Wilson Sporting Goods Co. has added physical retail to its game.
The 108-year-old company has opened its first-ever store, a 2,247-sq.-ft. location in its Chicago hometown. Wilson will continue its direct-to-consumer expansion, opening flagships in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai in the coming months.
The Chicago store will serve as a test lab to gather feedback and input from athletes and consumers alike. It is designed as a physical expression of the brand, complete with a distinct, leather-inspired Wilson signature scent. The space pays homage to Chicago and also celebrates Wilson’s history, with heritage content from the brand’s catalogs over the years and historical items creating a museum-like environment.
The store is also piloting a new offering from Mood Media that allows customers to interact with the store playlist at any given time.
The merchandise offering is a curated assortment of Wilson's signature high-performance sports equipment across categories such as tennis, baseball, football, basketball and golf. It also is home to Wilson's new athletic-lifestyle sportswear collection, available for both men and women.
The new outpost opened with limited-edition products specific to Chicago. Additional exclusives will drop seasonally to align with key sports moments. Customers can also have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.
"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," said 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 brand is not new to retail, having executed pop-up stores at sporting events like Super Bowl, College World Series and the US Open for decades.
Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high-performance sports equipment, apparel and accessories.