Most of the media's attention in recent weeks has focused on retailers announcing bankruptcies, closings or slowing expansion plans. But not everyone is cutting back. Dick's Sporting Goods, for example, plans to add more stores even while projecting flat same-store sale growth this year. Another chain I noticed this week at ICSC's Mid-Atlantic Idea Exchange, which concluded yesterday, was Hibbett Sporting Goods.
The firm historically has operated in the Midwest, but is now looking to broaden it's geographic base. However, it's not looking to compete head-to-head with Dick's or with Sports Authority. For now, it wants to expand in markets without a big box sporting goods chain.
Other retailers on the prowl at the show that were featured on two "Retailers' Runway" panels included Austin Grill Custom Burrito Shop, Back to Rock, Circa Cafes, City Sports, Cutters Mill Pet Store, The Fresh Market, McCormick & Schmick's, Spicy Pickle, Vapiano, Chop't Creative Salad Company, Corner Bakery, The Running Company, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Safeway, Sandella's Flatbread Cafe, Steve & Barry's, The Dandelion Patch and Wagamama.
There are some familiar names in that bunch. But a lot of the others are either international retailers looking to establish a presence in the U.S. or regional retailers looking to broaden their reach.