This post is looooong overdue but there is a reason for it. Back in July, I was invited to go to the grand opening and tour of the newest Sport Chek flagship location at Sherway Gardens. On the morning of my tour, I woke up with the most intense migraine. I spoke about it briefly already around the time that it happened but it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. I went ahead with the tour but felt a bit “off” the entire time I was in the store. I was dizzy, uncomfortable, and had to run to the ladies room a few times because I thought I was going to be sick. I tried to play it cool and I don’t think anyone noticed but to be honest, I didn’t really absorb all of the cool features because my mind wasn’t 100%. It’s hard to focus when you feel like you might pass out any second! Anyway, I went back last weekend to pick up a pair of shoes and take a walk around again so I could do a better job at talking about all of the store’s awesomeness.
One of the most notable things about this location is that there are THREE floors. The lowest level is stocked with sports equipment, fan gear, and a service shop.
My favourite section was Nevada Bob’s Golf! I know nothing about golf (my dad was a big golfer) and it quickly became apparent that I am not a natural. There is a virtual golfing room where you can test out clubs by swinging a ball at a screen. I won’t even tell you how many attempts I had to make before the screen even registered my swing. I kept hitting the ball below the target. Whoops. Either way, it was a really cool experience and the staff was super helpful. I was completely embarrassed but was cheered on and motivated to keep trying until I got it right. I honestly had no idea what the numbers meant once my swing registered but I was thrilled anyway. Hah. Great spot with awesome features for golfers who actually know what they’re doing!
The main floor of the store was heaven for me. It’s where you can find all the amazing shoes and apparel that make your heart sing. There are several shop-in-shops featuring all of the top Sport Chek brands – adidas, Nike, Under Armor, New Balance, Fitbit, etc.
One of the coolest in-store innovations is the New Balance Stride I.D. Experience Lab (the first in North America)! This is where you absolutely need to go if you visit the store. It was so, so cool. You can get both a 3D scan and a gait analysis of your foot to help you choose your perfect running shoe. There is a half size difference between my feet! I always knew my left foot was bigger but didn’t think it was an entire half size!
They’ve also got a Basketball Shop on the main floor – 1,000 square feet dedicated to all of the best basketball products and brands. This is heaven for all the ballers out there. These two employees wanted to be in my shot – thanks guys! They were so nice and excited about the store opening.
The top floor is dedicated to Atmosphere, Sport Chek’s partner store AKA paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. This is where you will find all the gear you need for outdoor adventures – shoes, apparel, backpacks, tents, stoves, lamps, electronics (like activity trackers, GPS devices and action cameras), kayaks, paddleboards, swim and snorkel gear, and all things rock climbing (just to name a few). Speaking of rock climbing, there ClimbStation where you can put your skills and gear to the test. It’s like a vertical treadmill/climbing wall with adjustable speeds and inclines. I tried it (at the easiest level) and now I want one in my condo.
There is at least one thing that you will find in common with all three floors of the 80,000-foot store: TECHNOLOGY. There are hologram displays and touch screens spanning the entire space to make for a really unique shopping experience. You can literally hold shoes in front of a screen (they have RFID tags) to learn more about that specific model and find out if it’s right for you. You can also browse products, check store availability, learn about community events, and check out Sport Chek’s/Atmosphere’s social feed. Pretty sure the only thing these screens can’t do is serve you ice cream! 😉
I hope I did the store enough justice through this blog post. It’s really something that needs to be experienced first-hand but I wanted to share some of the features that I enjoyed most. Let me know if you ever check out the space!
Disclaimer: I was compensated with a Sport Chek gift card for my attendance at the Sherway Gardens grand opening and tour.