Source For Sports Readies for A Hockey Season in a Pandemic

With the weather turning cooler and its key hockey season right around the corner, Canadian sporting goods chain and team dealer Source for Sports, with more 150 stores in Canada and the U.S., has put in place a number of protocols to direct its business during the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released last week, Source For Sports president Brad Hause said that the chain started selling mostly online in the early stages of the pandemic and is now counting on more in-store shopping for its key winter sports season.

“We’ve gotten a little bit more into our traditional stuff now. We’re now in the thick of hockey selling season, so that’s been relatively normal,” he said in the statement, adding that there’s been a lot of pent-up excitement to get back to normalcy.

In response, the Source for Sports stores have made a number of changes to their retail locations and business practices, including re-merchandising to create a better customer flow or more openness to make sure that people have space.

“When somebody’s coming in for skate fitting, the salesperson who is helping them will be wearing usually a protective mask or a protective shield,” Hause indicated. “There’s one customer on the bench at one time. So there are a lot of appointments being made in order to ensure we have proper spacing because the skate fitting process is pretty involved from both the assessment of the foot, the fitting of the skate, the molding of the skate, the blade contouring. All of that takes time.”

Explaining that the Source for Sports family is in essence a member-owned buying group, with all of the stores independently owned businesses, not franchises, he added that “every store is hyper-local and very much tuned into the needs of their local market.”

The common thread, he continued, is “we’re all about very good service because all of our store owners have been at this for decades. And most of their staff have been at it for decades.”

Hause explained that Source for Sports, which is part of Sports Distributors of Canada (SDC), is not in an expansion mode in Canada but is looking to grow in the U.S. market.