By Craig Patterson
Toronto-based sport and fashion retailer Sporting Life is expanding into an entirely new market this fall, with plans to open a one-level store at Quartier DIX30 in suburban Montreal. It will be Sporting Life’s 11th store location as the company looks to double its store count over the next several years.
The Quartier DIX30 Sporting Life store will be located in the centre’s 'Square DIX30' part of the complex, which features an assortment of popular fashion brands as well as retailers such as Pottery Barn and Apple. Sporting Life’s store will span 29,690 square feet in a vacant space between Apple and Michael Kors.
Quartier DIX30 is a unique outdoor ‘lifestyle’ shopping complex that is a combination fashion mall and power-centre — there’s nothing quite like it in Canada. The centre is also gigantic, occupying more than 2.7 million square feet of retail in the suburban community of Brossard. The centre boasts more than nine-million visitors and more than 10,000 parking spaces, and houses approximately 300 retailers and restaurants. Major anchors include Walmart, Canadian Tire, Rona and Cineplex.
Oxford Properties owns and manages Quartier DIX30 and Sporting Life’s move into the centre marks the first Oxford Properties centre to feature Sporting Life as a tenant. Other Oxford malls housing Sporting Life stores include Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill, Ontario (October of 2016), Southcentre Mall in Calgary (October 2016) and most recently, Sporting Life unveiled an impressive store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in the fall of 2017.
‘’We are more than happy that Sporting Life™ has selected Quartier DIX30 as its first location not only in Quebec, but in Eastern Canada. Throughout the years, Quartier DIX30 has become the number one destination for active lifestyle shoppers and we are proud to say that the arrival of Sporting Life this fall will help complement our offer, giving Quebec sports enthusiasts even more choice than ever before!’’said Marilyn Cormier, Director and General Manager at Quartier DIX30.
Calgary Southcentre Location. Photos: Family Fun Calgary
‘’We at Sporting Life are very excited to make our debut in the Quebec market with the opening of our Quartier DIX30™ location next fall. Quartier DIX30 was a natural choice for us as it reflects all of our company’s values: modern, active, sophisticated and yet accessible to all. We can’t wait to welcome our customers in Brossard. The Sporting Life is the good life, and soon Quebec customers will be living it!’’ added David Russell, President and CEO at Sporting Life.
Founded in 1979, Sporting Life sells apparel and footwear, as well as equipment geared towards runners, cyclists, skiers, snowboarders and hikers. It has a large selection of outerwear, fleece and coats from popular brands Moncler, Canada Goose, Arc'teryx and The North Face, among others. It also carries a mix of high-end and casual clothing brands such as Barbour, Bogner, Hugo Boss, Mackage, John Varvatos and others. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. bought 75% of Sporting Life in December of 2011.
Besides the three locations currently operating in Oxford malls that were discussed above, Sporting Life operates stores on Toronto’s Yonge Street (2665 Yonge Street and ‘Bikes & Boards’ at 2454 Yonge Street) as well as at Toronto's CF Sherway Gardens (which relocated to a new space in September of 2015), Collingwood ON (222 Hurontario Street), Markham ON (CF Markville), Vaughan ON (Vaughan Mills), Ottawa (Lansdowne) and at CF Market Mall in Calgary, which opened in the fall of 2017.
In a previous interview with President/CEO/co-founder, David Russell, it was revealed that Sporting Life will look to eventually operate about 20 stores Canada-wide. He explained that the Sporting Life brand will become truly national as it expands into the Vancouver/British Columbia market in 2019, with plans for three store locations in the Lower Mainland. While the Calgary market will be adequately served with two stores, an Edmonton location was a goal for the company, he said at the time. The Greater Toronto Area has room for between two and three more Sporting Life locations, according to Mr. Russell, and the Montreal region could eventually see as many as three stores as well. Store locations will ideally be in the 44,000 square foot range, he said.
In a recent interview with Marina Strauss of the Globe & Mail [Paywall], Mr. Russell revealed that Sporting Life’s current annual revenue is about $160 million annually, and that the company intends to eventually see sales numbers of about $400 million from its 20 or so stores. The company is profitable and store sales are increasing at low-single-digit rates. E-commerce currently makes up about 15% of sales and Mr. Russell told Ms. Strauss that he expects that number to reach about 20%.
Sporting life is working with brokerage Northwest Atlantic for its Canadian expansion plans, with Chris Wood handling Western Canada and Sam Windberg handling Sporting Life’s eastward real estate expansion.