FGL Sports-owned Sport Chek is launching a new women-only store concept this week at Calgary’s CF Chinook Centre. The 16,675 square foot retail space merges experiences with an expanded product assortment and services, and could be the first of multiple locations if the concept is successful.
Kara Anastasiadis, associate vice-president of merchandise strategy for FGL Sports Ltd., explained how the new space was “designed by women, for women”, featuring a different look from the company’s typical sports store, also featuring a number of new brands as well a services specifically geared towards the female consumer.
Merchandise is organized based on activity — running gear is at the front of the store, while areas dedicated to yoga, swimming and various other activities are positioned throughout the new space. The store’s design is bright and open, with a different “feel” from traditional Sport Chek stores.
The store also boasts a number of unique services. One-on-one bra fittings by specially trained staff as well as a digital bra selector, guarantee a ‘perfect fit’ from a wide variety of sports and other styles. An expert advisor is available to provide gait analysis for running shoes, using a specialized medical motion gait analysis treadmill to determine running style. A dedicated personal shopper is available to assist with various needs. There’s even a ‘Community Manager’ in the store, explained Ms. Anastasiadis, who can connect shoppers with local studios, classes, and information pertaining to brand launches and other initiatives.
“It’s all about the experience,” said Ms. Anastasiadis, who explained how Sport Chek wants to connect with the female consumer in a comprehensive way with the new store concept, and how its detail-oriented design is expected to resonate with the target demographic.
A number of brands in the new Sport Chek women’s store are not available in mainline Sport Chek locations. Montreal-based yoga brand Lolë is one of them, and it’s hosting a free yoga class in the store on Friday, March 3 — which is already full.
FGL Sports, which is headquartered in Calgary, jumped on the opportunity when a large retail space became available on CF Chinook Centre’s second level, beside Nordstrom. The Calgary mall has a high percentage of female shoppers, noted Ms. Anastasiadis, creating an opportunity to engage the consumer in a curated retail environment. Sport Chek will test the concept in Calgary and if it proves to be successful, Sport Chek Women could be expanded into other Canadian cities.
*Photos in this article were supplied by FGL/Sport Chek.