Sweden's Peak Performance has seen brisk sales at its new West 4th Avenue store in Vancouver, which opened Nov. 17, the company's vice-president of global expansion Marcus Grönberg told BIV today.
The 1,900-square-foot store is the company's only corporately owned store in the country, and it differs from its two franchised stores, which are in Whistler and in Montreal.
The Whistler and Montreal stores have owners that pay franchise fees and royalties. Their arrangement is not one where Peak Performance simply sells them clothes at a wholesale price, he said.
Grönberg described the West 4th Avenue store a "concept store" because it not only sells winter clothes targeted at skiiers but it also has a kiosk where staff help repair items. Staff at the store provide laundry service and advice customers how to best maintain clothes to ensure longevity, he said.
"The store features games for customers to play while they shop, as well as a cozy hot chocolate bar," he said.
Peak Performance's parent is Finland-based sportswear conglomerate Amer Sports, which also owns brands such as Vancouver-based Arc'Teryx. Its other brands include Atomic, Armada, Enve Composites, Salomon and Wilson Sporting Goods.
"We plan to establish stores in major cities that offer convenient access to mountains and resorts," Grönberg told BIV.
"Our top priority in Canada is fostering a strong community in Vancouver centred around the Kitsilano store and establishing it as an example for future projects in similar mountain destinations throughout the country, as soon as the timing is right."
He said that while Peak Performance is run independently from Amer Sports' other brands, it does collaborate with the parent company's other subsidiaries.
"We have been working closely with the Arc'teryx team to help us launch in new markets like Canada," he said. "Their proven success stories from their home market provide invaluable insights, knowledge, and expertise."
Peak Performance chose Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood to launch its so-far only corporately owned store in Canada because of the area's "vibrant outdoor community, stunning natural landscape and international draw," he said.
Kitsilano is also the home base for Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq:LULU) founder Chip Wilson, who told BIV last year that he owned about 20 per cent of the privately owned Amer Sports.
Peak Performance's location is amid other hip outdoor-wear retailers
The store at 2123 West 4th Avenue, on the north side of the street between Arbutus and Yew streets, is among other hip and fashionable apparel retailers.
Across the street is London, England-based Vivobarefoot's first store in the Asia Pacific, at 2190 West 4th Avenue.
The Peak Performance location is also one block east of Terrex's first permanent store in North America – a destination that its parent, Adidas, opened at 2235 West 4th Avenue almost a year ago. Kit and Ace plans to open a store immediately east of Terrex's store in spring 2024, its CEO, David Lui, told BIV last month.
Arc'Teryx is also in the area.
The outdoor-apparel seller last year opened a 4,504-square-foot store six doors east of Terrex, at 2201 West 4th Avenue – a store that includes a service centre where customers can bring Arc'Teryx products to be repaired. That new Arc'Teryx store replaced a much smaller location at 2033 West 4th Ave., which the company closed.
Relations between Arc'teryx and Terrex are strained, with Arc'Teryx suing the upstart Adidas brand for trademark infringement in February.
"Peak Performance has been warmly welcomed by the Vancouver community – our store launch and grand opening events were a great success," Grönberg said.
"As we gear up for the upcoming ski season and holiday shopping period, we're confident the brand's popularity bodes well for future sales."