Mountain Equipment Co-op in Ottawa is celebrating the completion of the expansion on their building today. With 16 MEC locations across Canada, they determined that since opening in Ottawa in 2000, a bigger store was required to meet the needs of their customers.
This expansion ensures they have enough product on-hand at any given time, and helps them increase their product line. When opening in 2000, they didn't carry bicycles and lines that might not be outdoor specific such as Yoga and road running which do well in an urban environment.
The expansion added 10,000 square feet which helps them manage how products are displayed. None of the departments stayed in their original location (plus new fitting rooms were added), and after the construction, each aisle is now a little wider. Seasonally, departments change such as the tent section which compresses over the Winter to make room for hats and mitts, but then expands in the Summer to display numerous models. Snow sports are prominently shown when you walk through the doors in the new expansion, and that will shift to water sports in the Spring. A bicycle shop has also opened in the new expansion to serve local rider's needs.
MEC is also looking at new and exciting ways to engage with the public, and along with the expansion, they have built a new Community Room. Training and education courses now take place upstairs in a room that can seat about 60 people. MEC Ottawa is also opening it for a free meeting space for local clubs.
MEC Ottawa purchased the two adjacent buildings and removed them to make more room for the expansion (including the new parking lot). Car charging stations were added (a first for MEC in Ontario) as presently there aren't enough charging points for electric cars and MEC wanted to add to the infrastructure. There are two stations with two jacks each.