Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) will introduce a record 1,400 new products in 2012 in a bid to expand its focus beyond the backcountry and into urban activities, such as running, yoga and cycling.
“Our customers may be rock climbing or mountain biking on weekends. They're also running and doing yoga during the week to stay fit,” said MEC CEO David Labistour. “People who shop at MEC are living life to the fullest in the backwoods and in the city and we're excited to offer them a one-stop-destination for all their activities.”
The company's expanded focus is designed to reflect the lifestyle of MEC customers, 71 per cent of whom live in urban centers and are as active close to home as they are elsewhere. MEC customer research has revealed double digit increases in the past two years in members who report running and biking regularly in the Victoria, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City markets.
No other Canadian retailer offers the range of Canadian-designed and developed products that MEC does and which currently represent 42 per cent of sales. Product development team members in Vancouver actively participate in the categories for which they design and buy products. All products are field tested by employees and professional field testers to ensure that they are of the highest quality and ideally suited to the Canadian environment and activities.
A wide range of leading brands are also carried so that customers have the widest range of specialized clothing and gear from which to choose. Examples of some of the new brand names customers will see at MEC this year include Ghost bikes, New Balance, Nike, Vibram and Castelli.