Burton Snowboards Transforms Toronto Flagship for [ak] Collection as Brand Looks to Expand [Interview/Photos]

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Pierre Ricard. Photo: LinkedIn

Burton Snowboards has recently updated its Toronto flagship store and continues to evolve its products to meet consumer demands. Pierre Ricard, the General Manager for Burton Snowboards America, discusses what consumers will expect at the updated flagship store, product innovations and future plans, including a resale program.

Burton’s Flagship Transformation

The new updates showcase Burton’s high-performance [ak] collection, a collaboration with Gore-Tex, and a diverse lineup of snowboard equipment. Ricard emphasizes the store now focuses on the [ak] collection, Burton’s premium outerwear. Outdoor enthusiasts can use the collection for various winter activities beyond snowboarding. The collection’s popularity in the city drove the company to transform the flagship. 

“We know the consumers in Toronto are really looking for the best in class products, and the [ak] collection is built from skin to shell and delivers proven performance when it matters. Consumers visiting our Ossington location will have access to a diverse snowboard lineup, leading boots and bindings and of course our new step on,” says Ricard. 

Burton Snowboards. Photo: Dustin Fuhs.
Burton Snowboards. Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

Founded by Jake Burton, the brand has always been at the forefront of snowboarding innovation. This legacy continues under the current leadership, with a renewed focus on quality, functionality, and sustainability. Consumers can find a diverse range of products, catering to all ages and skill levels and can also join its loyalty program for different perks such as free shipping and more. 

“We represent products from anything that is used on the hill, from your pair of socks to your first layers that you are wearing to what you are wearing after to go out and maybe enjoy a cocktail or a quick snack at the restaurant with your friends. As our Toronto location has a smaller footprint – we really wanted to make sure we offered as much of the breadth of the sport within that location.”  

The Toronto location will still showcase snowboards along with its [ak] collection and will serve as a hub for snowboarding enthusiasts and beginners alike, offering expert advice and a welcoming atmosphere. 

Burton Snowboards. Photo: janegillpr.com
Burton Snowboards. Photo: Dustin Fuhs.

New Innovations 

Burton is known for its innovative products such as its Step On product, “which changed the way people interact with their snowboard.” Instead of fussing with straps, people can simply step onto their snowboard and be ready to go – making it easy for adults and children. 

“The Step On has been a game changer. So for the first snowboarders, the younger generation can just start right away by stepping onto their boards instead of worrying about straps flapping. Some of these riders will never need to go on straps again, so from the youngest rider to the oldest – technology is at the forefront of everything we do.” 

The brand also carries Anon Optics, a company specializing in goggles, helmets, and apparel. Anon uses new technology, elevating its products such as its goggles. One new advancement Burton is selling is its M series, which is a replaceable magnetic lens and its “going off right now in the ski market.”

Burton Snowboards. Photo: janegillpr.com
Burton Snowboards. Photo: janegillpr.com

Sustainability

As sustainability remains a key value, Burton has a rental program allowing people to rent either its soft goods, outerwear, hard goods, or equipment for the day. It also has built an exchange program, Pass Along, within retail online and in-store, where people can return older products for credit and reuse them anywhere on its e-commerce site or in-store; however, this program is only available in the US, but Ricard says he is looking to bring the program to Canada in the next two years. 

These two programs aim to reduce waste and promote a circular economy in the snow sports category. 

“The brand has a huge commitment to re-commerce right now. Unfortunately, this project is still only available in the US. Regarding its availability in Canada, I can tell you I am working to bring Pass Along into the Canadian market and that is a very big initiative.”

Burton Snowboards. Photo: janegillpr.com

Looking ahead

Burton’s vision for the future is clear: to continue evolving and meeting the ever-changing needs of snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts. With potential expansion plans in Canada and a strong presence in key snowboarding markets, the brand is poised for continued growth. The introduction of innovative products like the Step On binding system, is a testament to Burton’s relentless pursuit of innovation. As for expansion plans, Ricard said they would like to expand to other cities in Canada as “there are some great opportunities in Canada right now.” 

“For us, it is really about being in the right place for the consumer, offering them the right experiences overall. The Canadian market has always been extremely important to us so we will continue to invest  as snowboarding lives and breathes in the Canadian market – look for more coming from us in the near future.” 

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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