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EA Sports to open retail chain

North Carolina airport store to be followed by "at least three" others

Publisher Electronic Arts has revealed plans to launch a chain of EA Sports-branded retail stores in the U.S., with a number of further stores planned to open over the next year.

The first store will open at Charlotte, North Carolina, airport this autumn, with "at least three" new locations to follow.

The plans were revealed by EA Sports vice president of brand marketing Chris Erb as he discussed the company's progress on Facebook and other social networks, in an interview with Forbes.

"As pervasive as digital is, there's still an offline component to acquiring new customers that remains important," said Erb. "Our approach is to be creative and innovative with whatever we're doing offline, and ensure that it connects with our digital strategies."

"It's a place people will be able to interact and buy their favourite EA SPORTS games," said Erb of the first store. "As we look to expand the overall sports game audience, it's important for us to create environments for people to get their hands on our products and experience how much interactive sports experiences have evolved over the past few years."

EA has experimented with bricks and mortar stores before, having opened temporary Christmas stores for the EA Sports Active brand in San Francisco and Boston in 2009.

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