Upscale sporting goods retailer Sporting Life has opened its sixth Canadian location at Ottawa's Lansdowne Park. The 43,000 square foot store is the latest for the company, which intends to open two stores a year for the next several years. Its stores are relatively large, measuring in the 30,000-50,000 square foot range. Its next confirmed store locations will open in Calgary and in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and the retailer is said to be seeking retail space in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Montreal.
Founded in 1979, 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 will open two locations in 2016: a 46,000 square foot unit at Calgary's Southcentre, and a 44,000 square foot store at Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto. The company's current locations include its Toronto flagship at 2665 Yonge Street (36,000 square feet), a bike and snowboard shop at 2545 Yonge Street (10,000 square feet), a 42,000 square foot location at Toronto's Sherway Gardens, a 10,000 square foot store in Collingwood, Ontario, and a recently opened 32,000 square foot store in Markham, Ontario. Sporting Life's Sherway Gardens store will be replaced by a similar-sized store in the mall's newest expansion, while the current store will be demolished to house a 138,000 square foot Nordstrom, scheduled to open in 2017.
Sporting Life's expansion plans are lofty, especially considering that until September, the company hadn't opened a new store in 14 years. The company's expansion will be national and when Sporting Life expands into Western Canada, its merchandising will be modified. Mr. 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.”
We'll keep you updated on Sporting Life's cross-Canada store expansion.