Dick Hamill had never heard of the place before. But he liked the name.
Hamill is visiting Clearwater from his home in France but he’s interested in picking up something only Dick’s Sporting Goods could offer.
“I just want a bag that says Dick’s,” Hamill said.
But Clearwater residents looking for more than shopping bags now have an alternative for their sporting goods needs.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, opened its doors for a grand opening ribbon cutting Friday (Aug. 26) morning. A special store preview was Thursday (Aug. 25).
The new store is located only minutes away from its major competitor, .
Clearwater resident and bike enthusiast Steve Dinwiddie is a regular Sports Authority shopper. He said he shopped there “because of convenience."
With giant balloons beckoning him though, he decided to give the competition a shot.
Dinwiddie had never been in a Dick’s Sporting Goods, a store whose closest location is in Citrus Park Town Center, a good 45 minutes away. Certainly not accessible from his bike.
“I‘d like to see what kind of clothing they have, I‘ve heard they carry some nice stuff,” Dinwiddie said.
The chain began in 1948 as a small bait and tackle store in New York. Dick Stack opened the store at the age of 18 with $300 given to him by his grandmother. In 1958, Stack expanded the store to carry many of the same items it carries today.
While Dick’s and it’s competitor advertise similar items, some shoppers think there is a difference in the two stores.
Lou Partazana is a transplant from up north where the stores are more common. He said from what he remembers, Dick’s offers merchandise that is better for the common man, while the Sports Authority seems to cater more toward the professional athlete.
“I‘ve always got the impression that Sports Authority has more high end stuff and (at Dick‘s) they have more stuff I can use,” Partazana said.
The new store is celebrating it’s grand opening this weekend with a variety of sales, give-a-ways and guest appearances.
- Former Tampa Bay Bucaneer Mike Alstott will sign autographs from noon to 1:30 p.m Saturday (Aug. 27).
- Lightning player Ryan Malone will sign autographs from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 28).
- Addictive Fishing host Blair Wiggins will make appearances throughout the weekend.
For those who are interested more in shopping than hobnobbing with sports celebrities, Dick’s is also offering some grand opening specials. Look for half off and buy one get one discounts throughout the store.
The first 100 adult customers get a free pair of Crocs Saturday. And on Sunday, the first 100 customers through the door get a gift card with an unknown balance, up to $500.