Competition between outdoor- and sporting-goods retailers is about to heat up in the Rogue Valley.

Construction on an 89,000-square-foot Dick's Sporting Goods and Field & Stream store at Northgate Marketplace will begin this spring, with the store perhaps opening in time for the 2016 holiday shopping season. The store will be 10 percent larger than Northgate Marketplace's entire retail space that opened in 2012.

That's not the only new addition for Northgate. Regency Centers, which manages the property, has lined up national household products discounter HomeGoods and The RAM, a restaurant/brew pub with 30 locations in six states, including Oregon outlets in Salem and Clackamas.

Site work began late last year on Northgate Marketplace's 17.8-acre second phase, which is scheduled to include nearly 180,000 square feet of retail space. 

Dick's Sporting Goods reported sales of nearly $2.2 billion in 2014. The Field & Stream element is relatively new for the company, which launched its first Field & Stream stand-alone store in August 2013. Early in the fourth-quarter of 2015, Dick's pushed its sporting goods store count to 646 with 15 standalone Field & Stream stores and four combo store locations.

"The majority of the Field & Stream stores going forward will probably be in this combo format where we have a Dick’s and a Field & Stream right next to each other," Chairman and CEO Edward Stack told analysts in November. "We’ve made an investment in Field & Stream over the last several years that has been pretty significant, that we think we’ve found the right vehicle in these combo stores that will pay great dividends."

The two closest Dick's stores, in north Eugene and Redding, Calif., were opened in 2009 and 2013. Stack indicated his company would expand the Field & Stream brand toward California.

"We’re looking at Field & Stream in some of our better hunt markets, our better outdoor markets. As we take a look at what the hunting participation is, the fishing participation is, those are the markets that we’ve opened them up in."

Email and telephone requests for comment from Dick's Sporting Goods headquarters in Coraopolis, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, were not immediately returned.

The new Dick's and Field & Stream combo store will find a variety of competition locally, including publicly traded Sportsman's Warehouse, Sports Authority and Big 5 Sporting Goods, member-owned REI, and longtime local stores Black Bird Shopping Center, Northwest Outdoor Store and Cascade Athletic Supply.

The arrival of Dick's in Medford might preempt a similar move by Cabela's, which has been building stores along Interstate 5.

"Cabela's is its most direct competitor," said Joan McBee, who chairs Southern Oregon University's business school. "Dick's is a one-stop shop for everything. I don't think we have another like that in this area."

Even with online buying trending ever higher, McBee pointed out Internet sales account for about 8 percent of all retail purchases. Brick-and-mortar stores still provide strategic opportunities for retailers.

"Impulse shopping goes on in stores, where you can see and touch everything," McBee said. "Online, you see a limited inventory."

With REI, Sports Authority, Sportsman's Warehouse and other stores nearby, Dick's will add to the opportunities for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

"It'll be like a kid going to the candy store when it opens," she said. "When you open a store, it better be entertaining or thoroughly a delight. With the selection Dick's offers, they're aiming at thoroughly delighting."

Dick's Sporting Goods and Field & Stream will be near the southeast corner of the North Central Avenue and McAndrews Road intersection. Access will be via the Ohio Street roundabout from the north and from Central Avenue to the south. 

"They look at what people are spending money on in this area, and in Southern Oregon we spend more than the average for hunting and fishing, and golf," McBee said. "We're pretty sports-oriented in this area; it's a good move for them. I go to Cabela's in Eugene when the smaller stores here don't have the brands or prices I want. I'm sure there are others like me."

 

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.