national sports closing

All National Sports stores in Canada are closing down for good

Those with fond memories of visits to homegrown retailer National Sports will want to hold those recollections near to their hearts today, as it has just been revealed that all of the company's stores in Canada are permanently shuttering.

Whether it was your first set of equipment after you signed up for a team, a pair of runners for gym class, or a simple skate sharpening at the start of winter, if you were a kid in Ontario, National Sports was the place you went for all things physical activity-related.

The news broke during a meeting with investors on Thursday, with the executive vice-president and chief financial officer for parent company Canadian Tire confirming that all 18 locations across the province will be closing their doors forever.

He called it "a difficult decision" on a conference call and said that the Canadian Tire will be "making every effort to place affected employees within our family of companies," which includes brands like SportChek, Mark's and Atmosphere.

Though retailers have understandably been struggling immensely amid the health crisis, the move seems a bit counterintuitive given that Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. today announced "outstanding" sales and growth during the last quarter of 2020, outpacing numbers from the same time in 2019, with a revenue of a staggering $4.87 billion.

It is apparently part of Canadian Tire's plan to "increase operational efficiencies" and hone their focus given that National Sports does have some overlap with the company's other outlets.

"[It] just wasn't a core asset for us... We just couldn't find a continued purpose," the CFO said, per the Canadian Press.

Ontarians have been taking to social media to wax nostalgic about the banner, which has been around in some form since 1968.

As the National Sports website states, it aimed to be not just a sports shop, but a centre for sports communities; "a place they can go for resources, counsel, expertise and support."

No word yet on when, exactly, the stores — including locations in Brampton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Newmarket, Barrie and Oakville — will officially shut down and vacate.

Lead photo by

Nassim Ghrayeb 


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