Academy Sports and Outdoors will open its second Wichita store Friday.
The newly constructed store at 2540 N. Greenwich, just south of K-96, opens at 8:30 a.m.
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Derrick Newberry, operations manager of Academy’s east Wichita store, said Thursday that the store has more than 100 part- and full-time employees.
Of the store’s 72,000 square feet, most of it – 67,000 square feet – is occupied by merchandise.
He said the east store differs slightly from the Academy store across town at 2710 N. Maize Road, which opened in November 2012.
But overall “it’s really the same layout,” he said. “It should be easy for anybody who has shopped our west store in the past to come over and shop (here).
Newberry was previously assigned to the west Wichita store.
He said it took a month to prepare the east store for opening.
“It’s been a four-week process,” Newberry said. “Three weeks of merchandise flying in and one week of getting ready for the grand opening.”
Academy is moving into a crowded market on the city’s east side among big box sporting goods retailers. The competition on the east side includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Kansas Sampler/Rally House and Cabela’s, which is literally across the street, in the Regency Lakes retail development.
Newberry said he thinks Academy distinguishes itself from the competition by offering a broad selection of merchandise, such as its footwear department, which in addition to athletic shoes carries work boots, Western boots, hunting boots and casual shoes.
“When we carry something, we’re all in,” he said.
Academy’s other departments include men’s, women’s and children’s athletic and outdoors apparel, firearms and hunting, fishing and camping equipment.
Allan Rojas, a spokesman for the Katy, Texas-based, privately held retailer, said the east Wichita store is one of three that will be opening Friday. Academy also is opening stores simultaneously in Johnson City, Tenn., and Elizabethtown, Ky.
With those openings, the company will have 196 stores in 15 states.
He said the west Wichita store was the company’s first store in Kansas. It has since opened stores in Topeka, Olathe and Overland Park.