Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters aspires to be one of Canada’s most respected multi-channel retailers dedicated to the sportsmen and women who have a passion for hunting, fishing and camping, and a love of the great outdoors.
For our core customers, outdoor sport is more than a recreational pursuit and more than a hobby – it’s an obsession. We strive to be the one-stop shopping destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for top-quality gear and the expertise to go with it.
With 12 stores, e-commerce business and 440,000 square feet of retail space across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Wholesale Sports is the largest multi-channel outdoor retailer in Western Canada dedicated to the outdoors. We have been part of the Canadian outdoor industry for more than 30 years.
During 2016, Wholesale Sports focused on continual improvements on customer service and inventory productivity, all while facing a very challenging economic and competitive environment. Consumer spending slowed considerably on high-ticket purchases including firearms, archery and optics across our store network.
While overall sales were down 9 per cent from 2015, our e-commerce business had positive growth of 21 per cent. Our gross margin improved by 2.1 per cent during 2016, driven mainly by cost-out initiatives. These initiatives helped to offset gross margin dilution due to aggressive marketing and promotional campaigns.
Our store operations teams continued to drive operational efficiencies in many areas of our business to manage and control expenses during 2016. In Q4 of 2016, we made the difficult decision to close our Regina location and held a store closing inventory event that ended on December 31, 2016. Overall, our EBITDA contribution in 2016 was positive $0.9 million.