Dick’s is the leader in the niche, and investors are crystal clear on the opportunity in front of the company.There’s something to be said for seizing the opportunity in front of you, whether it’s in business or in life. For business purposes, sometimes that means having a golden opportunity in front of your company to seize market share and build moat-like protection for your business. As Business Insider reports, that’s exactly the opportunity that was recently in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the retailer promptly picked up the ball and ran with it - and they’re still going forward and not looking back.
For Dick’s, the opportunity presented itself in the form of the misfortune of others. The somewhat surprising news that the Sports Authority was entering bankruptcy earlier this year gave a jolt to the retail industry as a whole, but it was an absolute game changer for the specialty sector of sporting goods. With a major competitor now an afterthought, Dick’s is the dominant player in the sporting goods niche, and investors are crystal clear on the opportunity in front of the company. Dick’s stock price has soared 70% this year to reach its all-time high.
While there are other regional players that are still viable in the niche, no company has the reach or buying the power of Dick’s. That sets it apart as a company that can shape its niche, and that’s an incredible amount of power to have. As with all sectors of retail, there is plenty of competition from online retailers, but sporting goods is one area that attracts customers that like to touch and feel before they purchase. Think golf clubs, tennis rackets, hockey sticks etc. - people like to see how they’ll feel in their hands before pulling the trigger. When purchasing online, they run the risk of having to deal with the hassle of online returns. That’s not an issue when you can head down to the local Dick’s and grab what you need, and that happens to increasingly be the only option for sporting goods enthusiasts.
The biggest competitors to Dick’s moving forward may be the behemoths that have impacted other specialty retailers - i.e. Walmart, Target, and Amazon. However, if they can continue moving forward at full speed and convert former Sports Authority shoppers to Dick’s enthusiasts, those competitors may not have the devastating effects they have had on other segments of the retail industry.