Sport Mart to close, re-open with new brand
A sporting-goods retail chain that got its start in Kamloops nearly three decades ago is shutting down for good — but don’t expect the company’s extinction to leave a void in the equipment market.
Sport Mart, originally owned by the Jardine family, opened its first store in Kamloops in 1984.
The chain quickly grew across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, and was purchased by the Alberta-based Forzani Group in 2001.
Last year, Forzani — which also operated Sport Chek, Atmosphere and Athlete’s World — was purchased by Canadian Tire.
Two months ago, the Canadian retail giant announced “an accelerated growth strategy” focusing on expanding the Sport Chek and Atmosphere brands.
Sport Mart’s stores across Canada will be shut down, but many — including the Kamloops location at Columbia Street and Summit Drive — will be re-branded as either a Sport Chek or Atmosphere standalone location.
Sport Mart’s Kamloops location employs 18 people, four of them full-time.
In 2006, the store moved to Summit Centre after spending a decade inside Sahali Centre Mall.
Prior to Interior Savings Credit Union purchasing the naming rights in 2005, Interior Savings Centre — originally Riverside Coliseum — was known as Sport Mart Place.
The Kamloops store’s full-time staff is expected to be retained.