Bucking a trend during the coronavirus pandemic, it appears a national retailer is planning to expand into Bellingham.
Sportsman’s Warehouse has submitted a building permit application to go into the former Office Depot space at 4297 Meridian St. According to its website, the company offers a wide range of hunting, fishing, camping and boating equipment, as well as clothing and footwear for the outdoors.
According to the Whatcom County Assessor and Treasurer’s website, the space totals 20,634 square feet. Office Depot closed its store in that space in May 2019.
Messages left for Sportsman’s Warehouse were not immediately returned on Friday, Feb. 5. The company currently has 12 stores in Washington state, with Everett being the closest for Whatcom County residents.
If Sportsman’s Warehouse does indeed come to Bellingham, it will be entering a market that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Washington State Department of Revenue, Bellingham retailers rung up $15.2 million in sporting goods, toys and hobbies in the second quarter to 2020, down 28% compared to the same period in 2019.
National retailers spent much of 2020 contracting, with thousands of stores closing last year.
Founded in 1986, Sportsman’s Warehouse operates more than 100 stores in 27 states.