A national sports retailer looks to move into the empty Sears spot at Mall of Louisiana
Piece originally published by The Advocate -
The former Sears space in the Mall of Louisiana could be getting a new tenant after being vacant for nearly three years.
Dick's House of Sport filed for a permit Friday morning to remodel the empty anchor tenant space in the shopping center.
Officials with Dick's and Transformco, the parent company of Sears, did not respond for comment. Gene Satern, the general manager of the Mall of Louisiana, said in an email he didn't have much information on the potential redevelopment.
Dick’s House of Sport is a new store model launched by the sporting goods chain. It gives customers a chance to try products by offering things such as batting cages for baseball and softball, a putting area for golf, rock climbing walls and a variety of turfs to try out soccer and football cleats. Some locations even have fields attached that are used for sports clinics and league play.
Dick’s House of Sport stores are over 100,000 square feet, about five times larger than typical Dick’s Sporting Goods locations.
The first stores opened in 2021, but over the past year Dick’s has heavily invested in the concept. Nine Dick’s House of Sport opened last year, and the chain plans to open 10 more this year, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.
The 12 current Dick’s House of Sport locations include Katy, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Fayetteville, North Carolina. While most of those stores are rebrandings of Field & Stream sites, empty department store space has been remodeled in a couple of cases. A former Sears in Rochester, New York, was converted to Dick’s House of Sport, as was a Macy’s in Johnson City, New York.
In Wilmington, Delaware, work is currently underway to turn a Bed Bath & Beyond into a Dick’s House of Sport, while a former Sears location in Frederick, Maryland, is being rebranded.
The chain plans to open between 75 to 100 Dick’s House of Sport stores by 2027.
The two-level, 123,744-square-foot space at Mall of Louisiana has been empty since Sears shut down its store in April 2021. It was the last remaining Sears store in the state. Sears was one of the original anchors of the mall.
Because of the size of the space, some local commercial real estate experts had said one of the best potential redevelopments was turning it into a fitness/entertainment concept. That was hampered by the COVID pandemic and the fact that the mall already has a Main Event family entertainment center with a bowling alley, laser tag arena and arcade.