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Big 5 Sporting Goods is an American retailer of sporting goods and accessories from major brands. The company has 434 locations that can be found in 11 western states in America. 

History of the brand

Big 5 Sporting Goods was founded by Robert W. Miller, Harry A. Liff, and Maurie I. Liff in September 1955. It initially ran five stores located in Burbank, Glendale, Inglewood, San Jose, and Los Angeles, California. All stores were under the name “Big 5 Stores.”

The stores mainly concentrated on WWII army surplus items and things such as air mattresses and tents. It also offered hand tools and assorted housewares. Products were marketed mainly through print advertisements. 

Customers would frequently check the back page of the Los Angeles Times for weekly specials. With time, sporting goods were added to the catalog. The items became so popular that the company decided to specialize in them. The trade name was changed to “Big 5 Sporting Goods” in 1963. 

By 1971, Big 5 operated 19 stores. It was bought by Thrifty Drug Stores under which it ran as a subsidiary for 21 years. By 1992, it had 140 stores spread through Washington, Nevada, and California. 

It was then acquired by Company management and Leonard Green & Partners. Robert Miller remained CEO and Chairman while his son Steven became the President and Chief Operating Officer. The change of ownership saw Big 5 open 10 new stores in 1992. 15 more stores were opened in 1993 and 1994, and 19 more in 1995. Big 5 also opened branches across Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, and Oregon. 

Big 5 continues to expand and grow by staying grounded and providing customers with low prices and convenient shopping experience. 

Business Directions 

Big 5 Sporting Goods offers traditional sporting items in facilities that measure about 11,000 square feet. Products include athletic shoes, outdoor and athletic equipment, sporting apparel and accessories, and equipment for sports, camping, fishing, golf, summer and winter recreation, fitness, hunting, roller sports, and tennis. 

Key Facts 

The name “Big 5” initially referred to how hard it was to hunt the five largest African mammal species – lion, rhino, African buffalo, elephant, and leopard. These animals were assumed to be very dangerous and were considered by many trophy hunters an achievement to bring home. 

Mission and Vision

Big 5 Sporting Goods has built its brand around providing a convenient neighborhood shopping experience for sporting goods. The company delivers value consistently to the recreational and competitive sports enthusiast. 


How many employees does Big 5 have? 

Big 5 Sporting Goods currently has about 9,500 employees across its stores in the United States of America. 

Is Big 5 Sporting Goods legit? 

Despite a lot of Big 5 stores being cramped, they offer good sales. They carry a large selection of camping and sports equipment that are of high quality. 

What is Big 5 Sporting Goods return policy? 

Big 5 allows consumers to make exchanges for used or opened air mattresses as long as they can show the original purchase receipt. This should be done within the first 30 days of buying the mattress. 

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 11:00 - 19:00
Tu 11:00 - 19:00
We 11:00 - 19:00
Th 11:00 - 19:00
Fr 11:00 - 19:00
Sa 10:00 - 19:00
Su 11:00 - 19:00

Locations: 407 locations in 32 states and 343 cities.


  • Sporting Goods
  • Sportswear

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