On Friday, Houston saw the grand opening of two new sporting goods outlets from well-established chains. Academy opened a location in Meyerland in a space left behind by a recently closed Hobby Lobby. This new Academy seems to have opened in response to competitor Dick’s Sporting Goods, who opened up shop across The Loop in the former Meyerland Plaza Bed Bath and Beyond. The new Academy is a bit of a compromise, as they are used to building their own locations. As such, this store feels a bit cramped, dropping the familiar loop layout for only a single major walkway branching off into a T towards the back of the store. The store is a necessary compromise, as Dick’s Sporting Goods is finally going on the offense after years of playing defense against Academy. The company has taken to building locations where Academy does not operate nearby.
Another example is a new Dick’s Warehouse Sale location which also opened on Friday. Located in Northwest Houston, the store takes the space of a former Steinmart that started out years back as a Safeway before holding many other grocery stores. Readers of the blog may also remember that this is not Houston’s first Dick’s Warehouse Sale. Their first store was located in an old Babie’s ‘R Us near Baybrook Mall. An inside source confirmed that Dick’s has wanted to stay but was booted by their landlord for a new permanent tenant, which turned out to be Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. With the opening of three different chains this past Friday, this marks one of the busiest Grand Opening Weekends Houston has had in the past few years.