Canadian Tire announced today its aggressive growth strategy for remaining FGL Sports (previously Forzani Group Limited) sports retail brands. Promoting Sport Chek as its most-strategically positioned sports retail brand, Canadian Tire will focus efforts to expand the Sport Chek brand footprint.
Canadian Tire plans to make, outside of Quebec, Sport Chek its key “super brand” while also growing other sports retail brand Atmosphere as the outdoor lifestyle retail solution. This expansion strategy will open more than 100 new two million square feet retail Sport Chek and Atmosphere locations in the next five years. Additionally, Flagship Sport Chek stores are expected to be opened starting in 2013.
"Our vision is to create unparalleled access and customer connections to make our banners the conduit to the best sports brands in the world," said Michael Medline, President of FGL Sports. "To achieve this goal, we are concentrating on our core banners. To date, the acquisition and integration of FGL Sports have been seamless. Sales and profitability of FGL Sports have been strong and synergies are on target. Now, we're going on offence to strengthen our store network."
As a part of this brand promotion, FGL Sports expects to build further affinity and customer loyalty thus driving a larger emotional connection for consumers as a direct result.
"Our growth strategy will further position Canadian Tire and FGL Sports as the ultimate authority in sports in Canada," continued Medline. "In our work leading up to the acquisition of Forzani, it was clear that banner closures would be necessary and that was built into our financial modeling. These banners are expected to be generating unprofitable sales at the time they are closed and are not strategically well-differentiated in the market. This plan allows us to focus on our core banners in order to maximize results for FGL Sports."
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On the other hand Canadian Tire elaborated that this Sport Chek focus will mean the dismantle and closing of underperforming sports retail brand stores. Stand alone corporate locations for Sport Mart, Athletes World, Nevada Bob’s Golf, Hockey Experts, Fitness Sources and Econosports will be closed or converted to a Sport Chek or Atmosphere location by the end of Q1 2013. FGL Sports expects to close 115 corporate stores in total, although they plan to convert 20 of those locations leaving approximately 95 stores closed in total.