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Houston Business Journal: Academy Sports opens in Valley Ranch Town Center

Houston Business Journal by Jack Witthaus

Katy-based Academy Sports + Outdoors opened its store in Valley Ranch Town Center in northeast Houston on Sept. 23.

The 62,000-square-foot store, located in New Caney at 21770 Market Place Dr., will bring about 100 jobs to the area. The store is Academy's 95th in Texas, according to a statement.

Academy is the first store to open in Valley Ranch Town Center, which is being developed by The Signorelli Co. The 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development sits on 240 acres in the north part of Valley Ranch, a 1,400-acre master-planned community north of Kingwood.

Academy has been in expansion mode around the Bayou City. In July 2015, the company announced it was planning to open three locations and create 300 jobs in the Houston area that year.

The sporting goods giant has also been changing its executive team. On Aug. 29, Michelle J. Gloeckler started as Academy's new executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president of Academy International Ltd., the company's global sourcing entity. In 2015, Forbes named her the 38th most powerful woman on its annual list. At the time, she managed $78 billion of Wal-Mart's revenue. Academy also recently hired a new chief marketing officer, Tom Lamb, who was a 17-year veteran of North Carolina-based Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW). The company's CEO and president, J.K. Symancyk, started in November.

Academy is Houston's third-largest private employer, according to Houston Business Journal research. It has around 5,800 employees in the Bayou City area.

The $4.6 billion company company operates more than 210 stores around the U.S., according to a release.