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Last Sunday, I offered up the Father's Day Portfolio for investors looking to beat the market over long periods of time. And while I can't make any promises, of course, I feel pretty darn good about its chances of success. One of the reasons why? Because I added Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS ) to the mix.
It ain't easy
Generally speaking, retailers are pretty tough. There are no real barriers to entry, and moats are pretty hard to come by. But, specialty retailers that provide something unique can be a different story. And I think that's what we have here with Dick's Sporting Goods. You can see by the chart below that shareholders over the last 10 years are feeling pretty good about life right now:
First reason: room to grow
Dick's Sporting Goods is the largest full-line sporting goods retailer in the U.S. today. With 520 namesake stores to go along with 81 Golf Galaxy stores, it's established quite the national footprint. But there's still room for more. Plenty more. Not long ago, management saw room for around 900 Dick's Sporting Goods stores in the U.S. However, today they see a new opportunity to tap into an additional smaller-store concept, taking that potential market opportunity up to 1,100 stores.
Of course, a major threat to brick-and-mortar retailers is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) . And to be clear, annual sales at Dick's Sporting Goods are less than 10% of what Amazon does in a year. But management recognizes this opportunity, and is building out the company's e-commerce business. Just last quarter, e-commerce accounted for 5.8% of the company's total sales compared with 3.7% a year ago. Expect continued aggressive investment in e-commerce as the company expands its reach.
Second reason: a unique experience
Successful specialty retailers succeed because they offer up something that's unique and different. Dick's interactive "store within a store" concept gives a unique and distinct feel to each department. So, when you're looking for golf stuff, you go into the Golf Pro Shop (or better yet, head on over to your local Golf Galaxy). You say you're an angler? The Lodge, geared toward hunting and fishing equipment, is where you want to be. It's a superior in-store experience compared to competitors like Wal-Mart and Target.
Brand partnerships also provide Dick's with the unique opportunity to offer their customers exclusive products from their most popular suppliers like Nike and Under Armour. Another great example of the win-win-win propostion the stores offer: the business wins, customers win, and its suppliers win. Now that's what I call #winning.
The Foolish bottom line
The whole point behind Foolish investing is to ignore the day-to-day minutiae, and invest in businesses that we think stand to be successful over long periods of time. We're talking years here, folks; that was the point of the chart at the beginning of this piece. And judging from the market opportunity of Dick's Sporting Goods today, I think shareholders of the coming decade stand a great chance of whistling that same winning tune of the past.