Wednesday, April 6, 2022

[EXCLUSIVE] Dick's Bringing Another New Concept Store to Kennesaw

A new store, whose purpose is to "celebrate and protect public lands for all," will open just its third location later this fall in Kennesaw.  Public Lands, a concept store launched in 2021 by parent company Dick's Sporting Goods, will replace fellow Dick's sibling brand Field & Stream when it opens later this October at Town Center Common just off Barrett Parkway.  Field & Stream, which replaced a former JC Penney Home Store, opened in Kennesaw in late July 2017 and closed this past March.  

Dick's launched Public Lands this past September with a store in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, after which it added a second location in Polaris Fashion Park, a mall in Columbus, Ohio, where it shares space with an existing Dick's store.  The Kennesaw store will feature a similar setup, with interior access to the adjoining Dick's.  

Public Lands is led by Todd Spaletto, a retail veteran who spent nearly two decades with The North Face and JanSport, both VF brands, but who most recently was Group President Michigan Brands for Wolverine Worldwide, according to his LinkedIn profile.  

Although Dick's won't acknowledge it publicly, the premise of Public Lands seems quite similar to REI, which has nearly 170 locations nationwide, including five in Georgia, with a Kennesaw store in Barrett Pavilion literally across the street from the new Dick's concept.  The Kennesaw REI is just over 25,000 square feet whereas the upcoming Public Lands will be in excess of 42,000 square feet.  

A Dick's employee with whom ToNeTo Atlanta spoke described Public Lands as "like REI" selling outdoor goods and apparel, with particular focus on kayaking, climbing, fishing, biking and hiking.  The employee likened the new store to Field & Stream minus archery, rifles and other hunting merchandise.  The new store will feature kayaks, both for sale and for rent, as well as an in-store rock climbing wall, a feature that was once available in the adjoining Dick's space, but was later eliminated.  (Dick's purchased rival Galyan's in 2004 and inherited rock walls in local Atlanta stores in Kennesaw, Buford, and Buckhead, but all of them have since been removed.)   

The company plans to be very involved in the local Kennesaw community and is also a member of 1% For The Planet.  "Public Lands is committed to donating 1% of all sales to The Public Lands Fund, which supports organizations protecting new lands, improving existing lands, and furthering access and equity in the outdoors."  

We were delighted to spot LatinXHikers co-founder and Georgia State University graduate Luz Lituma front and center on the Public Lands homepage. 

In addition to the Kennesaw outpost, a fourth Public Lands is slated to open in Shoppers World, a large retail center in Framingham, Massachusetts.  The Framingham store will be just over 49,000 square feet and joins other junior anchors including sibling store Golf Galaxy as well as TJMaxx, Marshalls, Homesense, and Sierra, which features primarily outdoor apparel and accessories.  Unlike the other three Public Lands stores, which are all replacing former Field & Stream locations, the new Framingham store replaces what was recently an outpost of Bob's Stores.  

The new Public Lands in Kennesaw is the second concept store from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based Dick's (NYSE: DKS) to open in the area following the 2021 debut of their outlet store "Dick's Warehouse Sale" in Towne Center Prado, about two miles away.  

Have you been to one of the existing Public Lands stores?  Are you excited for the opening of Public Lands in Kennesaw?  Where else would you like to see a Public Lands store open?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Ham said...

The name seems strange. Out West the term Public Lands probably means more than it might in Georgia. I wonder if folks around here might see this as some charity or Government agency instead of an outdoor store.

Alex said...

Even the subdued signage strikes me as "Non-Profit" or "County Services"

Jason said...

Nah, people here in Georgia that are paying attention know exactly what ‘public lands’ are. Unfortunately they dont seem to want to cater to hunters, who seem to care a great deal for public land.

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