Wilson Sporting Goods Co. celebrated the opening of its first-ever retail location in its hometown of Chicago on Thursday. The new Wilson store in the Gold Coast neighborhood opened at 932 N. Rush Street in the presence of executives, Wilson Advisory Staff and influential Chicagoans.
“With 108 years of history here in Chicago, it was only right that we should 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 so are we hope, “This new store will bring the same sense of pride in our brand to our city.”
“After 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 very first retail location revolves around Wilson’s legacy and serves as a physical ‘love letter’ to our city.”
The 2,247 square foot store offers a curated assortment of sporting goods – including Wilson’s sports equipment for many sports categories such as tennis, baseball, soccer, basketball and golf, as well as Wilson’s new Athletic Lifestyle sportswear collection for both men and women. The store opens with limited-edition products, such as a Chicago-inspired colorway of the Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Additional exclusive offers will fall seasonally – to match the most important sporting moments. Athletes can also have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.
This physical expression of the brand will serve as a testing laboratory to collect feedback and input from athletes and consumers alike. The Wilson Heritage Catalog and historical relics are high on the list of unique store features that create a museum-like in-store environment. The store also features a leather-inspired Wilson signature fragrance and technological elements to provide guests with an upscale shopping experience. Wilson will also be testing Mood Media’s Mood Social offering, which allows customers to interact with the store’s playlist at any time.
Wilson noted that while the brand is new to the brick and mortar space, it has operated pop-up stores at sporting events like the Super Bowl, College World Series, and the US Open for decades. Wilson will continue to expand directly to consumers, opening flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai in the coming months.
Photo courtesy Wilson Sporting Goods