The competition for Mission Snowboard in Calgary, Alberta has not changed much within the last few years, says Owner Corey Meyer: “A new shop opens once in a while, but it’s the established stores with the dedicated clientele that end up with the majority of business.”
One of the major issues for Canadian snowboard shops is the department stores that carry top-of-the-line goods. These bigger shops push out the smaller players. What’s changed recently for Mission Snowboard is the addition of another location in Calgary.
At Farside Skate and Snowboards in Edmonton, Alberta, Dustin Lowry works alongside shop Owner Alhad Devji. According to Lowry, there hasn’t been much competitive activity in Edmonton in the past few years except for two new stores opening, bringing the total number of shops in the city to six. Two stores are in the process of closing up though, so the competition will be back down to four. Devji says he has plans to open another store in town soon.
In Laval, Quebec resides one of the largest vendors of snowboards in the province. Frederic Elvarez, full-time employee of Oberson, says two stores have closed within the region and two remain nearby. “This year Oberson will sell more than 2,000 boards and the surrounding shops will battle it out in this rough market,” Elvarez explains.
Since it opened eight years ago, Division Skate and Snow has seen more stores arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia. Manager Brian Stoutenbury says he’s definitely seen a change in the local market. “The large sporting-goods stores and the smaller ‘core shops are carrying more brand-name goods,” he says, “whereas in the past some stores could have exclusive rights to a certain line of product.”
Ernie Rotsey owns Ski Hut, a twelve-year-old store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Within the last year, two large sporting-goods stores have opened in town. According to Rotsey, at the beginning of this season these stores were full of snowboard product, while his stood empty. “I must do what’s cost-effective for me,” he says. “It’s the only way to survive.” In the past few years two smaller stores in the area have closed down.
The Channel is just one of eight snowboard shops in Calgary, Alberta. Full-time employee Jeremy Kulbida says two shops recently opened in his region. “The majority of shops in town are like department stores,” he says. “We give our customers more service with heart and soul.”