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June/July 2009

Academy Keeps Moving

by Clint Shields

Even in a sluggish economy, Texas runners, bikers, fishermen and seasonal hunters still find the time to carry on their hobbies. Texas-born and based Academy Sports and Outdoors started as a 1930s San Antonio tire store before moving into sporting goods in the 1980s. The company has grown into one of the more recognizable names in sports equipment and apparel in the south and southwest and continues to grow to meet customer demands.

With more than 100 stores in 11 states — 74 in Texas alone — and more than 13,000 employees, the company expands into new markets as business warrants. According to the company, expansion has always been smart and careful. Not a single new Texas store has had to close once it was opened. New stores are opening in Texas in 2009, as well as planned openings slated for Alabama and South Carolina.

Headquartered in Katy, near Houston, Academy prides itself on offering name-brand equipment and merchandise as well as lower-priced off-brand equipment and apparel.

Nationally, consumer spending on sporting goods in 2008 was about the same as in 2007, after several years of consecutive gains since 2001. Privately held Academy, meanwhile, has enjoyed annual sales growth of about 17 percent over the last decade.

For more information, visit Academy’s Web site.

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