Dick’s Sporting Goods Planning Multiple New Stores in Houston Area

One of the largest sporting goods retailers in the country is set to enter the Houston market. Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is finalizing lease documents for a handful of new locations in the area, according to a source close to the deal.

The retailer should open its first store by mid- to late 2008, according to the source.

Local market sources say Dick’s Sporting Goods is in talks to open a first wave of locations in Simon Property Group Inc.’s West Grand Promenade in Katy; in CBL & Associates Properties Inc.’s mixed-use project at State Highway 288 and FM 518 in Pearland; in Willowbrook Mall and in Baybrook Mall. Fidelis Realty Partners also says Dick’s will have a two-story, 83,000-square-foot store in its west Houston retail center project at Interstate 10 and Bunker Hill.

The retailer, which operates one-story, 50,000-square-foot stores and two-story, 80,000-square-foot stores, currently has three stores in the Texas market in Arlington, Frisco and Flower Mound. According to the company’s Web site, a Dallas store is coming soon.

Dick’s is also said to be scouting additional sites in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.

Jeff Hennion, a spokesman for Dick’s, declined to comment on the retailer’s plans for the Houston market. “Unfortunately, we don’t comment on future store openings,” he says.

The publicly traded company is expected to offer major competition to already established sporting goods stores such as Houston-based Academy Sports + Outdoors, which operates more than 20 stores in the area; Englewood, Colo.-based The Sports Authority Inc., which has nine stores in the area; Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops, which operates two stores; and St. Paul, Minn.-based Gander Mountain, which has three stores here.