MEC outdoor lifestyle store coming to Kelowna

New Mountain Equipment Co-op store will be located in 20,000 sq.ft. space at Orchard Plaza Shopping Centre.

The Orchard Plaza Shopping Centre has found a new tenant to occupy the large retail space vacated by Future Shop in April.

Mountain Equipment Co-op has announced plans to open its outdoor active lifestyle chain at a 20,000 square-foot location in the shopping centre, on Cooper Road across from Orchard Park mall.

“As many of our staff can attest, the Okanagan offers almost limitless opportunities to be active outdoors,” said MEC chief executive officer David Labistour.

“We’re thrilled at the prospect of being able to serve existing and new MEC members from a landmark commercial location in the heart of Kelowna.”

The Mountain Equipment Co-op has more than 40,000 members across Canada, who each pay a $5 lifetime membership to shop at the co-op’s 18 stores or online at www.mec.ca. Another unique aspect of MEC is a commitment of one percent of sales annually to support non-profit organizations that help conserve ecological and recreation oriented areas, which amounted to $3 million in 2014.

For the retail co-operative, MEC Kelowna is another way to serve Okanagan and visiting members with a comprehensive assortment of world-class outdoor products—including its value-laden house brand of MEC clothing, bikes, packs, tents and sleeping bags —while also deepening its connection to the region’s outdoor community.

MEC Kelowna will feature a full-service shop for bike and ski repairs as well as bicycle fitting and an equipment rentals program. The store’s product assortment will be tailored to regional activities and member preferences.

The co-op also plans to introduce its popular events programming to the region, including the MEC Race and Century Ride series. With nominal entry fees, the running races and cycling events are designed to encourage participation. (MEC’s Langley store drew almost 3,000 participants to its events last year.)

MEC will also continue to invest in projects to help strengthen recreation infrastructure and organizations in the region. Over the past decade, MEC has contributed more than $550,000 to projects within the Thompson-Okanagan region, including $350,000 to help protect climbing access to the Skaha Bluffs near Penticton.

“Our members have been asking for a store in the Okanagan for years – and we’re stoked to soon deliver on that call. We’ll take possession of the former Future Shop space in December, and then get on with bringing MEC Kelowna to life inside and out with an extensive renovation. We’re keen to open next spring,” added MEC chief financial officer Sandy Treagus.

MEC Kelowna will be the Co-op’s sixth BC location after Vancouver, North Vancouver, Victoria, Langley and the UBC Outpost. There are presently more than 40,000 MEC members in the region, from Kamloops in the north to Osoyoos in the south.