Sporting goods store leases former Toys ‘R’ Us space in Short Pump

Academy Sports + Outdoors has leased the former Toys ‘R’ Us-Babies ‘R’ Us combo store space at 11861 W. Broad St. and plans to open its first local store there in the fall. (Jack Jacobs photo)

A Texas-based sporting goods retailer has teed up its entry into the Richmond area at a former toy store.

Academy Sports + Outdoors has leased the former Toys ‘R’ Us-Babies ‘R’ Us combo store at 11861 W. Broad St. in The Corner at Short Pump shopping center.

The chain has taken over the roughly 60,000-square-foot co-anchor space, which Toys ‘R’ Us vacated amid its bankruptcy in 2018.

Academy is expected to open there this fall, company spokesman Allan Rojas said in an email Thursday. It would be the company’s first location in Virginia.

Academy sells sports equipment and clothing, as well as gear for hunting, fishing and camping. It also offers services like grill and bike assembly and propane exchanges. People can also buy hunting and fishing licenses at Academy stores.

The company’s stores carry brands such as The North Face, Under Armour and Yeti in addition to private label brands Magellan Outdoors, O’Rageous and others.

The store will have about 60 employees.

Connie Jordan Nielsen of Thalhimer handled lease negotiations for the tenant. Alicia Brown and Nicki Jassy, also of Thalhimer, handled lease negotiations on behalf of the center’s owner Rebkee Co. Thalhimer announced the lease this week.

The Kroger-anchored shopping center is also home to Bassett Furniture, Gelati Celesti, which is expanding its ice cream shop there, as well as Clean Eatz restaurant and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Rebkee bought the center in 2011 and expanded it over the following several years. The building formerly occupied by Toys ‘R’ Us was built in 2012.

Academy currently has 259 stores in 16 states in the South, Midwest and Southeast. The company plans to open eight locations in 2022, including its first in West Virginia, Rojas said.

Its move into Short Pump is one of the largest retail leases in the area since Container Store and Arhaus took over a former HHGregg store in front Short Pump Town Center.

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Brian Glass
Brian Glass
28 days ago

Heavy competition with Dick’s, Cabella’s, and Golf Galaxy. Iwish them luck !

Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
28 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

So true and you forgot REI which is just up the road in West Broad Village next to Golf Galaxy. I agree I would have thought their first VA store might be a NOVA or Fredericksburg store not the smaller RVA market in the middle of the oversaturated sports corridor.

Andy Kaplan
Andy Kaplan
27 days ago

There is also Disco Sports in West End.

Joey Perry
Joey Perry
27 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Unless you want team sports gear such as baseball or football gear then dicks sporting goods is one of the only games in town except for local places. Not many baseball or football gear places left it seems. I imagine the internet got them just like the sports card market got the brick and mortar places too.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
24 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Funny I came down here to speculate about “Peak Outdoors” and a bunch of you beat me to it!!!

Not that I am saying that we are there, but it seems like we gotta be close, right? How many vans can we convert to campers?

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
27 days ago

This is welcome!!! The Cabella’s in RVA has zero merchandise for kids and Dick’s is overpriced. Hopefully they will carry brands, whether in-house or otherwise, that are a little more reasonable.