Visiting the new Wilson Sporting Goods store (932 N. Rush St.; www.wilson.com/en-us&; during its July 15 grand opening, this writer learned two big things:
1. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is actually headquartered in Chicago, in the Loop.
2. This Gold Coast business is Wilson's first brick-and-mortar storeever.
"With 108 years of history here in Chicago, it was only right that we start this next chapter in our hometown," said Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President Joe Dudy, in a statement. "Wilson is so proud to be Chicago-based, and we hope this new store brings our city that same feeling of pride in our brand." (Note: Dudy was also the affable individual who informed me of the two previously mentioned facts.)
"Following the launch of our Wilson Sportswear line earlier this summer, it was important that we introduce physical retail locations so that our athletes can experience and interact with our sports equipment and apparel in person," added Wilson Sportswear President Gordon Devin. "Our first-ever retail location centers around Wilson's heritage, serving as a physical 'love letter' to our city."
The 2,247 square-foot store will offer a curated assortment of sporting goods — inclusive of Wilson's high-performance sports equipment across many sport categories such as tennis, baseball, football, basketball and golf, and Wilson's new athletic-lifestyle sportswear collection, available for both men and women. The store will open with limited-edition products, such as a Chicago-inspired colorway of the Wilson A2000 baseball glove. Additional exclusives will drop seasonally, aligning with key sports moments. Athletes can also have Wilson rackets and ball gloves customized in-store during regularly scheduled special events.
Wilson will continue its direct-to-consumer expansion opening flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing and Shanghai in the coming months.