New 33,000 square-foot outdoor retail destination will focus on product innovation, community and sustainability
VANCOUVER, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ - MEC will open its highly anticipated new Vancouver flagship store on Saturday, March 7 at 10am. The 33,000 square-foot store located in Olympic Village at 111 East 2nd Avenue marks the next step for MEC, which started in 1971 with six members in Vancouver and has grown to over five million members across Canada. The massive new flagship location will bring members new interactive experiences, green building features, historical brand highlights and will also serve as a community hub with clinics, events and spaces for local outdoor groups to meet.
Notable features of MEC's new Vancouver flagship include:
Bouldering wall: Inspired by the Stawamus Chief in Squamish and designed with input from MEC Ambassador climber, Tosh Sherkat.
MEC Studio: A new concept space to highlight hero products from the in-house MEC Label including gear and apparel.
Full-service bike repair and ski shop: A large open-concept shop-in-shop offers an accessible and welcoming space for repairs, bike tune-ups and ski waxing.
"Basecamp" Community space: Used to host how-to clinics, community events, connect members and provide space for local outdoor organizations to meet. Upcoming community events include:
April 4-5: MEC Vancouver Epic Spring Grand Opening Celebration
April 23: Climbing event with Tommy Caldwell
May: ActiveArt Challenge with Vancouver Mural Festival
June: Hike Club launches! Meet new people, enjoy the view
"I'm proud to share our new MEC Vancouver flagship space with our members. Our stores bring together the inspiring people, product and community partners that make MEC unique," said Phil Arrata, CEO, MEC. "Vancouver is a special place for MEC and as we prepare for the Co-op's 50th anniversary next year, we appreciate the significance of opening a new flagship store in the city where it all began."
A restored 1970's VW van is parked inside the new MEC Vancouver location, paying homage to the beloved van that acted as MEC's first Vancouver "store" in 1971.
MEC's Vancouver flagship can be easily reached by foot or by transit from Main Street-Science World Station, by bike via separated bike lanes on Quebec Street, by bus 3, 8, 19 or 84 or by car with three levels of parking and 16 electric vehicle-charging spots. Bike racks are located along 2nd Avenue, at the front of the store.
The site of the new MEC Vancouver store was developed in partnership with Beedie.
An Inclusive Space
As part of the organization's commitment to ensure everyone feels welcome at MEC stores, the new flagship will have fully accessible universal changerooms on the 3rd floor and universal washroom facilities on the 2nd floor. Additionally, there is a written land acknowledgement at the entrance to recognize the Indigenous land the store is located on, along with a profile of local outdoor leader Myia Antone of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), and the origin story of the Two Sisters.
Product and Service Offerings
The flagship will feature the latest MEC Label spring collection. MEC Label continues its legacy of smart design, sustainable manufacturing and unbelievable value. MEC Label is exclusive to MEC and is designed by a local team that lives and breathes the outdoors. The store will house an extensive selection of technical outdoor gear for camping, climbing, paddle sports and snow sports, an extensive array of men's and women's performance apparel for cycling, travel, hiking and running, as well as footwear, outerwear, kids' and casual clothing. An industry leader in product sustainability, MEC carries over 2,400 products with at least one social or environmental responsibility feature.
The flagship location will also feature MEC's low-cost equipment rental program and a full-service bike repair and ski shop.
Sustainable Store Design
Sustainability has played a major role in the design of the new purpose-built Vancouver store. Designed to a LEED Gold standard, the building has several green features including:
High-Efficiency Systems: Designed to use one-third less energy than the standards set out by the national energy code for buildings. Like all MEC buildings, when it opens the store will be operationally carbon neutral, by using renewable energy.
Salmon-Safe Certification: The building is certified as Salmon-Safe due to progressive water management practices. The MEC Vancouver flagship is the third Salmon-Safe urban site in BC – with MEC Head Office being the first.
Mass Timber Superstructure: Made from sustainably sourced forest fibre that has the added benefit of storing carbon. CrossLam CLT panels and Glulam PLUS beams were prefabricated and supplied by local manufacturer, Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation.
Recycling Rainwater: The roof captures rainwater and funnels it to an underground cistern that provides up to 80% of the water used for flushing toilets.
Community, Events and Programming
MEC's Vancouver flagship is designed as a community hub, connecting members and the public with places to explore, people to go with and the skills needed to get there. The Olympic Village store will offer events and clinics nearby and in-store, offering everything from "Learn-to-Camp" sessions hosted with national partner Parks Canada, to workshops that develop members' running, cycling or climbing skills. MEC will also launch new events and programs tailored to the neighbouring community.
As part of MEC's nationwide community investment program, in the past five years, MEC has contributed nearly $3.2 million in gear, funding and community grants in British Columbia. This investment includes contributions given through community grants, grassroots product donations, partnerships and expedition grants. Over 239 BC organizations have received MEC grants including: HUB Cycling, Power to Be and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC.
The store will also feature photography of the Freshfield Icefield in the Rockies by Vancouver-based photographer Jordan Manley and two vibrant and expansive murals in the parkade by BC-based artist and MEC Ambassador, Jessa Gilbert.
About MEC MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is Canada's go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, running and travel. Established in 1971, MEC is Canada's largest consumer co-operative with over 5 million members across the country. A lifetime membership is available for $5. A strong backer of community initiatives, MEC has invested over $41 million and counting into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.mec.ca and follow @mec, or visit one of our 22 stores nationwide.
For further information: to arrange an interview, or obtain a rendering of MEC's new Vancouver flagship store, please contact: Kathleen McDonald, MEC Account Manager at NKPR, [email protected], 416.365.3630 ext.252