Theres a good old fashioned hockey fight on the horizon in Canada and it has nothing to do with the second round in the hunt for Lord Stanleys Cup. Sports Gilbert Rousseau, which operates five hockey superstores around Montreal, has formed an investment group with a goal of expanding the concept across Canada. The “category killer” hockey specialty retail chain, as SGR called it in a release, will operate under the banners of “Pro Hockey Life” across Canada and “Rousseau Sports” within Quebec.
SGR will also change its name to Pro Hockey Life Sporting Goods, Inc. Pro Hockey Life teamed up with a group of private equity investors led by Champlain Financial Corp., as well as with Jack Steckel, a founding member of Canadian golf specialty retailer, Golf Town and Capital Canada Limited, an independent investment banking firm.
Louis Fortin, VP of sales, purchasing and marketing told SEW in an exclusive interview that the Vaughn Mills store opening at the start of August in Vaughn, Ontario, near Toronto, will be 3,300 square feet, like the companys current flagship store Montreal.
Going forward, the company plans to open an additional 2 stores in the next twelve months with 3 to 4 stores opened each year through 2010. The remaining stores are expected to be between 1,800 and 2,200 square feet. The company hopes to “build a strong presence in Ontario with two to four stores in Toronto and one in Ottawa, before moving out west,” said Fortin.