Sporting goods giant seeks Midlands site

April 30, 2010 

The Midlands is close to scoring a new sporting goods store. But where Academy Sports & Outdoors will land is unclear.

"We have been looking in the area," spokeswoman Elise Hasbrook said.

The company does not have a lease and has not bought property in the Midlands, Hasbrook said, declining to discuss further details..

The store would be a competitor with Dick's Sporting Goods, Todd & Moore Sporting Goods and Sportsman's Warehouse. The Houston-based chain has stores in Greenville and Spartanburg.

Developer Alan Kahn confirmed that the company has looked at his Village at Sandhill retail complex in Northeast Richland, along with several other sites, but he said he does not know if the company has selected a location.

There also are empty big box spots in the Harbison area and in southeast Columbia and Forest Acres.

Academy started as a tire shop in 1938 that later began selling military surplus, according to its website. The chain added sports and outdoor items to its stores in the 1980s. The store has since grown to more than 100 stores throughout the Southeast.

Academy sells hunting and fishing gear, fitness and sports equipment, sports apparel and camping and boating supplies.

SHOP SHORTS

- Walmart on Forest Drive will get a makeover starting Sunday. The renovation is expected to take less than three months and should not disrupt shoppers during the busiest hours.

The redesign will group popular items together, create wider aisles and add new signs, shelves, flooring and paint.

The retail giant is making similar changes at several Midlands' stores. The Garners Ferry Road store remodel is nearing completion and a renovation at the West Columbia store is under way.

- Timberlake Country Club is building a new restaurant and lounge on Lake Murray. It is set to open in mid-June and will be run by Steven Foulas, owner of Steven W's Downtown Bistro in Newberry. The restaurant will be open to the public through the end of the year. After that, you'll have to buy a country club membership to eat there.

- Kroger on Two Notch Road at Sparkleberry Lane is no longer open 24 hours. The store reduced its hours last week to 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Other stores in the Columbia area will remain open 24 hours. The chain reduced hours at some stores so they could continue to offer low prices during a difficult economy, a spokesman said.

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