Wilson Sporting Goods Co. celebrated the grand opening of its first-ever retail location on Thursday in its hometown of Chicago. Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, the new Wilson store “kicked off” at 932 N. Rush Street with executives, Wilson advisory staff members, and influential Chicagoans present.
The 2,247 square-foot store offers a curated assortment of sporting goods – inclusive of Wilson’s high-performance sports equipment across many sports categories such as tennis, baseball, football, basketball, and golf, and Wilson’s new athletic lifestyle sportswear collection, available for both men and women. The store will open with limited-edition products, such as a Chicago-inspired colorway of the Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Additional exclusives will drop seasonally – aligning with key sports moments. Athletes can also have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.
This physical expression of the brand serves as a test lab to gather feedback and input from athletes and consumers alike. Wilson heritage catalog content and historical relics top the list of unique store features creating a museum-like in-store environment. The store also features a distinct, leather-inspired Wilson signature scent, and technological elements to further provide an elevated shopping experience for guests. Wilson will also be piloting Mood Media’s Mood Social offering, which will allow customers to interact with the store playlist at any given time.
“With 108 years of history here in Chicago, it was only right that we start this next chapter in our hometown,” said Joe Dudy, president of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. “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.”
“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,” added 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.”
While Wilson is new to brick-and-mortar, the leading sporting goods brand is not new to retail, having executed dynamic pop-up stores at sporting events like Super Bowl, College World Series, and the US Open for decades. Wilson will continue its direct-to-consumer expansion opening flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Shanghai in the coming months.