Oh Canada! Canadian co-operative continues to grow

    Mountain Equipment Co-op reaches three million member mark and grows

    VANCOUVER, June 17 /CNW/ - As Canadians prepare to celebrate the
country's 142nd birthday, Mountain Equipment Co-op(TM) (MEC), Canada's largest
co-operative and leading outdoor retailer, is celebrating a milestone of its
own - surpassing the three million member mark.
    On February 23, 2009, MEC registered 426 new members to reach three
million, reaffirming the consistent growth MEC has seen since its inception.
On average, 10,000 people become MEC members every month. In fact, the Co-op
has seen an increase in new member sign-ups in the past five years, achieving
a growth rate of eight per cent. This rate remains unaffected by the
recession, demonstrating the strength of the MEC brand.
    "Since 1971, Mountain Equipment Co-op has existed to help members realize
and enjoy the benefits of self-propelled outdoor recreation," said David
Labistour, CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op. "Today one in ten adult Canadians
is an MEC member. This figure clearly demonstrates our success at attracting
and serving our members by providing a wide selection of quality outdoor
clothing and gear."
    MEC will continue to expand its operations to meet the growing demands of
its membership base. The Co-op opened its twelfth retail location in
late-November 2008 in Burlington, Ontario, and is currently constructing its
thirteenth in Montreal, Quebec on the city's South Shore. In addition to its
retail locations, MEC operates mec.ca, its e-commerce website
    "MEC remains committed to opening stores where there is a sizable
membership base and a proven propensity to participate in the activities we
support," said Labistour. "Given that we recently exceeded the three million
member mark and are enjoying healthy sales, MEC is in a strong position to
make decisions that benefit our members."
    Since 2003, MEC has experienced year-over-year sales growth. MEC exceeded
its sales forecast in 2008, reporting $247.7 million in gross sales. It is
projecting modest same-store sales increases in 2009.
    Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op by purchasing a $5
lifetime individual membership. Members are entitled to buy clothing and gear
and are eligible to vote in the annual Board of Directors election.

    About Mountain Equipment Co-op

    Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor
clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities. Established in
1971, MEC has more than three million members throughout Canada and around the
world. MEC-brand products are designed to meet the functional requirements of
members and account for 50 per cent of its sales. Widely recognized for its
commitment to sustainability - economic, social, environmental - MEC is a
member of One Percent for The Planet and supports various community-based
environmental initiatives through its grants program. Additional information
about MEC is available online at: mec.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Tim Southam, Mountain Equipment Co-op, (604)
707-4480 (direct), tsoutham@mec.ca; Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations,
(416) 934-8012 (direct), (416) 909-0889 (mobile), josie.haynes@cossette.com

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Mountain Equipment Co-Op

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