WEIRTON - A nationally known sporting goods store has leased space in the Kmart Plaza in Weirton.
In a release issued Tuesday afternoon, Hibbett executives said they plan to open the new store this summer. It should employ eight full- and part-time associates.
Mayor George Kondik said the Birmingham, Ala.-based Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc. is taking over the storefront previously occupied by Fashion Bug.
"It's great," Kondik said. "It's showing progress, showing that the plaza is strong and very vital to our community. It's a plus for us, and a plus for the business community as a whole - anytime you land a new business venture, it shows your community is viable and there's potential."
The addition gives Hibbett 10 locations in the Mountain State. Nationwide, the company has more than 883 full-line sporting goods stores in small- to mid-sized markets, primarily in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. There is a location at the Fort Steuben Mall.
Hibbett stores feature branded athletic equipment, footwear and apparel, with a focus on knowledgeable, friendly customer service and providing customers with information they can't always get at other sporting goods stores, according to officials. The chain has a long history of focusing on the needs of local teams and leagues, officials added.
Hibbett's executives say theirs is the only sporting goods chain committed to serving small and mid-size markets, a strategy that's proved to be a successful one for Hibbett as the company continues to expand across the U.S.