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Sport Chalet debuts new format in Los Angeles


Los Angeles -- Sport Chalet has unveiled a sleek, smaller format in downtown Los Angeles, opening a 27,000-sq.-ft. store at Brookfield Properties’ FIGat7th mall. The center, which opened in 1986, reopened last year after a $40 million renovation.

The modern layout, designed by Gensler, puts the emphasis on education and training, and features a dedicated central area, called the “Expert Center,” for classes and clinics. The new layout also includes flexible fixtures and modules that allow for the store to be transformed overnight.

Sport Chalet plans to host 52 consecutive weeks of in store in-store clinics focused on cycling, training, hiking and scuba, with experienced and professionally trained expert staff members.

“We did the research and found that the downtown Los Angeles community in particular is underserved today. There’s a critical need for a community-oriented retailer that can provide an opportunity for residents, commuters and tourists to try, learn and experience their preferred sport at ease,” said Craig Levra, chairman and CEO of Sport Chalet, which has 53 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.

The store, which is almost half the size of Sport Chalet’s existing one-stop-shop format (42,000 sq. ft.), carries a targeted selection of sporting equipment, including cycling, training, scuba and running gear. But consumers can order from all of Sport Chalet’s offerings via iPad systems, which are located throughout the store.

“The store design emphasizes both aesthetics and function,” said Joshua Breeden, the project architect at Gensler. “We wanted to create a space that highlights what Sport Chalet offers above any other specialty sporting goods retailer: Expert positioning and knowledge.”

The Expert Center is designed to facilitate customer interaction with the “Experts” (store associates) on any topic ranging from bike repair to the best surfing spots in the area.

“The audio-visual capabilities, reconfigurable seating and display elements in this area also allow the Experts to conduct a wide range of instructional and hands-on events throughout the year,” Breeden said.

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