Canadian outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Company (MEC) is opening its second location in the Maritimes with a new store in August in The Mapleton Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.
The store will be 17,000 square feet in space previously occupied by Bed, Bath & Beyond.
“We are excited to become part of the passionate outdoor Moncton community” said Peter Hlynsky, Chief Operations Officer, MEC. “Moncton is a hub city in the Maritimes with an abundance of local and provincial wild spaces, ideal for camping, hiking, climbing, biking, paddling, and Cross-Country skiing, and we are looking forward to helping new customers and members gear-up for their outdoor adventures.”
Hlynsky said the retailer has always looked across the country for “white space” of areas it’s not situated.
“We know that we’re in the BC market and a lot of markets and we’re in Alberta in core markets. Then you go across the country. We have the one store in Halifax and there’s that area that’s a little bit further north of Halifax that we knew we had a bunch of white space,” he said. “The other thing is we have a lot of our staff and they go on these trips, they go on expeditions, they go across Canada, and a lot of them end up in that Bay of Fundy area, all around Moncton. There’s a couple of national parks and there’s a bunch of provincial parks they always end up in. They share their pictures. They share their adventures they go. They are kind of the ones that got us excited about new areas where we need to be.
“So you start listening to where the trends are happening. What your staff is doing. And you start to realize there’s pockets of opportunity . . . We feel there’s a big outdoor movement of people in that area and it was just a market that’s very attractive for us.”
Hlynsky said the real estate location was appealing because of the size of space that was available as well as the accessibility to the shopping centre.
“We’ve actually been talking to the landlord even prior to even Bed Bath & Beyond going bankrupt about that location because we knew that lease was coming up,” he said. “It hit all the marks for us. It was a good location, good freeway access, good mall. It serviced all of our needs.
“We think we need to be actively searching out other locations. There are still other Bed Bath & Beyond’s that are on the market and we’re talking to various landlords on that plus other landlords of other locations that are coming up. We are actively back searching for new locations to put our stores. We have a list of areas we want to be in and we’re working off that list to continue to look for the areas we can expand . . . We’re a bit unique. We become an anchor tenant in these locations and we’re a destination. We’re not dependent on other retailers being in the areas that we’re in.”
MEC currently has 21 standalone stores and three partner locations with Hudson’s Bay.
The retailer said the new store in Moncton will provide the premium MEC experience and expertise well known to customers and members and the additional 6,000-square-foot backstock will accommodate the future addition of a substantial rental fleet assortment, as well as a bike shop.
Monctonians can expect to see top name outdoor brands carried by the retailer, including Patagonia and The North Face as well as the company’s own MEC label brand of products not carried anywhere else.
The retailer is currently recruiting for a variety of positions at the new store including General Manager.
“We were also voted one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2023.” said Hlynsky “This and other perks are just some of the reasons why so many people love being part of the MEC team and were excited to grow and bring all this passion to Moncton.”
MEC was established in 1971.