Popular outdoor retailer will open next store in Barrie, ON

Co-op retailer's fourth Ontario store is scheduled to open November 2010

VANCOUVER, March 31 /CNW/ - Mountain Equipment Co-op(TM) (MEC), Canada's leading outdoor retailer, today announced that construction of its fourteenth store will begin this April in Barrie, Ontario. The co-operative retailer's Barrie store will exemplify MEC's commitment to 'green building' and is expected to begin serving MEC members in November.

The Barrie MEC store will be located on Bryne Drive, just west of Highway 400, at Essa Road in the south end of the fast-growing city.

"Nearly one-third of MEC's three-million members call Ontario home, and Barrie will now provide a fourth store after Toronto, Ottawa and Burlington to serve our Ontario members, notably those who live in and around Simcoe County," said MEC CEO David Labistour. "We are confident that the new Barrie store will foster awareness about and promote Ontario's outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities."

The region of Simcoe County, which includes the southern shoreline of Georgian Bay, is a well-known destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Niagara escarpment, which winds dramatically northwards through Simcoe County, offers some of Ontario's best single-pitch rock-climbing. Countless canoeing, hiking and cycling opportunities are available in warmer months while cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing are popular in the winter.

In keeping with MEC's goals of reducing the environmental impact of its operations, the Barrie store will maximize energy efficiency and reduce water consumption. The building will feature solar panels for on-site power generation and it will use ground-source heat pumps and geothermal wells for heating and cooling.

A cornerstone of MEC's commitment to its membership is to provide expert services in the pursuit of self-propelled outdoor recreation. The Barrie store will provide employment opportunities to approximately 40 Simcoe County area outdoor enthusiasts.

About MEC

Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities like hiking, cycling and paddle sports. Established in 1971, MEC operates 13 destination stores in central locations across Canada. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of One Percent for The Planet and supports various community-based outdoor and environmental initiatives through its grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.

SOURCE Mountain Equipment Co-Op

For further information: For further information: Tim Southam, Public Affairs Manager, (604) 707-4480 (direct), (604) 561-4528 (mobile), tsoutham@mec.ca

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