Designing engaging flagship stores for Sport Chek and Pro Hockey Life

FGL sports

Year Completed



FGL sports


British Columbia & Ontario


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Establishing two new flagship store concepts

Our client, FGL sports, wanted to develop new flagship retail stores for both their Sport Chek and Pro Hockey Life (PHL) brands. The client approached us to create and implement new designs that improved the retail shopping experience. For Sport Chek, we were asked to implement their flagship design for general sports customers within the brand, and we created a new design concept for hockey-focused shoppers for the PHL brand. The goal was to apply these designs to all new stores across Canada.



Redefining the retail store concept

Our commercial mixed-use team redefined the client’s retail store concept, including the store layout, look and feel. Our challenge was to declutter the spaces and create a sense of place, focal points, and an overall engaging customer experience.

We utilized elements of the existing store design where appropriate but re-energized and updated spaces to maximize sales. We wanted to elevate the retail experience and tell a compelling athletic story to the customer that inspired, engaged, and interacted with them on their shopping journeys.

Great retail needs to be filled with experiences and emotion. Shoppers can’t be bored, the convergence of leisure, entertainment and retail drives our design thinking. Customers need to feel like the experience has been created for them.”

Michael McDonald




Creating athletic design drivers

We worked with our client and their suppliers to understand brand objectives and goals. Our considerations included branding, customer experience, flow and merchandizing layout, fixturing, specialty elements, and support spaces.

Our team analyzed and studied store movement, racking height, traffic, and sales. We did thorough assessments on the stores of our client’s competition. We also explored key target audience metrics to evaluate how we could cater store features for all athletes, instead of a traditional male-dominated sports store.

Design drivers included curb recognition (sensing excitement from the outside of the building), a sports authority, professionalism, interactivity, achievement, and intuitive wayfinding.



Designing using an arena metaphor

We created a retail experience that guides and inspires customer to key decision points. With a focus on visibility from the exterior, we ensured a clear and pronounced brand could be identified from multiple vantage points. The Sport Chek store in Robson Square, Vancouver is a branded beacon of beauty.

Our designs are clean, organized, and intuitive ensuring customers navigate stores with ease. Light is used as a design tool to create clear illumination, expose destination points, and reveal wayfinding.

Stores feature interactive digital and hologram kiosks to learn, durable areas to sample and test products, and memorabilia that tells the story of particular sports.

The PHL stores are designed in the shape of an arena incorporating the sights, sounds, and energy of an NHL venue. This arena metaphor creates clear circulation paths to organize and showcase a narrative of hockey with clear and interactive signage.

Spaces for flexibility and modularity allow stores to accommodate seasonality with adaptive branding and merchandising. While showpieces allow opportunities to experience products in new ways. Finally, a memorable checkout experience ensures the customer is engaged until they leave.



Applying the concept to new Sport Chek and Pro Hockey Life stores

Our design concepts for PHL have been applied to the store in Tsawwassen, BC. We also went on to do one of their flagship store at Sherway Gardens in Mississauga, as well as developed a prototype for their ‘hero’ stores.

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