Dunham’s Sports opens at mall

Published 9:40 am Monday, October 5, 2009

Hunters, campers, bikers, hikers, golfers, athletes and other area residents have a new place to shop for their equipment.

Dunham’s Sports opened in the Northbridge Mall with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.

“We’re excited to be here. We’re excited to be in Albert Lea,” said District Manager Jeremy Rogers. The store entrance is in the in the mall near Anytime Fitness.

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The sports equipment store includes large hunting and fitness departments, a large selection of athletic and outdoor apparel.

“In the hunting department we have a wide range of guns: rifles, shotguns, some vintage stuff, some stuff for entry level, .22s, some great kids’ rifles. Those are some of those things that as a company we’ve really expanded on,” Rogers said.

Barry Heine decided to check out the store on Friday, and he was looking at the hunting ammunition: “I’m an avid hunter and golfer, so I’m checking it out,” he said. Heine said he saw good prices on various products.

Heine said there are places in town that carry shirts and shoes, but he said there weren’t many places that carried a wide variety of hunting ammunition and sporting equipment.

“You can always find shirts. … But for equipment, there really wasn’t any place in town that had sporting equipment,” Heine said.

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Director Randy Kehr attended Dunham’s opening ceremony, and said the business is a good addition to the community. Kehr said the store brought business to the construction companies and other groups that worked on the store.

 “I think, like a lot of major companies, they saw a niche that they could fill in a community that has good retail sales to begin with, so they brought the store here,” Kehr said. Kehr noted they’re not yet members of the chamber.

As fall moves closer to winter, Rogers said Dunham’s will carry ice fishing equipment.

The apparel includes a men’s and women’s Nike shop, and Under Armor and other such products Rogers said weren’t readily carried in Albert Lea.

Rogers said Dunham’s carries products not available in other stores in the area. For example, Dunham’s carries table games like billiards and air hockey.

“This is stuff that I think traditionally people would have to go up to Mankato to try and find,” Rogers said. “We’re hoping that this can bring something to Albert Lea that people don’t have to travel for.”

The store also sells outdoor games, bowling balls and equipment, and fitness equipment.

In spring, they’ll expand their selection to fit the seasonal sports like softball and baseball, Rogers said. Likewise, they’ll carry more kayaks, canoes, canopies, grills and camping materials in the summer.

The store’s shoe department located in the back of the store carries various sports and tennis shoes.

Freeborn resident Jim Beach came out to the store to look for University of Minnesota clothing. Beach was also looking for a shade canopy in the camping section.

“It looks pretty good. Got a little variety of everything,” Beach said.

Dunham’s is the largest retail sporting goods chain in the Midwest. The Waterford, Mich., based company has over 150 stores in 12 states in the Midwestern and eastern U.S. The next closest Dunham’s stores are in Fairmont and Red Wing.

The store will follow mall hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.