Dreams, Inc. is turning sports memorabilia into a chain–at least in Chicago.
FansEdge, the leading retail brand of Dreams, Inc., says the company will open six of its new concept stores in the Chicago area by October of this year. The FansEdge expansion comes after the company reported success with its first location at the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois. Dreams says first store opened in May and has already surpassed projections by combining its online store with brick-and-mortar operations.
“We are thrilled with the success of our first FansEdge store and have equally high hopes for the new locations,” said Jorge Salvat, Brick and Mortar Division President for Dreams, Inc. “We’ve been monitoring the operations at our Fox Valley Mall store, and are ready to duplicate the accomplishment throughout the greater Chicago area.”
FansEdge include a large selection of autographed and other sports collectibles but are heavy on sports fan-related products. The first Chicago area store offered touch-screen interactive window displays, providing mall shoppers with the ability to utilize the facade of the store to browse the complete FansEdge inventory. In addition, the displays will simulcast videos of athlete autograph signings from other Dreams Inc. company stores across the country.
Salvat said that expansion in the Chicago area was a natural for several reasons. From a distribution standpoint, it made sense because Dreams Retail is headquartered there, and with the success of Chicago teams and the loyalty of their fan base, it reinforced the idea.
The stores also include interactive kiosks for ordering products. According to Dreams Retail President and FansEdge founder Kevin Bates, the concept of multi-channel retailing has worked. “We can provide our customers with the option to shop online or on site with the same high level of customer service, and offer an experience that they will enjoy. This has led to repeat business, and sales revenue at the Fox Valley Mall location has already exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” said Bates.
New store locations include downtown at the Northbridge Mall, as well as the Orlando Square Mall, River Oaks Mall, Lincolnwood Mall and Woodfield Mall.