Upscale sporting goods retailer Sporting Life plans to open a Vancouver store. Although it hasn’t chosen a location, we can expect a store measuring in the 30,000-50,000 square foot range.
Founded in 1979 in Toronto, Sporting Life sells apparel and footwear, as well as equipment geared towards runners, cyclists, skiers, snowboarders and hikers. Some items can cost into the thousands. It has a large selection of outerwear, fleece and coats from popular brands Moncler, Canada Goose, and The North Face, among others. It also carries a mix of high-end and casual clothing brands including Barbour, Bogner, Hugo Boss, Grenoble, Mackage, John Varvatos and others.
Sporting Life is expanding across Canada, and its goal is to open two stores per year. Besides Vancouver, the company is seeking locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal. Its expansion goals are lofty, especially considering that Sporting Life hasn’t opened a new store in 14 years.
President and CEO David Russell told the Toronto Star that Sporting Life sells about $100 million annually. Its current expansion plans were made possible after Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. bought 75% of Sporting Life in December of 2011.
When Sporting Life expands into Vancouver, its merchandising will be modified. Russel said:
“When we open a store in the lower mainland of British Columbia, for example, the clothing will be perhaps a little different; more layers as opposed to big heavy down parkas. And when we go to western Canada the skis are wider and there might be more emphasis on mountain biking as opposed to road biking.”
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Feature image: Cadillac Fairview