Thursday, April 25, 2024

Long vacant Sears building in East Long Beach to become Sports Basement (and why that’s good news)

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Marking its second location in SoCal and its thirteenth statewide, the San Francisco-based Sports Basement will be taking over the vacant Sears building at the Los Altos Marketcenter, according to the LB4D blog.

Starting off as a weekends-only shopping space out of a warehouse in San Francisco in 1998, Sports Basement is a welcomed addition to what is becoming a fiercely trying time for Big Box stores, especially in Long Beach: Orchard Supply, one of the anchor tenants of the Long Beach Exchange complex off of Lakewood Boulevard, shuttered its windows less than five months after opening them in 2018; the space still remains vacant. Best Buy at Marina Pacifica also closed its doors in 2018 with a gym finally taking over the space this year. And Sears itself? It operated some 300 stores in 2019 that have now dwindled to 40.

The code to Sports Basement’s success as a thriving brick-and-mortar abid the world of e-commerce is what many others are noting: Experiential shopping has a place in the world where digital shopping dominates.

Take a look at how they cater their events, one of the many ways they focus on things that websites simply can’t mimic: Their events are daily. Yes, daily—and they range from yoga classes to comedy shows to toured bike rides to sports fans-centric gatherings. And they turn to their communities to curate those events. If the neighborhood is more family-centric, classes and events will likely be baby- and kid-friendly. If the neighborhood is more young professional-leaning, then you’ll have a comedy show or class with free beer.

When it comes to what you can buy in their stores, it is not just merchandise that permanently becomes a part of your at-home location. They have rental packages that cater to everything from first time hikers and overnight campers who don’t want to invest to cargo bikes to get around for a couple hours.

They tailor and they tailor well—well beyond e-commerce ever could.

And much like its hunting-and-fishing counterpart Bass Pro Shop—which has created natural history museum-like spaces that have waterfalls, fish tanks, and taxidermy galore—Sports Basement does this with the active lifestyle.

According to LB4D, Sports Basement is expected to open next year.

Sports Basement will be located at 2100 N. Bellflower Blvd.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

2 COMMENTS

  1. We need a Department store. We have enough junk stores like TJMax , Target.
    We need a store like Kohls , Macy’s,Penny’s 👍ect… and they have sporting goods there already. We need a nice clothing store.The Lakewood Mall is all run down and is now full of junk stores that are falling apart.

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