arrives as habits are formed. Stephen Smith, L.L. Bean’s CEO, told CNBC last week, “We feel like this is not a trend, this is a connection back to nature.”
- DICK’S Sporting Goods Reports Third Quarter Results; Delivers Record-Setting 23.2% Increase in Same Store Sales – Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc (DKS) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Why is being stuck indoors boosting outdoor product sales? – RetailWire
- REI projects a notable shift in customer shopping habits this winter and holiday season – REI
- ‘This is not a trend’ — L.L.Bean CEO says preorders show pandemic-driven outdoor boom will continue – CNBC
- Amid A Deep Recession, Outdoor Equipment Is Flying Off The Shelves – NPR
- America Outdoors: Consumers Are Flocking to These 5 Activities – NPD Group
- The New Panic Buys: Kayaks, Pools, Tents and Trampolines – The New York Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is now a ripe time for Dick’s to launch an outdoors-themed concept? How confident are you that interest in outdoor activities will remain at elevated levels long after a vaccine for COVID-19 arrives?