IN TH FIRST: Outdoor apparel, gear retailer coming to Asbury Plaza this year

An outdoor apparel and gear retailer is coming to Dubuque.

Sierra Trading Post will open in Asbury Plaza later this year. The new 20,000-square-foot store will occupy the space that previously housed Bed Bath & Beyond.

“They’re hoping for an opening in time for the holiday season this year,” said Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Co., which owns a majority of storefronts in Asbury Plaza. “They’re hoping to get construction done by then.”

A building permit filed in late June described $448,000 of work for the new store, which will be the first Sierra Trading Post location in Iowa.

The chain currently has about 85 locations in 29 states, including soon-to-be-five locations in Wisconsin and five in Illinois. The closest location to Dubuque is in Madison, Wis.

“They specialize in outdoor apparel, footwear and gear and it is non-team-specific,” Bell said. “It’s for your campers, hikers, anglers, folks who like to do rock climbing, kayakers.”

Sierra Trading Post started as a catalog company in Reno, Nev., in 1986, with the first retail store opening in Nevada in 1990. The retailer’s website states Sierra Trading Post was also one of the first catalog companies to establish an online presence in 1998.

Sierra Trading Post was acquired by TJX Companies Inc., in 2012. The company also operates T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls and HomeSense.

Dubuque already has a T.J. Maxx location at 2591 Northwest Arterial, near the future Sierra Trading Post site.

Bell said work continues on a HomeGoods location at Kennedy Mall, which is expected to be open next year. The store will take up the space currently occupied by Books-A-Million, as well as four other vacant store spaces. Bell, whose employer also owns the mall, said Books-A-Million will be opening at its new location in a portion of the former Younkers women’s store “any day now.”

“(Sierra Trading Post) will follow the TJX format of looking for high-value products to sell for a lower price,” Bell said. “They claim to have prices 20% to 60% below the full-price retailers.”

The new store will fill the former Bed Bath & Beyond space that has sat empty for several months. Dubuque’s Bed Bath & Beyond location had operated there since 2003.

Following the addition of Sierra Trading Post, Bell said, there will be two open spaces in Asbury Plaza: the former Dress Barn and former Pier 1 locations, which closed as a result of the companies that ran those stores declaring bankruptcy. However, Bell noted Spirit Halloween will move into Asbury Plaza as a temporary tenant in September.

“I’m sure it will be very popular,” Bell said of Sierra Trading Post. “We have a lot of folks in the community who enjoy the outdoor activities.”

Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Molly Grover said she applauded any new retailer moving into Dubuque.

“It’s awesome any time we hear about new businesses coming to the community,” she said. “It’s important to have goods and services residents can access, especially retail. That is awesome news.”

Requests for comment from Sierra Trading Post were not returned.