CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Oct. 28, 2009) - Sport Chek, a corporate banner of The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX:FGL), (the "Company"), Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods is excited to launch a newly designed and much anticipated e-commerce website at www.sportchek.ca.
Beginning today, Sport Chek customers near and far to its over 130 stores across Canada can now access thousands of styles around the clock through an additional on-line sales channel. The new e-commerce site will bring together merchandise from virtually all categories presently available today under the Sport Chek brand, targeting an impressive catalogue selection of 5000 styles and colours. Plus, with the new website comes a new clean and sleek look, new content, new email strategy, a more interactive flyer and greater customer interaction.
The site is multi-functional allowing online shoppers the ability to zoom in/out, view products in alternate views and colors, create and send wish lists, and search store locations. Additional services include customer product rating integration, improved navigation, including parametric navigation (search by brand, price, gender and size) and a new user-friendly design that will help customers find exactly what they're looking for quickly and easily.
The e-commerce site will be supported with integrated on-line and off-line advertising programs that are customer-centric and innovative. Additional search engine optimization, affiliate programs, social media marketing and in-store promotional efforts will be implemented to drive traffic to the site and engage consumers. Plus, in conjunction with Sport Chek's flyer program, products available online will be identified in all ads.
"While on-line shopping might not be for everyone, over 70% of Canadians research their purchases online before physically making the purchase in a store," comments Mark Hindman, Vice President Corporate Marketing of the Company. "So, for those that prefer the in-store experience, the information provided on the new SportChek.ca will enable the customer to make an informed decision prior to purchase. It is about giving our consumer options and the multi-channel experience provides exactly that."
The e-commerce site technology, fulfillment services, and customer care call center will be handled by GSI Commerce Inc. (Nasdaq: GSIC - News), the leading provider of e-commerce and multi-channel solutions. "We are proud to add Forzani as an e-commerce client and look forward to supporting the SportChek.ca Web store by providing a great consumer experience for Canadian online shoppers by leveraging our newly opened fulfillment center and call center in Toronto," said Damon Mintzer, executive vice president of sales for GSI. "Our deep expertise in delivering e-commerce solutions for direct-to-consumer businesses was critical to the successful launch of SportChek.ca."
"After evaluating several top e-commerce platform providers, we were impressed with GSI's experience and knew right away that it was the best fit to build our next-generation e-commerce site and reach our customers in a meaningful way," comments John Hould, SVP of E-Commerce of the Company. "Partnering with GSI will enable Sport Chek to enhance our brand and cross-channel experience for our shoppers."
Sport Chek is also partnering with a new e-mail provider, e-dialogue, which will work in conjunction with the website information. This relationship will provide the ability to send "trigger" emails to consumers who have recently purchased an item online and request that they write a customer review. Further, as customer profile information is gathered, the ability to co-relate it to customers' purchasing behaviours will result in more effective communications, and ultimately elevate the customer experience.
About The Forzani Group Ltd.
The Company is Canada's largest national retailer of sporting goods, offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand products, operating stores from coast to coast, under the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports, Sport Mart, Athletes World, National Sports, Sports Experts, Intersport, Econosports, Atmosphere, Tech Shop, Pegasus, Nevada Bob's Golf, Hockey Experts, The Fitness Source, and S3. The Company also has websites for several of its corporate and franchise banners which can be accessed through its main website at www.forzanigroup.com.
This news release contains certain statements that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. This forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such information. Such information involves the use of such words as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan", "intend", "are confident" and other similar terminology. This information reflects current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speaks only as of the date of this news release. Forward-looking information involves significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, available at www.sedar.com. Although the forward-looking information in this news release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information and, therefore, you should not place undue importance on this information. While the Company may elect to do so, unless required by applicable securities laws, it does not undertake to update this forward looking information to reflect new information or circumstances at any particular time.