Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON – A major sporting goods chain announced an expansion to Benton with hopes to open a store by January.
Jeff Gray, vice president of real estate with Hibbett Sports, said the store will be in the West Fifth Street shopping center next to Cato Fashions and across the parking lot from Walmart. The location is the former Dollar Tree store.
“We were hoping to open by the end of the year, but now we’re hoping for mid January,” Gray said. “We were shooting for the holidays, but some construction work needed in the store will not be completed in time.”
The store will hire between six to eight retail employees. Hibbett offers college and pro fan wear, a range of sporting goods and athletic foot wear. While it does not offer customization in-store, Hibbett has an order service to add names and numbers to jerseys.
“We’ve seen our stores succeed in markets like Paducah, Murray, Mayfield and Hopkinsville, and thought Benton was sort of in a pocket with sporting goods retail, which is why we decided to open this store,” Gray said.
Hibbett stores tend to regionalize to offer consumers fan wear and sporting goods popular within the community. Gray said most Kentucky stores offer a wide range of University of Kentucky clothing and other teams popular in the area.
According to a Hibbett press release, the company operates 845 stores in smaller to mid-sized markets. Its focus is on Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern communities. It is based in Birmingham, Ala.