Sport Chek flagship continues assault on showrooming

Last year, Canadian retail sporting goods giant Sport Chek unveiled what it called "a game-changing" retail lab in Toronto to pilot a store concept combining interactive digital signage and self-service technology to create a retail digital wonderland experience.

Earlier this year, Sport Chek opened its 80,000-square-foot Sport Chek/Atmosphere store that builds on that retail lab in a new flagship location in Edmonton.

"Our new flagship store in West Edmonton Mall is the most digitally advanced and personalized retail experience in the world," Michael Medline, president of Sport Chek owner Canadian Tire Corp., said in an announcement of the new store. "We have created an energy-filled experience for anyone who is passionate about a great customer experience and shopping for an unparalleled array of sporting goods."

The new flagship location features 800 screens populated by 220 channels that display product images and deals, store-wide anthems and community walls filled with local sports information (and that breaks down to 470 individual screens, 250 computers, 25 large-format tabs, 80 tablets and more than 1,200 square feet of digital projection), and 250 staff members will use digital installations, interactive technology and product displays to provide detailed and personalized service to customers, ranging from bike and ski fittings to gait analysis for runners.

Take a video tour of the flagship:

Digital signage mainstay STRATACACHE worked with the retailer to integrate digital signage and interactive technologies into the store. The Dayton, Ohio-based company provided its content management solution.

"We are very excited to be working with Sport Chek on their first flagship store. As the provider of their content management system, we understand the innovation and hard work that goes into tackling many in-store technological 'firsts,'" STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel said in a release. "Digital is the next step for retail. Sport Chek understands this and with the opening of the flagship store has proven they can lead it."

Sport Chek plans to build 10-12 more flagship locations across Canada, Medline said in a video interview. The chain also will take elements of the flagships and retrofit them into other locations and incorporate them into new store builds, he said.

"This store is the culmination of a dream," and a three-year re-branding process, Medline said. "I would argue that this is the best retail store on the planet."

Watch behind-the-scenes interviews with Medline and Duncan Fulton, CMO of Sport Check parent FGL Sports Ltd., below:

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