Comparable store sales at FGL Sports increased 6.3 percent in the third quarter as a result of strong sales of equipment, apparel and footwear at its flagship Sport Chek banner, parent company Canadian Tire Corp. reported.
FGL Sports operates 415 stores under the Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, Pro Hockey Life and Atmosphere banners. The company reported total revenue, including sales to franchisees, of $432.8 million in the quarter ended Sept. 28, up 0.9 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Retail sales grew 4.2 percent despite the fact that FGL operated 56 fewer stores than a year earlier, thanks to both the addition of 23 Pro Hockey Life stores acquired early in the quarter and a 9.1 percent increase in same-store sales at Sport Chek.
CTC reported sales at its flagship Canadian Tire Retail unit, which also sells sporting goods at its 491 locations, reported same-store sales grew 2.0 percent. Canadian Tire sales grew across all categories with particularly strong sales of automotive products and auto repair services. CTC CEO Stephen Wetmore said he was particularly encouraged by the performance of new hunting and fishing pro shops installed at 116 Canadian Tire stores.
“Our preliminary data is telling us that these concepts are helping to drive traffic and incremental sales, as sales of stores with the pro shop concept are up over the national average,” said CTC CEO Stephen Wetmore. “We continue to roll out the new assortments to select regions across the country.”
CTC reported comp store sales grew 4.3 percent at Mark’s, which operates 386 men’s and women’s casual and industrial apparel stores. On Oct. 29, Mark’s announced an exclusive marketing agreement with the Canadian Football League that will run through the Grey Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan Nov. 24.
“This has been a particularly strong quarter for our Retail businesses,” said Wetmore. “Performances in our Sports and Apparel businesses continue to show strength and I'm encouraged by the continued sales momentum in our Automotive business.”
CTC capital spending will surge to between $500 and $524 million in 2014 as the company begins work on a new distribution center and continues investing in FGL. The company also expects to increase spending on sports marketing to reinforce branding of all its FGL banners as it defends its markets against Target, which entered Canada in 2013 by opening 30 stores.
In early September, CTC signed a 10-year business partnership with Maple Leaf Garden Sports and Entertainment, which owns Toronto’s pro hockey, baseball, basketball and soccer teams and the venues they play in. It followed up last week by partnering with Adidas to launch its new Canadian Olympic Team High Performance Collection at Sports Experts stores in seven cities. Wetmore said CTC will announce another major initiative in a few weeks in partnership with dozens of Canada’s leading sports and health partners.