Big 5 coming to Orchards, leaving mall

Sporting goods chain will keep 3 county sites after Thursday opening, January closure




A new Big 5 Sporting Goods store is set to open Thursday to serve the growing populations in north Clark County and Orchards.

However, the California-based chain will shut down its Westfield Vancouver mall store in January, which will keep the retailer’s store count at three in Clark County

The new store at Orchards Marketplace, 11505 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., is within the same trade area as the company’s Westfield mall store, said Meriel Myers, the new Orchards store’s manager.

Myers expects the new store to attract customers who might not visit the mall.

“This gives us a new option to draw people who live out in Battle Ground,” she said.

Myers has hired 30 full- and part-time employees to staff the store, located next door to the Jo-Ann Fabric Superstore, which anchors the Orchards Marketplace.

The complex also is home to anchor stores Wholesale Sports, Office Depot, Petco and the LA Fitness athletic club, businesses that generate destination traffic, said Rick Gridley, Big 5’s director of public affairs.

“Our real estate department does its research to find sites with plenty of sports-minded people,” he said. “We look for profitable locations.”

Expansion mode

Gridley said Big 5 is in expansion mode, opening several new stores annually. The company’s first store opened in 1955 in El Segundo, Calif. By 2004, the chain was operating 275 stores in 10 states. Today, Big 5 operates 392 stores in 12 states.

Myers said Vancouver’s new Big 5 will carry the chain’s full range of sporting goods, from baseball and fishing gear to firearms, exercise equipment and a full line of men’s and women’s sports apparel and shoes.

She said her new staff has spent the last few weeks stocking store shelves and displays.

“Right now, we are getting the store ready to open. We built it up from scratch,” Myers said.