To extend the Sporting Life brand beyond geographic limitations, the Toronto-based retailer of sporting goods, athletic wear, footwear, and fashion will this fall open an e-commerce site.
The company, founded 28 years ago by co-owners Patti Russell, Brian McGrath, and David Russell, had been planning to sell on the Web for a while, says John Roe, Sporting Life’s director of online marketing. “It was a question of what was out there, the Canadian trends, where our competitors were and most important how would we do it in a way that would best represent us as a brand and a purveyor of the best brands,” he says.
According to the agency Statistics Canada, online spending for retail goods in Canada is projected to increase from $10 billion this year to $16 billion by 2009. The Website, scheduled to go live Sept. 24, is a good way to serve a broader base of customers who may not have convenient access to the store’s locations, Roe notes.
Sporting Life wanted to be sure its e-commerce Website delivers the same level of customer service as the company’s stores, Roe says. Direct orders will be fulfilled from its flagship store. The merchant will eventually make available its entire inventory for purchase online, he adds.