|Champs Sports will open a concept store with this layout|
at the new Mall at University Town Center. (Provided Photo)
Bradenton-based Champs Sports is getting closer to starting construction for its concept store at the Mall at University Town Center.
Champs applied for building permits Friday with Sarasota County Planning & Development Services and are still being reviewed.
The Herald first reported Champs' commitment to the 880,000-square-foot mall at Cattlemen Road and University Parkway in March when Scott Burton, director of marketing for Champs said the store would be 5,300 square feet and be one of the newer concept stores:
"It will allow the product to shine more so than you've probably seen at retail stores," Burton said. "This new look for our store is one that started about a year and a half ago, and we've expanded it ever since."
Both the Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater and WestShore Plaza in Tampa feature the new concept stores, and it will mark the first such design in the Bradenton-Sarasota market.
The layout is also larger, allowing the store to display more shirts, shorts and plenty of hats catering to high school varsity athletes. Brands will be matched up with their corresponding apparel so the Air Jordan shoes will be across from the Air Jordan shirts to make it feel like there are mini-shops inside, Burton said.
Champs is part of the FootLocker family, which is also planning a store in the mall. The mall is expected to open Oct. 16.