Sport Chek Changes the Game With Retail Lab in Toronto
World’s largest sports and technology brands partner with Sport Chek to
deliver “living lab” experiences at new retail concept store
Retail lab successes will form the basis of Sport Chek’s first new
flagship stores across the country
Brands including Nike, adidas, Reebok, Samsung and Infusion to test new
tech tools in store
Store located at 2529 Yonge Street in Toronto, between Eglinton Ave. and
TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ – Sport Chek, Canada’s leading sporting
goods retailer and the Official Sports Store of Canada’s Olympic Team,
today unveiled a game-changing retail lab. Located on Yonge Street in
Toronto, the store delivers the perfect mix of great products, expert
staff and next-in-class digital innovation for an unparalleled shopping
Sport Chek seeks to inspire its customers to be a ‘better you’ – whether
that may be looking better, feeling better or performing better in
sport. Captured by the brand’s tagline: “Your Better Starts Here,”
Sport Chek undertook a brand reformation in 2012 with powerful new
advertising and social media strategies.
Ultimately, the retail environment is the primary execution of the brand
– and Sport Chek’s management believes that a fundamentally better and
more inspiring retail environment can be achieved through the
combination of world-class products, all-star staff and customer
service and digital innovations to deliver powerful images, sound and
interactivity throughout the store.
Sport Chek designed the store to be at the forefront of retail and
create an ongoing test and learn environment. These next-in-class
retail innovations will be proven and rolled out to the Sport Chek
store network starting late 2013 with new flagship stores across
“Our goal with this live lab store is to test and demonstrate the latest
in retail technology to deliver the same emotional rush our customers
get when they are pursuing the sports and physical activities they
love,” said Michael Medline, President, FGL Sports. “The store will
serve as a conduit between customers and their favourite brands, it
offers unparalleled levels of customization and is staffed with the
strongest product category experts in the industry.”
“We wanted to create a store that is dynamic and has its own energy. We
have built a store that matches the intense passion Canadians have for
sports and the activities they pursue,” Medline added.
Digital and Product Innovations
Tile, Tablet, Touch and NFC Screens: The relatively small 12,000 square foot ‘lab’ punches way above its
weight and is believed to be the most advanced digital retail space of
any category in North America. With 140 digital screens installed
throughout the store, it features Samsung displays with ultra-thin
borders, touch technology and near-field-communication (NFC)
capabilities allowing for personalized content and greater customer
interaction with merchandise.
Screens include new digital ’tiles’ both on the wall and custom built
into tables. Traditional signage built in to the top of clothing racks
now include tablets in custom fixtures showing video and still image
content specifically designed for the associated products.
Shoe Wall Innovation: To complement Sport Chek’s authoritative assortment of 500 different
footwear styles, adidas has installed its first permanent digital shoe
wall in Canada and largest installation in North America, featuring
‘digital’ shoes on three 55″ touch screens. Each shoe contains custom
digital content when selected, including product features, live twitter
feeds, videos, images and interesting facts about athletes’
accomplishments while wearing that specific model of shoe.
Nike has installed its first ‘Nike Shoe VJ Experience’ in the world.
Featuring an entertaining 12-foot high digital wall, customers can use
Nike shoes custom-built with gaming ‘controller’ technology to design
art and sound with the palettes by artists James Jean and David Choe,
and sound courtesy of world-renowned DJ Cut Chemist.
Reebok has installed a customized, ‘build your own Reebok’ kiosk where
customers can custom-build every single part of their shoe,
representing limitless possibilities. The shoes are custom-built and
shipped to the customer directly within four to six weeks.
Medical Motion Dynamic Gait Analysis: Customers interested in finding the perfect shoe for their sport or
activity can participate in a comprehensive gait analysis in the store.
Customers walk or run on a gait analysis treadmill, while being
monitored by trained Sport Chek associates who can then recommend the
Ski and Snowboard Innovation: As North America’s leading ski and snowboard retailer, Sport Chek’s
retail lab now includes one of only three Wintersteiger Mercury
automated ski and snowboard tuning machines in Canada. Customers will
be able to watch their skis and boards being tuned on the most advanced
machine in the world, offering razor-sharp edges and eight different
available base structures. The machine can tune 30 skis or boards per
hour, meaning a quick turn-around for customers.
To add further customization, Sport Chek has installed a Sidas custom
ski and snowboard boot insert system. Specially trained Sport Chek
staff use the machine to create a 3D map of the customer’s foot which
is then reflected in a boot insert that provides maximum support, shock
absorption and comfort within 30 minutes.
Wilson Baiardo Racquet Stringer: Sport Chek’s retail lab includes the Wilson Baiardo Racquet Stringer,
offering a precise racquet stringing tension within a decimal point of
poundage in just 12 minutes. The Baiardo is used in many tour events
each year, including the Australian Open and US Open.
Custom Oakley Installation: Oakley has installed a custom sunglass design kiosk. This fully
interactive experience allows customers to interact with a wide variety
of lens, frame, colour and logo options to create the perfect
customized pair of Oakley sunglasses which are built in-store by
specially trained staff in minutes.
Staff Tablets: Staff are equipped with tablets loaded with vendor content to better
serve customers, with the ability to ‘take over’ the larger screens in
the store to show off vendor advertising or community content.
Digital Community Board: The interactive Community Board connects customers with each other and
allows them to view schedules, events, standing stats and updates from
their favourite community sports leagues as well as information on
Interactive Escalator: Nineteen screens are installed in the wall beside the escalator with a
custom-built Xbox Kinect application that follows and matches the
customer’s ascent, activating a variety of themes on the screen
including sports scenes, promotions and a simulated chairlift ride.
Custom Content: Sport Chek’s new ‘digital store control’ facility in Calgary produces
and pushes custom content to each screen – allowing for any individual
screen to be updated with new content within 12 minutes. The
Calgary-based ‘digital store control’ room will run all digital screens
throughout the chain as new stores are opened with the digital
innovations proven in the retail lab.
Store Front Projection: The store’s Yonge Street facade features a large-scale 5-foot x 32-foot
digital projection displaying high-definition video, still images and
live feeds of sporting events to anyone passing by the store. The
display is driven by four high powered projectors to produce a
high-definition picture visible from across the street, even in direct
Augmented Reality: Interactive ‘augmented reality’ is being tested in the store with
customers being able to access customized offers and discounts by
downloading the Sport Chek ‘Scan and Save’ app for in store savings.
Wired For Scalability: Spot Chek intends to introduce and test ground-breaking and ‘next in
class’ digital retail advancements in the store for years to come.
Recognizing the rapid speed of technology advancements, the retail lab
has been pre-wired with 5.5 km of fibre optic cable and 6.5 km of Cat6
cable in anticipation of continuous innovation and testing of new
All-Star Customer Service
Staff members at the retail lab are defined by their passion for sports
and living active lifestyles as well as a commitment to providing
excellent customer service. Assigned to sections of the store that
match their own personal expertise, employees share in-depth product
knowledge and insights from their experiences using the gear.
Multimedia stories detailing the sporting lives of store employees will
be featured on digital screens throughout the store, inspiring
consumers and addressing product questions and expert recommendations.
In addition, the store offers complimentary valet with purchases of $25
or more and concierge at the curb, taking the customer experience to a
whole new level.
Nike: “We are proud to introduce the Nike Shoe VJ at Sportchek’s retail lab in
Toronto. For the first time, we are enabling consumer to express
themselves through original artwork that is inspired by the performance
attributes of our most innovative products: Nike Free 3.0 and Nike Air
Max 2013,” said Eric Grimes, General Manager, Nike Canada. “Nike has
always been about pushing the limits of performance and
self-expression, and we are excited to continue to push the boundaries
of the retail experience for our consumers in partnership with Sport
Adidas: “Our global technology team was thrilled to be involved in this truly
unique retail experience that will inspire consumers to a completely
new level,” said Jim Gabel, President of adidas Canada Group. “With the
installation of adidas’ first permanent digital shoe wall in Canada and
the largest in North America, we are proud to share our global
innovations with Canadians in this one of a kind retail concept.”
Samsung: “With Samsung displays helping to power opening day, we are excited to
partner with Sport Chek on this project that matches our ambitions to
push the boundaries on innovation,” said James Politeski, President of
Samsung Canada. “Our partnership will see best-in-class Samsung
technology rolled out to amplify this amazing retail experience and
really wow Sport Chek’s customers.”
Telus: “TELUS believes that connectivity and customization are the future of
retail as brands strive to create new experiences for their customers,”
said Joe Natale, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer,
TELUS. “This concept store from Sport Chek has the technology and high
energy environment of a sports stadium living inside a 12,000 square
foot retail lab and TELUS is pleased to have delivered the digital
media solutions to help bring the Sport Chek vision to life.”
Infusion: “Infusion has been thrilled to work with FGL in creating retail digital
experiences from concept to design,” said Alim Somani, President of
Infusion. “The innovative experience created at the Sport Chek flagship
store in Toronto is a great example of a major retailer embracing the
future. Through this collaboration, Sport Chek can explore the
potential that digital technology provides in driving increased
consumer engagement, impacting both sales and perception of the brand.
We are proud to be able to complement the Sport Chek vision and add
them to a growing family of world-class brands that we’ve helped break
through the status quo.”
Address: 2529 Yonge St, Toronto (East side, two blocks North of Eglinton
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM to 6:00
Design: Sid Lee Architecture
About FGL Sports
FGL Sports Ltd. is Canada’s largest national retailer of sporting goods,
offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand
products and operating more than 500 stores from coast to coast, under
the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, Sports
Experts, Atmosphere, Sport Mart, Athletes World, National Sports,
Intersport, Econosports, Nevada Bob’s Golf, Hockey Experts, Fitness
Source, and S3. FGL Sports also has websites for several of its
corporate and franchise banners which can be accessed through its main
website at www.FGLSports.com.
SOURCE FGL Sports Ltd.