(Retail Insider article below)
By Craig Patterson
Upscale Toronto-based sport and fashion retailer Sporting Life is expanding into new markets. The company has just announced that its first store in British Columbia will open in the fall of 2019 at The Amazing Brentwood in Burnaby, east of Vancouver. It’s all part of an expansion to position Sporting Life as a national brand that will soon have stores in four provinces.
“Vancouver’s renowned active and health conscious population provides an ideal foundation for launching Sporting Life on the West coast,” said Sporting Life co-founder and CEO David Russell. “We’ve had our eye on this city since Patti (co-founder of Sporting Life) and I lived in Vancouver years back. We see the value in this market and believe in the retail environment. We hope to ultimately have three stores in the greater Vancouver area.”
The Brentwood Sporting Life store will span about 44,000 square feet according to the company, and will open in 2019. The store will feature attractive interiors and an assortment of designer brands, as with the company’s other stores.
Last summer, The Amazing Brentwood’s landlord SHAPE announced that it had partnered with the L Catterton group, which is a private equity firm linked with French luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and Groupe Arnault. The new $2 billion The Amazing Brentwood will become the focal point of a community that will include over a million square feet of retail space, considerable office space, as well as multiple residential towers for thousands of new residents. The first phase is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.
The Amazing Brentwood’s retail component will house more than 250 stores, a ‘culinary collection’, and a one-acre plaza. An entertainment focus will also include the addition of Cineplex VIP Cinemas, as well as The Rec Room entertainment centre. Brentwood is eyeing luxury brands to move into the centre, placing it directly in competition with QuadReal’s Oakridge Centre on Vancouver’s West Side, which intends on becoming the region’s second ‘luxury node’ to complement the downtown Vancouver ‘Luxury Zone’.
Sporting Life was founded in 1979 and sells apparel and footwear, as well as equipment geared towards runners, cyclists, skiers, snowboarders and hikers. It has a large selection of outerwear, fleece and coats from popular brands Moncler, Canada Goose, Arc'teryx and The North Face, among others. It also carries a mix of high-end and casual clothing brands such as Barbour, Bogner, Hugo Boss, Mackage, John Varvatos and others. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. bought 75% of Sporting Life in December of 2011.