Sitka Surfboards Corp. opened a gorgeous new Vancouver flagship store in the heart of Kitsilano’s West 4th shopping strip. The interior features sustainable wood furniture by a local woodworker and an interactive ‘cabin’ where a digital screen displays Sitka’s conservation projects.
This Victoria-based lifestyle brand is looking to expand its network of brick-and-mortar ‘community centre’ stores nationally, and it’s using a rather unique method to do so. The conservation-focused brand launched an indiegogo campaign with the intent to move the brand into various Canadian markets, while continuing to promote and fund wilderness conservation.
Founded as a surfboard brand in Victoria, B.C. in 2002, Sitka retails outdoor gear, clothing, and related accessories. The company says part of its mission is ‘wilderness activism’ with a portion of its profits going to conservation. It currently has three brick-and-mortar ‘community centres’, including two in Canada. Besides its three brick-and-mortar stores, Sitka is retailed in over 200 stores across Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Germany, South Korea and Indonesia.
According to Retail-Insider, the brand reportedly achieved sales of almost $4 million in 2013, with impressive growth forecasts. According to Sitka co-founder Rene Gauthier, the company’s goal is for 100% of its clothing products to be made in Canada or the United States by late 2016, up from a current 60%.