Sports Experts Opens Largest Experiential Flagship at Quartier DIX30 [Photos]

Date:

Share post:

Sporting goods retailer Sports Experts has opened its largest store to date at Quartier DIX30 in the Montreal suburb of Brossard. The highly experiential two-level retail space features ample technology as well as innovations for visitors to test products. 

Spanning about 75,000 square feet, the store is located in Quartier DIX30’s ‘Avenue des Lumières’ which is one of the centre’s original phases currently undergoing a transformation. The massive Sports Experts retail space is said to have cost approximately $21 million to build.

Experiential retail is key to the new store. Two rooms allow guests to try out products in different climates including a ‘rain room’, and a ‘cold room’ where customers can test out clothing and rain boots in the elements. Local co-owner franchisee Paul-André Goulet said that to his knowledge, it’s the only rain chamber of its kind in a retail space in Canada. 

Sports Experts Interior PHOTO: MAXIME FRECHETTE

The overall design of the new store is bright and easy to navigate, including wide aisles and lighting that is eco-friendly. On the main floor, a central corridor houses a range of accessories, luggage, watches and an eye glasses bar. As the store evolves, the eye glasses space could include the addition of an optician. 

It’s being called ‘the ultimate Sports Experts experience’, with the store featuring three entrances. Each section of the store creates a unique experience.

ARC’TERYX at SPORTS EXPERT PHOTO: MAXIME FRECHETTE

Displays featuring the latest technology bring the retail space to life. That includes more than 100 light boxes, six giant LED screens including a jumbotron with 4 faces, which is said to be the first for any retailer in North America. Other innovative technology and LED screens are also part of this new store. 

In the ski section on the main floor, new innovations include customization that is being offered by French firm Sidas. That includes soles that are molded to the foot of the customer that can be used in skates, ski boots, or almost any sports equipment involving footwear. 

Next to the ski section, the children’s section has been fitted in a unique space which includes clothing, accessories and shoes. 

The 21,000 square foot second floor is dedicated to running and related sports. Included are shop-in-stores for brands including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, and New Balance which flank the space. Nearby is an area with yoga-related products. 

At the back of the second-floor is the largest sports-themed footwear space anywhere in Canada. Information about different styles can be discovered via RFID technology, which provides customers with information about the shoe, as well as sizes and styles available in the store. Exclusive to the Quartier DIX30 store is TECNICA Technology, which are moldable shoes/ boots that mold to the foot of the customer using a professional heating machine. The footwear space also includes a treadmill to evaluate a customer’s running method.

A unique feature of the flagship is its eco-focus. Located at the main entrance to the store, next to the cash registers, is a Hydro Flask wall which offers a free self-service water station that allows customers to know how many bottles of water have been saved by using the station. The customer has no obligation to otherwise purchase anything in the store, and visitors may either buy a Hydro Flask bottle or come with a bottle of their own. Surrounding the Hydro Flask displays is an attractive green wall with various plants showcased to create a calming effect. 

Sports Experts Hydro Flask

The highly experiential retail space is likely to be very successful, as Sport Experts is already very popular in Quebec. Already, visitors spend an average of about an hour in a store at a time and the retailer’s latest innovations could result in even longer dwell times. 

Since 2015, the chain has been constantly evolving by renovating and adding innovations to its retail space. The latest concept for Sports Experts was launched in the retailer’s CF Carrefour Laval flagship, which introduced the ‘Wide Concept’ which features ample technology to wow the customer. The downtown Montreal Sports Experts flagship also features the updated store concept, with the Quartier DIX30 flagship representing the most enhanced store design for Sports Experts to date.

Sports Experts was founded in 1966 and was acquired by Forzani Group in 1994. Canadian Tire-owned FGL sports acquired Forzani in 2011 and is now the parent company of Sports Experts, which operates about 140 franchised locations in Canada with most being located in Quebec. Last week, Canadian Tire announced that it will centralize the operations of its multiple banners which is expected to save the company at least $200 million annually by 2022. That includes cutting costs by centralizing operations such as marketing and sourcing for banners also including Sport Chek and Mark’s, among others. 

The retailer’s innovations come at a time of unprecedented competition amongst sports retailers in Canada, including in Quebec. The world’s largest sporting goods retailer, France-based Decathlon, is expanding its operations aggressively with its own experiential stores which will have stores across Canada within the next three years. Decathlon’s first Canadian store opened in the spring of 2018 at Mail Champlain in Brossard, which is only about 3.5 km away from Quartier DIX30. 

Other sports retailers expanding in Canada include SAIL Plein Air, which has been expanding its Sportium banner in Quebec with three stores in the Montreal area and one in Quebec City. Vancouver-based membership-based cooperative retail concept MEC has also expanded into the Quebec market with four stores in Quebec, three of which are in the Montreal area. Toronto-based high-fashion sports retailer Sporting Life opened its first Montreal-area store at Quartier DIX 30 in the fall of 2018, and more are said to be in the works for Quebec. 

Sports Experts Checkouts

While multi-brand sports retailers are continuing to expand into Quebec as well as other parts of Canada, some retailers are said to be concerned that brands may pull out of wholesalers as they open their own corporate brand stores. Nike recently told multi-brand vendors in the United Kingdom that it would pull back wholesale distribution as standalone Nike stores expand in the country, and other brands such as Adidas and Under Armour are also opening stores worldwide.

Retail Insider reported last month on Under Armour’s first ‘brand house’ in Canada at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, and the concept is expected to open in other major markets amid a direct-to-consumer push that includes freestanding stores as well as dedicated e-commerce websites for brands. Adidas has upgraded its stores in the Canadian market, and Nike has also been opening stores across the country over the past several years, and next year will open a massive Niketown flagship at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From Retail Insider

Innovative Direct-to-Consumer Furniture Startup CouchHaus Opens 1st Physical Retail Space in Vancouver [Interview]

The husband-wife team's modular furniture became so popular online that they are opening their own physical store, allowing customers to see the product-in person.

Canadians Look to Make Major Purchases in 2024 Despite Economic Uncertainty: Survey

Economic uncertainty isn't stopping Canadians from planning major purchases in 2024 according to a study, potentially giving retail a boost depending on the demographic.

Canada’s Agri-Food Sector Lacks Vision as Consumers Struggle with Grocery Prices [Op-Ed]

Canada's lack of cohesive vision and strategy for its agri-food sector, despite significant budget allocations, is stark contrast to the decisive approach evident in U.S. agricultural policy says Sylvain Charlebois.

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.

Chop Steakhouse Set to Open in Downtown Toronto, Continuing an Influx of New Restaurants to the Financial District [Feature]

Chop Steakhouse is joining a number of new restaurants and dining options that have opened recently in the Financial District, as the area starts the journey back from a pandemic that took a huge toll on the core.

Virtual Reality Arcade Concept ‘Ctrl V’ Expanding in Canada and the US Following Pandemic Setback [Interview]

The world's first and largest VR arcade franchise is opening new locations across Canada and the US, seeking spaces of about 4,000 square feet.

Good Neighbour ‘Lifestyle Department Store’ Expanding with a New Flagship in Toronto’s Summerhill [Interview]

The unique retail concept that launched 10 years ago in Leslieville has grown its offerings with its newest location catering to locals with a range of produces and a beverage lounge.

Anatomy of a Leader: Ian Rosen, President and COO of Harry Rosen

Rosen discusses his life up to becoming head of the luxury menswear retailer, and discusses what's been happening with the family as new leadership emerges.

Mid-Market Retailers in Canada Navigating Challenges and Opportunities as Consumers Shift [Op-Ed]

Jared Gordon discusses challenges facing mid-market retail, such as declining consumer interest and competition from discount and luxury sectors. Mid-market retailers need to adapt to survive he says.

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

RECENT articles

Innovative Direct-to-Consumer Furniture Startup CouchHaus Opens 1st Physical Retail Space in Vancouver [Interview]

The husband-wife team's modular furniture became so popular online that they are opening their own physical store, allowing customers to see the product-in person.

Canadians Look to Make Major Purchases in 2024 Despite Economic Uncertainty: Survey

Economic uncertainty isn't stopping Canadians from planning major purchases in 2024 according to a study, potentially giving retail a boost depending on the demographic.

Canada’s Agri-Food Sector Lacks Vision as Consumers Struggle with Grocery Prices [Op-Ed]

Canada's lack of cohesive vision and strategy for its agri-food sector, despite significant budget allocations, is stark contrast to the decisive approach evident in U.S. agricultural policy says Sylvain Charlebois.

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.

Chop Steakhouse Set to Open in Downtown Toronto, Continuing an Influx of New Restaurants to the Financial District [Feature]

Chop Steakhouse is joining a number of new restaurants and dining options that have opened recently in the Financial District, as the area starts the journey back from a pandemic that took a huge toll on the core.

Virtual Reality Arcade Concept ‘Ctrl V’ Expanding in Canada and the US Following Pandemic Setback [Interview]

The world's first and largest VR arcade franchise is opening new locations across Canada and the US, seeking spaces of about 4,000 square feet.

Good Neighbour ‘Lifestyle Department Store’ Expanding with a New Flagship in Toronto’s Summerhill [Interview]

The unique retail concept that launched 10 years ago in Leslieville has grown its offerings with its newest location catering to locals with a range of produces and a beverage lounge.

Anatomy of a Leader: Ian Rosen, President and COO of Harry Rosen

Rosen discusses his life up to becoming head of the luxury menswear retailer, and discusses what's been happening with the family as new leadership emerges.

Mid-Market Retailers in Canada Navigating Challenges and Opportunities as Consumers Shift [Op-Ed]

Jared Gordon discusses challenges facing mid-market retail, such as declining consumer interest and competition from discount and luxury sectors. Mid-market retailers need to adapt to survive he says.