Dick’s Sporting Goods is bringing 65 job openings and may help revitalize Lakeshore Mall as the national chain opens Friday in the Gainesville shopping center.
The 50,000-square-foot location is a major part of renovations the mall officials hope will attract more retailers and shoppers.
“We are thrilled to add Dick’s Sporting Goods to our retailer lineup,” said Kirsten Boettcher, marketing manager for the mall. “We feel that the North Georgia community will be happy to shop there.”
Under construction since May, the store was built in a previously unoccupied space between J.C. Penney Co. and Sears.
Aside from its sporting products, the store will offer services such as golf club fittings and repairs, tennis racket and lacrosse stick stringings, bike repairs and scope mounting for guns.
“We look forward to opening our new Dick’s Sporting Goods in Gainesville and becoming part of the community,” Lauren Hobart, the company’s senior vice president, said in a press release. “We want to serve athletes of all ages in Gainesville by providing the equipment they need to help them excel.”
The Fortune 500 company is the largest U.S.-based, full-line sporting goods retailer. The new location in Gainesville will be its 17th store in Georgia.
Throughout next weekend, the opening will feature a variety of giveaways and an appearance from former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy.
From noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 5, Murphy, a two-time National League MVP and five-time Gold Glove winner, will meet fans and sign autographs at the store. Starting at 8 a.m. that day, 350 wristbands for autographs will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.
The first 100 adults in line on Friday and Oct. 5 will receive a free “Mystery Gift Card” worth between $5 and $100. In addition, Under Armour Tech T-shirts will be given to the first 100 people Oct. 5, and Scratch and Win cards to the first 100 people Oct. 6.
Lakeshore Mall has been under renovation since late 2012 in an effort to rebrand it as a premium retail center. The redevelopment consisted of consolidating smaller shops into one shopping area and adding the Dick’s location.
As part of those renovations, J.C. Penney must either renovate its current location or demolish it and build a new building. Company officials have yet to announce that decision.
Three new stores plan to open in the mall later this year: Salon Red and Alter Ego Kids are both hair care retailers, and the toy store Toyzam will open before the holidays.
Dick’s is located at 150 Pearl Nix Parkway and will operate under extended hours next weekend.