BRIEF: Sports Experts to Open Futuristic Flagship, Endy Gets Physical with Urban Barn

By Helen Siwak, Retail Insider Brief Editor

Photo: Sports Experts

Photo: Sports Experts

Sports Experts to Open Massive First-of-its-Kind Montreal Flagship: La Presse reports (in French) that Quebec sporting goods chain Sports Experts, a division of Toronto-based Canadian Tire, will open a massive 75,000-square-foot store at the Quartier DIX30 complex in suburban Montreal in November. The store will include features not found in other sports retailers in Canada. 

Franchisee Paul-André Goblet, who owns seven Sports Experts and three Atmosphere stores, partnered with Oxford Properties to build the $25-million store. Mr. Goblet will spend a reported $10-million and Oxford will kick in about $15-million. 

Photo: Sports Experts

Photo: Sports Experts

The store will feature giant video screens, interactive kiosks, a 3D measuring tool, bike testing, an interactive mirror, and a ‘cold room’ where customers can try on coats. It will also include a unique ‘element room’ where customers can test waterproof clothing in rain and wind. To keep the store organized, only about 50% of merchandise will be deployed. 

The store will be slightly smaller than Sport Chek’s 80,000-square-foot West Edmonton Mall flagship, which is Canada’s largest sports store. The current Quartier DIX Sports Experts store (the new one will replace it) employs about 60 people, and that number will double with the opening of the new store. About 120 people also work at the downtown Montreal Sports Experts store — Mr. Goblet invested more than $10-million in that store in 2017, and reportedly with great success. 

Montreal’s South Shore is a very competitive place for sports retailers — Sporting Life opened its first store in Quebec at Quartier DIX30 in October of 2018, and earlier in the spring Decathlon opened its first store in Canada at Mail Champlain in Brossard — the 60,000-square-foot store includes many interactive components where shoppers can test out product. 

Looking at the video below, it already looks like Sports Experts has taken a page from Sporting Life, at least in terms of store design aesthetic.

Image: ENDY

Image: ENDY

Canada’s Top-Selling Mattress-in-a-Box Brand Endy Partners with Urban Barn and Launches 37 Showrooms across Canada: Toronto-based Endy has teamed-up with Canadian retailer Urban Barn in launching showrooms in 37 Urban Barn locations across Canada.  

Shoppers are invited to test out the Endy Mattress and the Endy Pillow in the showrooms across Canada where on-hand staff will answer questions, offer a consistent customer experience and allow them to visualize the products in their own homes.

After the Endy in-store experience, customers will receive a unique promotional code to use while ordering online at endy.com. All purchases come with free shipping to their door, and the opportunity to try the mattress in the comfort of their home for more than three months, risk-free, with Endy’s 100 Night Trial

The Endy Mattress launched online with its e-commerce portal in 2015. The Canadian-made product ships in a box the size of a hockey bag and is available in six standard sizes from Twin to California King. 

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K-SWISS Collab Creates Limited Edition Classic 88 for Black History Month: Heritage American footwear brand K-Swiss and DJ Clark Kent (producer, musician, hip hop historian) have teamed up to launch a limited-edition Classic 88 shoe in celebration of Black History Month and as part of their mission to outfit and inspire young entrepreneurs.

On February 20th, 24 pairs of the limited-edition Classic 88 shoe will be available at Footlocker’s downtown Toronto store (247 Yonge St.) from 6:00 - 7:30 pm on Wednesday for $140. DJ Clark Kent will be on-site to meet and greet fans in celebration of the sneaker launch. 

K-Swiss is also supporting entrepreneurs through a new partnership with Yellowbrick, an educational platform that inspires the next generation to pursue careers in creative industries. Yellowbrick provides in-person and online courses across various industries taught by university faculty, experts and influencers. 

As part of their partnership with Yellowbrick, K-Swiss will provide 20 scholarships to Yellowbrick’s Sneaker Essentials online course, giving access to young, black entrepreneurs in Canada to help them develop the necessary skills to pursue careers in the sneaker business. 

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Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repairs Expands in Ontario with First In-Line Location: The closure of 62 Sears Canada locations in 2017 saw family-business Fast Time Watch & Jewellery Repair in a position to throw in the towel, or to regroup and rebuild. In 2018, the company launched 10 upscale boutique kiosks throughout Ontario, and recently opened a full-sized inline location in Ottawa’s Carlingwood Shopping Centre, a first for Fast Time.

As one of Sears’ best licensees, the company had a large dedicated clientele in each community that needed in-person services. Watch and jewellery repair does not easily translate to an online business, and the company is seeking to re-enter the markets across Canada that they were forced to abandon.

The Carlingwood location is located next to high-traffic Tim Hortons and is open seven days a week. More inline locations are expected to follow as Fast Time continues to expand its operations.

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Canadian Brands Addition Elle and Aldo Collaborate on Footwear Collection: Quebec-based fashion houses ADDITION ELLE and ALDO Product Services (APS) have collaborated on a footwear collection designed exclusively for the plus-size market, which launches this month. This marks the first time these two Canadian retail giants work together. 

Unique to this collection are features that provide the wearer with comfort and support via a wide –width, breathable inserts, and padded memory foam. Available in suede and leather, the collection also includes a line of signature handbags with the strap lengths and width adjustable to fit a plus-size silhouette.

With manageable price points, the footwear ranges from $45 for a ballerina flat to $100 for a suede boot, with most styles falling between an average price point of $55-$80. The handbag collection ranges from $35-$60. Footwear sizes include sizes 6-12 and half sizes.

ADDITION ELLE is a division of Reitmans (Canada) Limited, which employs 10,000 people nationally and operates 677 stores across Canada through its six banners including Reitmans, Penningtons, RW&Co., Thyme Maternity and Hyba

The ALDO Group has 3,000 points of sale in over 100 countries operating under two signature brands, Aldo and Call It Spring, and a multi-brand retail concept, GLOBO

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Calgary Welcomes Largest Cadillac Dealership in North America: Cadillac opened the first dealership in North America in Calgary under the company's new brand architecture. Carter Cadillac sets a new benchmark for the brand worldwide, as Cadillac seeks to offer a heightened level of luxury to upscale consumers. 

The dealership is a three-story, 50,000-square-foot dual-showroom facility built which includes a virtual reality showroom, and solar-powered electric vehicle fast-charging stations keeping pace with Cadillac’s move toward an all-electric future. An upper showroom showcases Cadillac’s V-Series high-performance vehicles and a rotation of vintage Cadillac cars.

Sales at Cadillac have been growing significantly in Canada and internationally, with 2018 posting the best worldwide sales figures in the brand's entire 116-year history. Calgary is the highest volume market for Cadillac in Western Canada.

The dealership is creating up to 30 new full-time positions in the Calgary market, with expected growth of up to 40 positions by the end of 2019.

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Ripndip Skate Brand to Flip Its Way Up the West Coast: Known for its playful approach to both streetwear and skateboarding, highlighted by their a-meow-sing Lord Nermal the Cat as its symbolic leader, LA-based brand RIPNDIP  will launch a West Coast Pop-up Tour which will see its unique styles hitting San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Landing in a new city each weekend in March and concluding in Hong Kong, the brand is sussing out expansion strategy which will add to its already 1,000+ stores selling product including Zumiez and Active Ride Shop

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Should Saks Fifth Avenue renovate it’s Toronto flagship like in NYC? This month, Saks Fifth Avenue unveiled the renovated 53,000-square-foot ground floor accessory hall at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The store now looks unlike any other in the chain. Included is a colourful central escalator designed by Rem Koolhaas, and a bright aesthetic with grey terrazzo flooring, and a collection of luxury accessory boutiques that would make any fashionista swoon, in one of the largest departments of its kind in the world.

The new floor is stunning, and is quite different from the appearance of Saks Fifth Avenue‘s first Canadian store, which opened in February 2016 at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. While the Toronto store is lovely looking, we wonder if a renovation like the one in New York City might even create more foot traffic into that location. Have a peek at the slideshow above, it looks like Selfridges’ renovated accessories hall in London with a rainbow coloured escalator that leads up to the store’s beauty floor. 

Speaking of beauty floors, Bloomberg reports that Saks’ Toronto flagship WILL see at least a minor renovation to its cosmetics department. Retail Insider will report as it learns more! 

Have an excellent long weekend, Retail Insider will be back with more Canadian retail news on Tuesday. 

Helen Siwak is the publisher of EcoLuxLuv.com Magazine, content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. helen@ecoluxluv.com

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