Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 23

IMAGINE riding an escalator in your favourite sports store on a
Saturday morning. Suddenly, instead of the second floor ski section destination you thought you were heading to, for a brief moment you are no longer on an escalator—or even in a sports store
for that matter. Rather, you’re riding a chairlift up a mountain
and getting ready to mash some moguls in your mind. Sounds
exciting, right?
This is just one of the many innovations and in-store surprises customers experience at Sport Chek’s new Retail Lab store in
mid-town Toronto, which opened this past January. While the
store is only 12,000 square-feet, thanks to 140 digital screens
and other technology, it feels much bigger.
“People call it multi-channel, or omni-channel, but to the consumer it’s just shopping,” explains Michael Medline, President,
FGL Sports. “You have to be consistent, but also exciting
through all your channels. Our feeling is our stores can be very
exciting for the consumer, which helps us compete with bricksand-mortar and e-retailers as well. We wanted to take it to the
next step.”

A one-of-a-kind experience

experience. The second is that unexpected part
where there are opportunities to differentiate
and build your brand. These two things need to
work in tandem.
“The first is often overlooked and shouldn’t
be because it is foundational,” Jackman explains. “I say that because you almost have to
earn the permission to surprise and delight customers in unexpected ways by delivering what
is first expected.”
These customer expectations include all manner of touch points, including, but not limited to:
the layout of the store, ease of navigation, access
to the staff when they need them, displays that are
not only easily accessed, but also easy to understand, assortments that are easy to understand
and a visual environment that is conducive to
whatever the shopping occasions are.
“All of these things present opportunities to
define the brand and take it to that next level,
but the first job is to consistently deliver what
the customer expects and that’s the hardest
part,” Jackman adds.

In 2012, Sport Chek undertook a brand reformation captured
by its new tagline: “Your Better Starts Here.” The Yonge Street
outlet in Toronto with its 140 digital screens, mas“The future of retailing is definitely
sive shoe wall with 500 different footwear styles,
as well as a multitude of other in-store innovations,
exciting stores, but that has got to be
is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s also one that epitbased on great products and great
omizes Sport Chek’s brand reinvention. And the
staff. Sports lend itself to an exciting
company’s “next step” in its evolution includes an
customer experience and we are
ambitious strategic plan to grow the retail chain
by 50 per cent in terms of square-footage over the
turning it up a notch.”
next five years.
— MICHEAL MEDLINE
“We are not going to build ten lab stores, but we will take the
FGL Sports
learnings from this test store and incorporate it into the flagship
stores we are building and also retrofit it into many of our curJackman points to Burberry’s flagship store
rent stores as well,” Medline adds.
on Regent Street in London, England, which he
It’s this type of innovation that, in an ever-competitive, ever- had the opportunity to visit on a recent trip overchanging shopping environment, is critical to a retailer’s suc- seas, as one that epitomizes the ultimate in-store
cess. Despite technological advances and the rise of the online customer experience. What made it so special?
shopping channel, the in-store experience is still king; it’s a key
“They’ve created a stunning environment
piece of a retailer’s core business they can’t afford to neglect.
that celebrates not only their products, but
also their brand,” he explains. “They’ve also
Differentiating the brand
integrated technology, but not in a superfluous
When it comes to a brand’s strength, it’s also where retailers way, which is one of the things that is happencan really shine and truly separate themselves from their com- ing now; technology for some equates to throwpetitors to win the battle for customer loyalty. What is the added ing a lot of screens in a store. But technology
value you are giving them for choosing to shop at your store?
needs to be thoughtfully done and integrated.
Joe Jackman, Chief Executive Officer at Jackman Reinven“Burberry has done some amazing things to
tion, partners with clients to help them build their brand and create a brand experience unlike any other,”
“become the most powerful version of themselves.”
he adds. “The product looks amazing, and the
According to Jackman, there are two keys. The first is some- staff are beyond good…they are brand ambasthing he calls “core.” This is a set of customer expectations of sadors. That was my experience as someone
what they believe epitomizes a positive and productive service who studies retail and as a customer.”
(Opposite): The Sport Chek location on Yonge Street in Toronto offers a revolutionary customer experience that's supported by
specialized associate knowledge.

www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer | spring 2013 | canadian retailer |

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013

PUBLISHER’S DESK
RETAIL CURRENTS
EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
THE TARGET IMPACT
THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
ADVERTISER'S INDEX
RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 3
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - PUBLISHER’S DESK
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 5
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL CURRENTS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 7
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 8
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 9
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 11
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 13
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 14
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 15
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE TARGET IMPACT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 17
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 18
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 19
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 20
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 21
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 23
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 24
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 25
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 26
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 28
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 29
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 30
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 31
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 33
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 34
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 35
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 37
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 38
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 39
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 41
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 42
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 43
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 44
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ADVERTISER'S INDEX
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 47
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 48
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 49
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 50
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