Busting the Paradigm of Brick & Mortar Retail

Sport Chek leads the digital revolution of retail, a change that’s been driven by our employees.

Thanks to what we’ve been doing here at Sport Chek, there’s been a big shift in the way people think about retail. For the last few years, we’ve been incorporating digital technology into every aspect of our operations. What’s really cool is that this embracing of all things digital has been driven by the young people who work here. Our employees are championing digital innovation at Sport Chek, while they change the face of retail.

Today, most sports enthusiasts are connected to their sports community, not only by engaging in the sport, but through social media and using technology to track and set goals. Recently, Sport Chek set out to build stores that showcase the massive potential of digital to connect our communities with information to completely remake the shopping experience. It’s the rebirth of brick-and-mortar. Sport Chek retail stores are now as digital an experience as shopping online. Maybe more so.

We’ve ramped up the integration of digital into every aspect of our business, from the backroom to the sales floor. Some of our stores feature 400 digital screens, running 240 channels of content. All Sport Chek, team members have their own tablets with them at all times. Tablets are critical to this digital revolution because they provide instant access to every specification possible on every single product, as well as guides to matching the right customer to exactly the right product.

Before this seismic digital shift, customer service involved two perspectives-- the employee and the customer. We’ve changed all that. Digital now connects the entire community and their perspectives, with the employee and the customer in the store. Not only that, digital sparks the customer conversation; soon, Near Field Communications (NFC) on a customer’s smartphone will trigger their profile to appear on a team member’s tablet, who’ll know what products they’ve bought, what their buying preferences are, along with their fit and sizing specs. You will know instantly if the product they want is in stock and be presented with alternative choices if it’s not. How cool is that? Technology is making Sport Chek employees smarter, more knowledgeable and more credible at their jobs. This translates into extreme customer service and huge spikes in customer satisfaction. Our team members are ecstatic that technology is helping them do their jobs so much better, faster and easier.

Technology is being rolled out throughout the store in other forms like our Bike Fit stations and kiosks where a customer can design their own sunglasses or athletic shoes. Digital screens are backstage too, helping team members with booking their shifts and letting them know about new products and special promotions.

Digital is making our stores better. It’s making the customer experience better. And it’s making life better and a whole lot more fun for our team members.

Read what The Globe and Mail has to say about Sport Chek’s pioneering innnovations in moving digital into retail: