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Canadian Online Retailer ‘Altitude Sports’ Sees Explosive Growth Since April

Altitude Sports, Canada’s online leader in technical apparel, activewear and gear, recently launched same-day shipping in Montreal as the retailer experiences significant growth during the current pandemic.

Since 2019, the company has been solely an online retailer.

Alexandre Guimond, a co-CEO, said the Montreal-based retailer has seen on average 30 to 35 percent annual growth.

“Of course, the pandemic has accelerated that a lot. A lot of customers came online with the isolation rules and so on. So since April we’ve seen about 80-85 percent growth which is incredible,” said Guimond.

In late August, the company announced it is offering a same-day delivery option to customers in Montreal and next-day delivery in Toronto (launching October 5) for as low as $3.99. It said it will honour the commitment on all orders placed by 1 p.m. every day in Montreal, weekends included.

SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH IN WEB TRAFFIC DURING COVID-19 IGNITED SAME-DAY DELIVERY INITIATIVE

With substantial growth in web traffic and online sales since March, Altitude Sports wanted to go one step further to ensure customers never have to think twice about delivery times. Same-Day Delivery allows consumers the comfort of shopping from home and the freedom and ability to plan last-minute outdoor activities and getaways, explained Guimond.

“Technology and customer service are as important to our success as the quality and style of the apparel and gear that we carry,” he said. “As a leader in the Canadian eCommerce industry, we need to continue to improve our fulfillment capabilities and our Same-Day Delivery commitments allow us to stay competitive in the global economy.”

The company is leveraging the advanced fulfillment capabilities at its state-of-the-art distribution centre, which opened in May 2019. The space houses inventory from over 400 brands, with the capacity to triple over the next five years, and its location near transportation carriers streamlines operations.

“In the last two weeks, we had 2,000 orders through that service and we see that the customers are really enjoying it and actually we see a lift. Our customers using the same delivery day feature they tend to order back again faster. So they are a repeat customer faster because they really enjoyed the experience,” said Guimond.

“And for us it’s the best way to achieve some kind of instant gratification. When people are shopping in their brick and mortar store, the biggest advantage is that you can actually leave with the products . . . Online people always had to be patient. There was a time you would wait for a few weeks, then a few days. Now it’s pretty conventional that you’ll get your items next day or a few days later depending on where you are in Canada. But getting it the same day is really great for our customers and we’re looking at launching in Toronto as well. That’s another big market for us.”

In Toronto, next day shipping will be available on Monday October 5.

The company was originally founded in 1984. It curates high-quality, durable goods for outdoor adventures and urban pursuits. Standout brands include Arc’teryx, Canada Goose, The North Face, Smartwool, Osprey, and Fjällräven. The company has 440 brands online.

Altitude Sports is gearing up for a busy season in the coming months with Black Friday first then followed by Christmas.

“During summer we saw people more interested in local activities. It feels like Canadians are becoming even more Canadian because they’re re-discovering what it is to travel within Canada – camping, hiking, enjoying sports that you can do at the cottage because of the pandemic. We expect the same to happen this coming winter. People will find a renewed enjoyment in the winter sports. They will be active snowshoeing, skiing, cross country skiing, skating and all the sports we can practice in Canada,” said Guimond.

“Of course Black Friday is the biggest moment of the year for us. There was a time when Boxing Day was busier but over the last three, four years we’ve seen the shift come. That’s going to be our biggest retail period for sure.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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