Academy Sports and Outdoors, a highly anticipated retailer at Columbus Park Crossing, has revealed a collection of giveaways, demonstrations, games and other activities for its grand opening starting Saturday.
The 64,266-square-foot store is located at 6700 Whittlesey Blvd., not far from the intersection of Moon Road and on property formerly owned by North Highland Assembly of God church. It will employ about 100 people.
The Katy, Texas-based retailer of outdoor lifestyle goods, equipment, apparel and accessories had what is called a “soft opening” on Monday, followed by a visit Thursday by 30 youngsters from the Boys & Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley. They will be allowed to go on a $100 shopping spree inside the new store.
“The children will shop for anything they want, including equipment for team sports, all-new footwear, bikes, school apparel, fishing and camping gear, and more,” the company said in a media advisory.
Open since Monday, the store’s grand opening begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the first 150 people in line who “show they are a fan of one of Academy’s social media sites” receiving a mystery gift card valued between $20 and $500. The first 150 customers in line on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. also have the same opportunity for a gift card if they “friend” or “like” one of the retailer’s social media sites. The first 250 people in line each day get a free Academy Sports T-shirt.
The opening activities run through 3 p.m. each day, the retailer said, with cooking demos and samples from Masterbuilt on Saturday, and barbecue demos and tips from Brisket U on Sunday. Youngsters will be able to fish in the store’s Shakespeare catch tank. Professional fisherman Darren Gallaher will be on hand both days.
While Academy Sports and Outdoors will be the anchor for the development on Whittlesey Boulevard, the 16-acre property upon which its store is located also will have two outparcels for additional restaurants and retail businesses. Across the four-lane roadway, an Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom restaurant is being constructed next to Fazoli’s, and there are plans to build a convenience store and gas station on the site.
Founded in 1938, Academy Sports and Outdoors sells merchandise at what it calls “every day low prices.” Goods available for purchase include leisure items such as barbecue grills, athletic apparel and footwear, hunting, fishing and camping gear. Brands it carries include Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Columbia and Magellan Outdoors. Hunting and fishing licenses will be sold, with other services available for outdoors enthusiasts.