Wilson Opens First Store In Chicago; More To Come
Using its hometown as a natural location of a planned direct-to-consumer expansion, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. recently opened its first retail location in Chicago. Located in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood, the 2247-square-foot store carries a curated collection of Wilson’s sports equipment across many sports categories, including tennis, baseball, football, basketball and golf, along with Wilson’s new athletic-lifestyle sportswear collection for both men and women.
“With 108 years of history here in Chicago, it was only right that we start this next chapter in our hometown,” explains Joe Dudy, president of Wilson Sporting Goods. “Wilson is so proud to be Chicago-based and we hope this new store brings our city that same feeling of pride in our brand.”
Wilson noted that while the brand is new to retail, it has executed pop-up stores at sporting events including the Super Bowl, College World Series and the US Open for decades. Wilson will continue its direct-to-consumer expansion by opening flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai in 2021.
“Following the launch of our Wilson sportswear line earlier this summer, it was important that we introduce physical retail locations so that our athletes can experience and interact with our sports equipment and apparel in person,” adds Gordon Devin, president of Wilson Sportswear. “Our first-ever retail location centers around Wilson’s heritage serving as a physical ‘love letter’ to our city.”
The store opened with limited-edition products, such as a Chicago-inspired color of the Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Exclusive merchandise will drop seasonally, aligned with key sports moments. Athletes can have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.
This store will also serve as a test lab to gather feedback and input from athletes and customers. Wilson’s heritage catalog content and historical memorabilia is featured, creating a museum-like in-store environment. The store also features a leather-inspired Wilson signature fragrance and technological elements to elevate the shopping experience. The company will also pilot Mood Media’s Mood Social offering to allow customers to interact with the store’s playlist at any given time.