PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Shoppers Demand More Experiential Stores

Dick’s Sporting Goods

With eCommerce meeting shoppers’ demand for convenience, consumers increasingly expect more from the physical store experience like immersive, engaging offerings.

Athletic retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods shared on a call with analysts Wednesday (May 29) discussing its first-quarter 2024 earnings results that its new, more experiential House of Sport stores, which now comprise 14 locations, are catering to this evolving demand.

“We are creating an experience that people cannot get anywhere else,” Dick’s Sporting Goods President and CEO Lauren Hobart said during the call. “And what you’re seeing is athletes are really responding to it, so communities are responding to it. Athletes are coming in, they’re driving further, they’re spending more time, they’re really excited about the product and the experience that they see at House of Sport.”

The company opened two such House of Sports locations in the quarter, and there are six more to come this year.

These locations offer unique, interactive experiences that go beyond traditional retail, aiming to draw consumers in and encourage them to spend more time and money. As Hobart noted, these stores are designed to be destinations in themselves, offering activities and events that foster a deeper connection with the brand.

For instance, many House of Sport stores include climbing walls, sporting cages, golf simulators and fitness equipment where customers can engage in physical activity and test products in a realistic setting. The stores also host events and provide expert services.

The focus on creating memorable in-store experiences is in response to consumers’ growing desire for more than just a transactional relationship with retailers; they want to be part of a community and engage in activities that align with their lifestyles and passions. After all, shoppers who are simply looking for a quick, convenient retail journey can always turn to eCommerce. Yet most shoppers continue to want to engage with physical stores.

Three-quarters of shoppers visit stores at some point in their purchasing journey, according to data from the PYMNTS Intelligence study “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition.” The report, created in collaboration with Visa Acceptance Solutions and drawing from a survey of more than 2,400 United States consumers, found that 44% of consumers prefer to shop in stores without any digital engagement. Another 19% want to shop in stores with digital assistance, and 11% of shoppers like to place orders online for in-store pickup.

Consumers who engage across digital and physical channels are the highest-value customers for retailers.

“During Q1, we continue to see growth in our omnichannel athletes, our strongest athletes, who spend more with us and shop more frequently than single-channel athletes,” Hobart said.

The company’s ScoreCard loyalty program has been a strong driver of digital engagement, with members generating more than 70% of sales last year, according to an infographic shared with investors Wednesday. Additionally, the retailer said those who engaged with both ScoreCard and its GameChanger mobile app and website, which provides sports video streaming and other content, yielded twice as much revenue as those who only participated in the former program.

Overall, the retailer saw comparable sales rise 5% year over year and net sales increase 6%.

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