Hibbett Sporting Goods Coming to Milford

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hibbetsBy Terry Rogers

Hibbett’s Sporting Goods, which specializes in team sports, athletic footwear and college fan wear, plans to open a new store in the Food Lion Shopping Center within the next two months. The store, which formerly housed Advanced Auto Parts, is being renovated to meet the needs of the new retail location.

“Here at Hibbett’s, we focus on smaller to mid-size markets where consumers may have to drive 35 miles or more to purchase the merchandise we offer,” said Jimmy White, who handles expansion for Hibbett’s in Delaware. “We bring something to the community that consumers, landlords and vendors need.” White explained that the company avoids larger, metropolitan areas as they see more of a need in smaller markets.

Hibbett’s philosophy is to focus on the customer, carefully choosing merchandise that meet the needs of the local consumer. A publicly traded company with 876 stores throughout the country, Hibbett Sporting Goods is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is known for keeping costs low while providing exceptional customer service, keeping a hometown feel in each of the stores they open.

“Right now, consumers in Milford have to drive to Dover to purchase the same sports merchandise we sell,” White explained. “In just a few weeks, they will be able to purchase college sports items and name-brand athletic shoes right in Milford.”

In addition to athletic footwear designed for specific sports, including soccer, baseball, and football, Hibbett’s also carries a large selection of fashion athletic footwear for consumers. The company also carries seasonal sports gear all year, rather than just during the season.

The new sports complex, planned just south of Frederica and scheduled to open in 2014, was another factor that drew the sporting franchise to Milford. The Kent county Regional Sports Complex is estimated to bring $18 million per year to the area and anticipated to create as many as 300 jobs. Hibbett’s is the second sporting goods store to open in Milford in the past few months. Olympia Sports opened in the Milford Plaza just before Christmas. The store plans to employ up to ten full and part-time employees.