Jake Oshman opened Oshman's Dry Goods in Richmond, Texas in 1919. He saw an opportunity to move to Houston, Texas by purchasing the bankrupt stock of a dry goods store in 1930. While liquidating the inventory of his first store, he noticed that the sporting goods items sold the fastest. With this in mind, he decided to open his first Oshman's sporting goods store in 1931.
When Oshman died in 1965, Oshman's was already the largest sporting goods chain in Texas. His wife, Jeanette, then appointed Alvin Lubetkin, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. While continuing to build the Oshman's chain, Lubetkin purchased the name and associated trademarks of the then-defunct Abercrombie & Fitch, and built it into a 25-store chain which he sold to The Limited in 1988.
Lubetkin's creative drive and managerial skills lead the company through a cycle of innovation in the 1970s and early 1980s and took the business from an 11-store chain in the Houston area to a dominant regional chain of more than 200 stores in the sunbelt by the mid 1980s.
Lubetkin soon recognized that the wave of the retail future was the large format stores, and in 1987, he began the second cycle of innovation by experimenting with a "Big Box" concept for sporting goods. Though the concept proved to be successful, Lubetkin wanted to offer the sporting goods consumer an even better choice.
In 1990, the Oshman's SuperSports USA® megastore concept began its rise. These stores included aspects of what makes it a success today:
- Enormous stores (up to 80,000 square feet) with upgraded presentations
- Product demonstration areas where customers can try the equipment in-store.
By integrating entertainment into merchandise sales, an energized shopping atmosphere was created that proved to be fun for the whole family.
The new Oshman's SuperSports USA® megastore has been hailed as one of the most innovative store concepts in retailing today, and was named "Best Store" in the Mall of America by USA Today. In a 1995 Salomon Brothers report, they quoted Oshman's SuperSports USA® as the best example of "retailer-based entertainment in the country." Headquartered in Houston, Oshman's has serviced the sporting goods needs of its customers since 1919. The company operates 42 Oshman's® SuperSports USA® stores and 15 traditional stores. Oshman's has another SuperSports USA store slated to open in early 2001 in Miami, Florida and is actively seeking additional locations for its megastores.