Dick's Sporting Goods vs. Sports Authority

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Difference between Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority

If sporting goods are what you are after, Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority are two names that should be at the top of your list. Offering a wide range of affordably priced, high quality sporting goods and athletic apparel, these two stores are worthy of a closer look, as we do in this comparison article.

Sports Authority


Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. is a sporting goods retail chain based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its headquarters are located on the Pittsburgh International Airport grounds in Findlay Township.

Sports Authority (sometimes known as “The Sports Authority” in some parts of the country) is one of the largest retailers of sporting goods in the United States. Its headquarters are located in Englewood, Colorado.


By August of 2009, Dick's Sporting Goods had more than 400 stores in 40 states, with many being located in the eastern section of the country. The company is also the owner of Golf Galaxy, Inc., a golf specialty retail chain with 91 outlets in 31 states. The company was founded by Richard "Dick" Stack in 1948, and it achieved massive expansion via a series of acquisitions in the 1990s. The company is now one of the largest sports retail chains in the world.

Sports Authority for its part has over 460 stores in 45 states. The company also has a retail website operated by GSI Commerce, Inc. Since the site is run by another company, it often features a wider selection of merchandise than the Sports Authority stores. The company also operates stores in Japan by way of a joint agreement with ÆON Co., Ltd.

Market Performance

Both Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority have achieved massive growth over the years, particularly in the last decade. With record sales growth and widespread expansion, both chains are poised to become the industry leaders in the sporting goods category.

Sports Authority has reported annual sales in excess of $1.76 billion, while Dick's Sporting Goods for its part registered sales of $1.47 billion in the last year. These figures have invited comparisons of the two chains with prominent retail outlets Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe's.

Approach Towards Growth

It is interesting to note that Sports Authority and Dick's Sporting Goods have achieved growth in distinctively different ways. While Sports Authority has achieved the feat via a series of successful and highly profitable mergers (among them the merger with Gart Sports), Dick's Sporting Goods has built much of its growth on a more organic process that only recently involved acquisition, a failed one for Bob's Stores at that. Nevertheless, both companies are set on expanding operations and future growth, as evidenced by the opening of 23 new Sports Authority, and Dick's Sporting Goods own expansion.

Similarities and Differences

Dick's Sporting Goods

  • Sporting goods retail chain based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Has more than 400 stores in 40 states

Sports Authority

  • One of the largest retailers of sporting goods in the United States
  • Has over 460 stores in 45 states


comments 3 Comments

  • brady . 3+ yrs. ago

Thank you, that really helps, I had to do a paper on how Sports Authority and **** are different from each other. Thanks again!

  • Robert Szymanski . 3+ yrs. ago

I thank ****'s should buy Sports Authority, the store in North Port is GREAT. The sales people are very knowledgeable of everything. Would hate to see the store go

  • Benajmin . 3+ yrs. ago

Great Article

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