The SCHEELS retail chain is best known for sporting goods, but it’s also a fun-for-the-whole-family destination. And its new store in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, doesn’t disappoint. The store includes a Ferris wheel, interactive games (think bowling, golf), 85 specialty shops, a 16,000-gallon aquarium, a café, and more. You can try out hockey skates on a synthetic ice rink, play Pacman, and shop for everything from golf clubs to home décor.
New SCHEELS stores have some common design features, including more natural light than a typical big-box store. And in order to offer that natural light while maintaining comfort and controlling energy usage, SCHEELS partners with SageGlass, a Saint-Gobain company. The new Eden Prairie location includes 17,000 square feet of the electrochromic glass, which coincidentally, is also made in Minnesota.
"Partnering with SageGlass helps SCHEELS create a better shopping environment for our customers and work conditions for our associates,” says Jason Loney, Vice President of Store Development at SCHEELS. And in fact, using SageGlass in other stores has also proven to help SCHEELS save significantly on energy expenses.
“Since I first saw the renderings for the Johnstown, Colorado, SCHEELS store, I was sold on their open, light, and airy design,” says Alan McLenaghan, CEO of SageGlass. “Using lots of glass skylights and verticals to bring the outdoors into the heart of a sporting goods store is brilliant. Later, seeing the images of our SageGlass® in other stores, I was thrilled that our product helps them meet their daylighting goals while managing heat, light, and glare. But nothing prepared me for my first visit to a SCHEELS store.”
A group of SageGlass team members recently toured the new Eden Prairie store. In a period with virtually no travel and few chances to see new product installations, the early morning visit was a real treat. Due to COVID-19, we got a personal, mask-clad tour from Austin Link, a SCHEELS PR, marketing, and events pro, before the store opened for the day. The group included everyone from senior leaders like McLenaghan to team members who help make the product on the plant floor.
“Looking around and seeing SageGlass in action gave me a sense of enormous pride,” says Dana Franke, a member of the SageGlass Production team. “Coming from my spot on the line in lamination seeing just one regular piece of glass and our unique coated device lite laminated together, turning into a complete unit that is capable of providing such a soothing, natural feel and connection to the outdoors absolutely amazes me! I think SageGlass is a game changer for SCHEELS, and it definitely completes the outdoor connection they focus on providing for their customers.”
No doubt about it: the Eden Prairie SCHEELS store takes the shopper experience to a new level. The space is comfortable, inviting, and energizing — the kind of place where shoppers will happily lose track of time. Savvy building professionals are learning that creating healthy, sustainable (and sometimes novel) indoor spaces can lead to extraordinary business outcomes. And these are exactly the types of projects that SageGlass loves.