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Dick’s Sporting Goods Whisper

Dick’s Sporting Goods Whisper

Research Question: Will severe understaffing at Dick’s Sporting Goods derail sales and cause customers to opt for competitors?

Report Available: July 30, 2015


Blueshift’s initial research shows DKS has ambitious growth plans as it opens up dozens of brick-and-mortar stores and takes measures to improve margins, however reports are surfacing from unsatisfied customers across the nation that DKS stores are extremely understaffed.



  1. A Blueshift associate visited a Salt Lake City DKS store and noticed an alarming lack of employees and no sports-specific specialists late one Friday afternoon in June. Upon further investigation, employees told him the store was severely understaffed and it was a company-wide issue.   “In the area, we also have a Cabella’s, a Bass Pro Shop and a gigantic new Scheel’s. DKS was crammed with millions of dollars of inventory. Even if you wanted to buy a standup paddle board, or a canoe, a boat – all of which were for sale – you couldn’t find anyone to sell it to you.”
  2. Countless recent Yelp reviews for DKS stores across the country mirror this account, including this one:“The kayak I ended up buying from Academy Sports because Dick’s had nobody to help me” —Dick’s Shopper, Dallas TX May 2015
  3. DKS, the largest omni-channel sporting goods store in the U.S., has plans to open 45 new stores throughout the country in 2015. The company believes the U.S. market is large enough for 1,100 stores, two times the number of its present store count. In its most recent quarter, DKS omni-channel same-store sales grew 1% and total sales increased 8.8%. DKS expects to expand its margins and lower promotional activity throughout the year. DKS’ online business has been performing strongly and some question whether this is slowing down foot traffic at its brick-and-mortar stores.
  4. The sporting goods retail segment is outperforming the rest of retail, growing at a 5.8% rate.


Have DKS’ cost cutting measures driven its customers to competing stores? To gain insight into DKS and the sporting goods retail market, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Dick’s store personnel, customers, supply chain, competitors, and industry specialists.


Companies: Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Hibbett (HIBB), Cabela’s (CAB), Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV), Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), Foot Locker (FL)


To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.