As it continues to see solid momentum in the sporting goods sector, Academy Sports and Outdoors is embarking on brick-and-mortar expansion.
The retailer said today it will open at least eight new stores in 2022 that will fill in certain existing markets in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas, and expand Academy’s footprint into Virginia and West Virginia.
Two new stores will be located in Atlanta, while Lexington, Ky. Panama City, Fla; Richmond, Va.; Houston; Huntington, W. Va.; and Jeffersonville, Tenn. will get one store this year. Specific locations were not disclosed.
With these openings, Academy’s existing store count will grow to 267 and expand its reach to 18 states. Academy said it is evaluating additional locations that could also open in 2022.
Academy also noted that it expects the new stores to bring nearly 500 new jobs across the eight communities. Individuals interested in careers at Academy Sports + Outdoors can visit careers.academy.com to apply for open positions.
“We have built a strong foundation of stores by being a fun destination that fuels sports, hobbies, and outdoor adventures. We are confident that our wide assortment of top brands and value products, coupled with outstanding customer service will make Academy the go-to sports and outdoors retailer for families in these new communities,” said Michael Mullican, EVP and CFO at Academy Sports, in a statement.
According to Academy, its new stores will offer local customers its roster of products, services, and knowledge its known for, as well as broad assortment from top brands like Nike, Yeti, Adidas, The North Face, Under Armour, Columbia Sportswear, plus Academy’s private label brands like Magellan Outdoors, Freely, Mosaic, H2O Xpress, and BCG.
This news comes as the retailer posted record third quarter earnings in December. Academy posted a net sales increase of 18.1% to $1.59 billion, a third quarter record. Comparable sales grew for the 9th consecutive quarter and merchandise inventories were up 22.4% year over year to $1.3 billion. As a result of the strong numbers, Academy raised its full year sales and earnings guidance.