A year and a half ago I began seeing newspaper articles about a sporting goods store called “Dunham’s Sports” intending to open a store in the Prairie Hills Mall in Dickinson, North Dakota.
I didn’t think that this was a very good idea. I had always had the impression that people in western North Dakota are not very interested in sports, recreation, or physical fitness. I have lived in this area for about seven years, and I have noticed every day that the people in Dickinson are mostly overweight, they do not care about their appearance or health, most of the people drink and smoke, and many use illegal drugs.
The farmers in this area, they farm, work on farm equipment, work on their vehicles, work on hobby cars, motorcycles, and boats. Throughout the day they smoke and use tobacco products. Then they sit down, drink beer, and watch TV.
The workers in this area, the oil field workers and the construction workers, they try to work as many hours as possible per week in order to pay their bills and take care of their families. They get up at 5:00 a.m. and get home at 7:00 p.m., they eat, and go to bed. They don’t play sports.
The kids in this area, I have never seen such a lack of tree-fort builders, bicycle riders, ball throwers, ball kickers, and weapons makers. The kids here mostly stay inside, because it is cold, because they are lazy, and because their parents tell them to.
So what I am saying, is that the people here, who are mostly farmers and blue collar workers, they don’t play sports. The people here are not health and fitness conscious, they are overweight beer drinkers and smokers. The kids here are not active, they mostly stay inside.
The Dunham’s Sports has been open in Dickinson for one year now. I went there once when this store first opened, and though they had a large selection of many types of sporting goods, their prices were not appealing to me. I was expecting discount prices for some reason, and I was disappointed.
Today I went to Dunham’s Sports for the second time. They had a very large selection of kayaks, about forty different kayaks. I bought two kayaks several years ago at Menards, on sale for about $150 each. WalMart sells kayaks for a little more than this. Tractor Supply and Shopko sold kayaks for a little more than WalMart. The kayaks at Dunham’s Sports are nice, but they get into the $300 to $700 price range.
So another thing that I want to point out about Dunham’s Sports, is another way that they don’t understand people in Dickinson, people in Dickinson are cheap. Myself, and most people in Dickinson, they are very cost conscious. Even if they can easily afford $300 to $700 for a kayak, they won’t pay this much if they can get one at Menards, WalMart, or Tractor Supply for $200.
Altogether, I don’t know who did the market research on Dickinson for Dunham’s Sports, but somehow I think that they were led to believe that the people in Dickinson were “affluent”, “young”, “professionals”, …… “yuppies”, when Dickinson is the exact opposite of this. The people in Dickinson are blue-collar trades people who are cheap, and not interested in sports, fitness, or health.