BEST SPORTING GOODS STORE (1999)
Since moving into the Twin Cities' market three years ago, this Plainfield, Indiana-based retailer has introduced the superstore model to the sporting goods business on a scale unrivaled by local competitors. With a vast inventory that runs the gamut from lacrosse sticks to free weights to backboards to boxing gloves to duck boats to skateboards, there's little in the way of sporting paraphernalia that can't be found in the this two-story, 100,000-square-foot-Minnetonka bazaar, or at either of its two other Twin Cities outlets. (Two notable exceptions: no bicycles and no bowling gear on the premises.) Of course, liberal-minded shoppers will probably feel a twinge of guilt subsidizing this exemplar of our haywire suburban retail economy. But, hey, if this is truly the boom before our Last Days of Rome bust, we might as well embrace the dark side and get a good deal on that Coleman lantern, that 12-gauge, and that heavy bag. Galyan's, which opened its first store in 1945, was bought out a few years back by the clothing giant the Limited, and it shows: Galyan's has a huge stock of sport and outdoor apparel. Like its rival, REI, Galyan's also offers on-site rock climbing--a convenient perk for dads looking to keep junior out of their hair while they poke through the fishing tackle.