By Mario Toneguzzi
Arc’teryx, a Canadian outdoor clothing and sporting goods company founded in North Vancouver, is continuing to aggressively grow its footprint on a global level.
Megan Cheesbrough, Director, Global Retail and In-Store Excellence for the company which was founded in 1989, says it opened stores this year in Palo Alto AC (Stanford Shopping Centre), Los Angeles (La Brea Avenue), Vancouver (Burrard St), Japan, Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall) and Beijing (WF Central).
“Our first ever brand store in Montreal (St. Catherine Street) was renovated and included an expansion with a large community space for local activations, events and seminars,” she adds.
Currently Arc'teryx has six brand stores and two outlets in Canada - Quebec (downtown Montreal), Ontario (two brand stores -- Queen Street West and Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, one outlet at Outlet Collection at Niagara), Alberta (West Edmonton Mall), and British Columbia (two brand stores in Vancouver, one outlet).
“We will open a brand store on 17th Ave. S.W. in Calgary in the spring of 2018. We have high brand awareness and a lot of existing customers in Calgary and are really excited to open a store in that market for our community there,” says Cheesbrough.
“Arc’teryx is committed to retail and we will continue to grow our retail footprint globally, with a special focus on the USA and China. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, our physical experiences and retail model will also evolve. With six brand stores in Canada already, and another opening in Calgary next year there won’t necessarily be a lot more room for traditional retail in Canada. There will however be opportunity for evolved physical experiences, unique pop-up experiences, and community connections through Arc'teryx Academy events and programs.”
One exciting project the retailer has embarked upon during this Christmas shopping season is a partnership with Destination BC as it launched a unique virtual reality backcountry ski hut concept in its stores across North America.
Cheesbrough says the storytelling experience allows consumers to connect with the essence of a backcountry ski hut experience.
“Hut Magic is available online and in stores for anyone to try and will no doubt inspire and create stoke to get outside this winter and celebrate wild,” she says.
The virtual reality storytelling experience from the Coast Mountains near Smithers, B.C. is in 17 stores across North America.
“What’s incredible about Hut Magic is that you’re not just watching the action, you’re actually a character in the story,” says George Weetman, Director of Global Consumer Experience and Digital Commerce, Arc’teryx. “It completely embodies the essence of a ski hut experience.”
Hut Magic tells the personal tale of remote backcountry ski huts through alpine footage, inspiring people to get outside this winter. It’s designed to instantly transport users to the Howson Range to experience glacier travel, epic powdered slopes, and soak in the ‘après ski’ surrounded by friends.
“Using Google’s Jump technology, we were able to work closely with Switchback Entertainment to capture the very essence and beauty of a hut experience and share it with Arc’teryx customers through virtual reality,” says Sarah Steele, VR Program Manager, Google.
The company’s products are distributed through more than 3,000 retail locations worldwide, including 32 branded stores globally. Arc’teryx is named for the Archaeopteryx Lithographica, the first reptile to develop the feather for flight.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: email@example.com.
For more of today's Canadian retail news: Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: December 12, 2017