Sporting Goods Retail Industry Icon Jim Chick Passes Away

The National Sporting Goods Association announced that former NSGA Board Member and Chairman Jim Chic has passed away.

Chick was an original on the California and national sporting goods retail scene, building large scale stores that stocked a wide array of products from team sports and snow sports to hunting and fishing gear, athletic apparel and footwear.

Chic stores were some of the first to introduce folded clothing on front desks, a format previously a domain of department stores. His stores were known for selling well and stocking the best brands. Trends and brands started in Chic’s Sporting Goods Stores.

“James M. Chick has transformed Chick’s Sporting Goods, a small family sporting goods business in California, into one of the greatest success stories in the industry,” the NSGA said in a press release. “Chick, who also served the NSGA as Chairman of the Board and was inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in 2004, passed away Tuesday, March 7 at the age of 76.”

Jim Chick was President and CEO of Chick’s Sporting Goods, headquartered in Covina, California, for nearly 40 years. He was a member of the NSGA Board of Directors from 1985 to 1994 and Chairman of the Board in 1992.

“Mr. Chick exemplifies the best qualities of our industry,” said NSGA President and CEO Matt Carlson. gave back to those it was based in. He also shared his time and expertise to help his colleagues thrive through his work on the NSGA Board of Directors. We are saddened by the passing of Mr Chick and send our prayers to his family and friends deepest condolences.”

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Chick’s father, Jim Sr., opened the first Chick’s Sporting Goods store in 1949. It was purchased by Jim Jr.’s grandparents, Ralph and Hazel Chambers, as an investment in their grandson’s future. Jim Chick, Jr. worked 30 hours a week at the store through high school while he was a full-time business student at Cal Poly Pomona University. In 1968, at the age of 21, he bought the company from his grandparents, and in 1976 he relocated the store to an old 22,000-square-foot grocery store, while most of his competitors were in spaces between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet.
The move heralded Chick’s Sporting Goods’ transformation from a small-town store with annual sales of $180,000 to 16 stores and sales of $90 million. The company also made a significant impact on communities by donating $10,000 per store to local schools and sports-related youth organizations.

Chick’s Sporting Goods has been consistently ranked among the top 100 retailers in the industry, and Chick has been recognized by the industry with the 1988 Sporting Goods Dealer Leadership Award, 1995 Licensed Products Retailer of the Year and Retail Merchandising Trendsetter of the Year Runner. 2001 on.

Chick’s Sporting Goods was acquired by Dick’s Sporting Goods in November 2007 when Chick retired.

He loved spending time with friends and family at his home in Claremont, his home in Laguna Beach and his ranch in Idaho. Although his memory gradually faded due to his dementia, he was surrounded by people who loved him.

Chick was the firstborn child of Elizabeth Eleanor Chick and James Elmo Chick, and he had two sisters, Betsy Muenyong and Cindy Chick.

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Jim Jr. inherited his father’s love of the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was married for 30 years and had two children from a previous marriage, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Photo courtesy of the NSGA

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