Photo by Marienne Thomas Ogle.
Academy Sports + Outdoors at 2810 John Hawkins Parkway is currently expanding its retail space by 23,500 square feet by including space previously occupied by four other businesses, which are relocating within the shopping center.
From gear to garb, patrons of Academy Sports + Outdoors will see a marked increase in brands and merchandise by late summer.
The location at 2810 John Hawkins Parkway is undergoing an extensive expansion that will increase floor size from the original 50,000 square feet to 73,500 square feet, said store director Bill Simms.
“We’ve been wanting to expand for quite a while and finally got the OK,” he said. “We’re working with the landlord, put in a dust wall and began demolition in January.”
The expansion has included extending the Academy building to include space previously occupied by four other businesses, Simms said. Those stores are relocating within the same shopping center.
According to Simms, all store departments will be enlarged as part of the project.
The bicycle section will occupy an entire wall of the building, stretching from floor to ceiling, while the Fan Shop, which features collegiate gear, will have its own department rather than occupying a section of the clothing area.
“The beauty of it for us is that we’ll now carry all the lines possible (that) an Academy Sports + Outdoor Sports store can carry, including clothing, shoes, sports and camping equipment, teams sports, electronics and exercise,” he said. “The company has a prototype store and when we grow by one third in size, we will be that store.”
Simms said the expansion project will likely translate to more employees.
“Sales will go up with all the additional merchandise,” he said. “Because we staff for the amount of business rather than the store, we expect that to grow, too.”
Simms said he anticipates a very positive community reaction to the changes.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we’re doing this,” he said. “I live about four miles from this store, and this is where I shop. I’m excited about it, and I think everyone else will be, too.”
Bill Powell, executive director of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, said he’s been a customer of the Academy Sports + Outdoor John Hawkins Highway location for years.
“Hoover’s location amidst two interstates and two state roads makes us a mecca for the specialty and larger sporting goods stores and shows the kind of confidence the businesses have in our city,” Powell said. “I’ve always been impressed with the store and the good people working there. They’re expanding almost 50 percent. There’s no telling how impressive it will be now.”