- Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s are two of the last big sporting-goods stores.
- Many sporting-goods stores have been closing over the past few years, but in the first quarter of 2018, net sales were up 4.6% at Dick’s while same-store sales dropped 2.5%.
- As a private company, Modell’s does not release its sales numbers, but the store we visited appeared to be struggling.
- After shopping at both Dick’s and Modell’s, we found that one provided a much better experience than the other.
Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s are two of the last big sporting-goods stores.
Similar stores have been wavering for years. Sports Authority liquidated in 2016, Eastern Outfitters filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017, and numerous other sporting-goods stores have shuttered in the past few years, according to USA Today.
In the first quarter of 2018, net sales were up 4.6% at Dick’s Sporting Goods while same-store sales dropped 2.5%. Dick’s plans on opening 19 new stores in 2018, and it already has more than 700 locations across the United States. In an earnings call earlier this year, CEO Edward Stack emphasised that the retailer would be focusing on its merchandising strategy, offering fewer promotions and newer products. When we visited the store, we saw quite a few sale signs, but the products the store offered were more current and more organised than what Modell’s offered.
Modell’s, which has some 150 stores, is a private company and does not release its sales numbers. However, when we visited a Modell’s store in New York, it didn’t seem to be doing too well. The prices were great, but that could be because nearly everything was on sale. The store was very dark, and almost no one was shopping there, creating a very eerie atmosphere.
See how the two stores compared during recent visits:
First, I visited Modell’s Sporting Goods in Queens, New York.
There were a ton of clearance signs in the window, and from the outside, the store looked closed.
The store had low ceilings and was dimly lit and eerily quiet.
The men’s department was the first section of the store, and most things seemed to be on sale.
Sale signs were displayed on clipboards that sat on top of the shelves.
Even though the store itself was pretty depressing, there were definitely some good deals. Almost everything had some sort of sale or special promotion.
The team apparel was less expensive than you might find at a game or on a team’s website, but it took up a surprisingly small part of the store, and the assortment of apparel was pretty random.
The women’s and kids’ clothes and footwear were in the back part of the store, but a huge part of the store was just empty.
The store carried plenty of Nike, Adidas, and Champion apparel, as well as a few other smaller brands.
There were also a few random products like coolers, Kan Jam games, and men’s shorts mixed in with the women’s apparel.
More men’s clothes were hidden in the back of the women’s department. I couldn’t quite make sense of how the store was organised.
One thing Modell’s did have a ton of was equipment. Even though the store itself felt pretty sparse, the equipment section in the back had a ton of everything. The aisles were organised by sport.
There was gym equipment and “as seen on tv” fitness gear sold at the end of the sporting equipment, but there wasn’t a ton there.
The footwear department was pretty small, but it carried every major brand, including Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. There was a huge clearance shelf, but even non-clearance items had special promotions.
The fitting rooms, like the rest of the store, were lacklustre. Overall the store was pretty depressing, but on the plus side, it offered a lot of great deals.
I visited Dick’s next, just one neighbourhood over from Modell’s in Queens.
There were clearance signs in the entryway, and a sign explained their price-match guarantee.
The inside of the store immediately felt more inviting than Modell’s. It was brighter and cleaner, and it had a more upbeat atmosphere.
Gear and apparel were mostly organised by sport. Everything baseball-related was in one section, everything basketball-related was in another, and so on.
There were clearance bins all over the store offering deals, similar to Modell’s. The clearance items were all pretty messy, with boxes everywhere and sale signs falling down.
The apparel part of the store was a lot nicer than at Modell’s. There were big, bright, branded displays for brands like Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour, and the styles felt current.
Everything definitely felt more organised than Modell’s did across the store.
The store was also much cleaner and easier to navigate.
The footwear department was huge and in much better condition than the one at Modell’s. It was also more spacious and had more room to try on shoes.
The selection of gym equipment was a lot more impressive. There was a much bigger variety in what was offered.
The prices were lower at Modell’s for most products, but Dick’s also price-matches competitors.
Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Overall, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ atmosphere was a lot brighter, cleaner, and nicer than Modell’s. The styles for sale were more current, and the store was more organised and had a lot more variety to offer, making it the clear winner.
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