How Dick’s sporting goods thrived during the pandemic

We have heard a lot about the successes of Amazon and Walmart as essential retailers during the pandemic, but it’s time to add another to the list: Dick’s Sporting Goods.

After closing its 720 locations in the United States in March, the retailer nonetheless saw both sales and same-store sales increase 23% in the third quarter. At CES on Tuesday, Lauren Hobart – the current president who will assume the additional title of CEO on February 1 – spoke about how the sporting goods retailer survived and then thrived in 2020 – and what that means for Dick’s in 2021.

A two-day pivot to pick up on the sidewalk

According to Hobart, Dick’s in-house tech team had focused on optimizing the customer experience when the chain had to shut down temporarily.

“We were at a point where luckily just as the stores closed our tech team was able to turn curbside in literally two days,” she said, describing the first iteration as “rambling. “.

“It was one of those things where you didn’t have mobile alerts saying you were there – you had to call [on the] phone when you got there, but it got the job done and freed up hundreds of millions of dollars of inventory that would otherwise have been stranded in our stores and it gave our team the opportunity to work, ”a she added.

From there, the increased consumer interest in the outdoors naturally benefited a brand like Dick’s.

“The consumer started to really become an avid outdoorsman in every way possible – so people started running, kayaking, biking, [golfing]Hobart said. “All of these outdoor activities have become so important and our stores have been able to meet this curbside need.”

The new pickup option has also helped Dick’s expand its customer base.

“Overtime, [curbside] has become an incredible benefit to the consumer who I think has moved more from security requirements to incredible convenience and our stores have honestly become the center of this omnichannel ecosystem, which we have been talking about for some time, ”he said. she declared.

Now, said Hobart, consumer behavior has changed forever and the sidewalk is “absolutely here to stay.”

70% of buyers have ScoreCards

After the influx of millions of new customers, Dick’s challenge then was to engage those consumers in his loyalty program, ScoreCard, to help them understand who exactly they were and to nurture those relationships.

“Over 70% of our transactions go through this program,” Hobart said. “So we’re used to trying to get people to join the program, and we’ve obviously done that at length with our new clients.”

In addition, Dick’s hosted its very first “ScoreCard Appreciation Week”. The effort brought even more benefits to members and launched another program for the brand’s most loyal customers.

“It’s honestly the lifeblood of all of our personalized personalized marketing,” Hobart added. “Our ScoreCard database – we use it to feed everything from our digital media to emails and direct mail printing. It all comes from the ScoreCard database and we’re very, very careful about it. “

70% of orders are shipped through stores

Dick’s has a major advantage over other stores in the mall: exterior entrances and drive-thru, even in its malls. These areas allowed Dick’s to serve customers everywhere, even when malls were closed.

“The future of shopping centers obviously still affects us, but we have fortunately been somewhat insulated from this short-term effect,” she said.

And while she noted that Dick’s does not plan to “blow up a number of stores,” its stores are nonetheless “a vital part of our future” as “the hub of this omnichannel ecosystem.”

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