The owners of Southgate Mall have announced that SCHEELS All Sports will open a 110,000-square-foot store in the second half of 2021 in the old JCPenney building at the mall.
SCHEELS is a Fargo, North Dakota-based company that bills its stores as a "one-of-a-kind retail adventure" that includes interactive games, sports simulators, an archery lane and a cafe serving homemade fudge and specialty coffee. The Billings location features an indoor Ferris wheel.
Lou Conforti, the CEO and director of Washington Prime Group, the Ohio-based company that owns the mall, said the store fits in with Missoula's culture.
“Visit the website destinationmissoula.com and the first thing which pops up is a series of vignettes which espouse the virtues of Missoula," Conforti said in a statement. "Having now visited Southgate Mall several times over the previous 18 months, I am pleased to report every single one of them is true … music, dining, culture and especially the one which proclaims ‘the great outdoors are right outside your door.’"
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Conforti went on to say that the store will cater to people seeking a variety of adventures.
“With this in mind, there was only one logical choice to satisfy every hiking, skiing, skating, baseballing, boxing, softballing, cycling, hunting, swimming, soccering, fishing, running, camping, spectating, yogaing (just to name a few) needs of active Missoulians, and we’re pleased to announce it is SCHEELS," he said. "They’re one of the best merchants out there for the simple reason they respect their customers and colleagues (they’re employee owned) and their stores are really cool."
Bob Wards Sports and Outdoors, an outdoor gear and hunting store, is located just across the parking lot from the current JCPenney's, and JCPenney's is expected to close sometime before summer this year.
"We are thrilled to bring the state's third SCHEELS store to Missoula, specifically Southgate Mall," said Steve M. Scheel, the CEO of SCHEELS. "We first opened in Montana more than 50 years ago and since then have enjoyed serving the people and communities across the state. Our Missoula store is a natural fit that will complement our other two existing locations. We look forward to joining the Southgate Mall, working with the city of Missoula, and serving the people in the western part of Montana.”
According to a press release from the mall, The Giggle Box, a pop-up interactive art museum designed, planned and executed by BFK Presents, will join Southgate Mall for six months beginning in spring 2020. The two-story approximately 17,000-square-foot new entertainment concept will be the first of its kind in Montana and will feature interactive art, event space, and community-based gatherings. The Giggle Box will temporarily replace a junior anchor space previously occupied by Herberger’s Men’s.