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Hibbett Sporting Goods to open Austin location

Published 10:19am Friday, April 11, 2014

Another retailer is coming to Austin’s 18th Avenue Northwest.

Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc. announced Thursday it will build a 4,000-square-foot store in Austin as part of the strip mall on the south side of Walmart.

“Austin’s going to like us,” said Robby Compton, Hibbett’s real estate manager. “I think we’ll be well received in Austin.”

Hibbett, which will open in Austin this fall, sells athletic equipment, footwear, caps and other apparel.

Compton said the Austin store will sell all major footwear brands and items from major brands like Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Reebok and more.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based chain has had its sights on Austin for about three years — even before the company opened its first Minnesota store in Winona last year.

Austin is a good fit, with the demographic, population and location Hibbett looks for, according to Compton. Hibbett looks to expand into smaller and mid-size markets where there aren’t large sporting goods chains.

“We focus on small markets,” Compton said. “We want to go to the secondary markets; we don’t want to go up against the big box stores.”

Austin is also close in proximity to Hibbett’s Winona location and eight Iowa locations.

Hibbett’s plans were announced just days after Runnings opened in the old Kmart building just down the street at 1400 18th Ave. NW. While Runnings also sells some sporting goods, Compton said he was actually excited to hear about Runnings, as the two companies don’t have much overlap.

“We really don’t have any of the same products,” he said.

Hibbett is looking to open its Austin store in September or October shortly after the back-to-school season. The deep frostline after the area’s bitterly cold winter has kept contractors from starting construction, according to Compton.

Hibbett shows no signs of slowing down, as Compton said the chain is looking to open 85 stores a year.

“We’ve got a pretty strong growth plan,” he said.

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