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Full-line sporting goods retailer, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS - Analyst Report), takes its store expansion program a step ahead with its plans to open a new store at the East Washington Place in Petaluma, Calif. Celebrations to mark the store’s opening will begin on Jun 7, with offers extending over the weekend.

Located at the new East Washington Place, 401 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 1030, this store will be Dick’s Sporting’s 28th store in Calif. and its 523rd store across the country. This latest store’s offerings will include over 40 convenient in-store services carried out by DICK'S certified PROS in Golf, Bike, Hunting, Fishing, Team Sports and more.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Dick’s Sporting opened 2 namesake stores. This brought the company’s count of DICK's Sporting Goods stores to 520, located across 44 states, and Golf Galaxy stores to 81 in 30 states.

During fiscal 2013, the company plans to open 40 new namesake stores and relocate 1 of them. Of the total DICK’s Sporting stores to be opened, 7 are scheduled to open in the second quarter. Additionally, the company hopes to complete the remodeling of 4 DICK's Sporting Goods stores, while partly remodeling 75 stores. It also intends to open 1 new Golf Galaxy store and relocate 1 Golf Galaxy store in fiscal 2013.

In the long term, the company aims at opening nearly 400 stores, targeting a total store count of about 900 in the United States.

We believe Dick's Sporting continues to progress well with its growth initiatives, which include expanding its store base and bringing in technological advancements to better serve its patrons. The company leverages an extensive network of stores to effectively penetrate into its target markets, which in turn, enables the company to generate healthy sales and gain a competitive advantage over its rivals, including Foot Locker Inc. (FL - Snapshot Report), Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (BGFV - Analyst Report) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT - Analyst Report).

Apart from expanding its store base, Dick’s is also focusing on buyers’ needs to generate growth opportunities that will augment sales. The company aims to provide topnotch shopping experience to its customers and has introduced a new mobile application for iPhones and Android Smartphones that enables the consumers to locate the company’s stores in any particular area and buy goods directly using the application.

We believe that the company’s strategic measures of solidifying its store base and using technology to provide better customer services will enhance its relationship with clients and help attract and retain customers as well as promote its offerings. Currently, Dick's Sporting has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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