Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods outgoing CEO and chairman of the board, Edward Stack said recently that the company plans to open an outdoor concept called Public Lands as the company looks to exit out of the Field & Stream business and the firearm business.
Stack made the announcement on a recent earnings call last month when he was answering a question on a call with analysts, according to a transcript on the investment website, The Motley Fool.
“We’ve been working on this for a couple of years,” he said. “And as we look to exit out of the Field & Stream business and the firearm business, one of the places where we think there is a great opportunity is the outdoors. And 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, if you will, we’re going to have a couple of stores, as you know, we always test new things. We think this is a really a big concept — a outdoor concept called public lands, that we will be opening two stores in this next year.”
Stack said that the first two stores will take over Field & Stream stores in Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.
“We think there’s a real opportunity from people getting outdoors, camp, hike, bike, kayaking, fishing, it will be different than what you would see with REI and carve out a different niche, but we’re really excited about this,” he said. “The research we’ve done about this. We think there is a real opportunity in the marketplace.”
Stack said that Field & Stream properties that the company already owns will serve as good facilities for the new concept. He said the change from Field & Stream to Public Lands would include taking out the hunting department and modifying a couple of other departments. Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped selling firearms at many of its stores over the last couple of years after it announced it would stop selling semi-automatic weapons back in 2018, according to a CNN report.
Last year Dick’s Sporting Goods sold eight of its Field & Stream stores including the store at the Capital City Mall in Lower Allen Township to Sportsman’s Warehouse. There are 23 Field & Stream stores still in operation, according the retailer’s website.
Public Lands and Dick’s Sporting Goods will have about a 20 percent overlap in the items the two brands will sell, Stack said.
There are more than 700 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and the company also owns Golf Galaxy.
Stack will step down from his position next year and will be succeeded by Lauren Hobart. Stack will remain with the company. His new titles will be executive chairman and chief merchant.
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