Sport Chalet’s ‘Next Generation’ Store Opens in Downtown LA

Sport Chalet Inc., a publicly traded sporting-goods retailer based in Southern California, opened its first “Next Generation” store at the FIGat7th retail center in downtown Los Angeles on July 1.

At 27,000 square feet, the new shop offers a smaller footprint than Sport Chalet’s typical stores, which average approximately 41,000 square feet.

Neighbors for the new Sport Chalet will include a Zara, which is scheduled to open a 27,000-square-foot emporium at FIGat7th next spring. The retail center is located at the intersection of Seventh and Figueroa streets and is a less than 10-minute walk away from Staples Center, where top sports teams the Lakers, the Clippers and the Kings play.

Despite the crowds attending games and legions of professionals working at high-rise offices on Figueroa, downtown Los Angeles needed more retail, said Craig Levra, the retailer’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“We did the research and found that the downtown Los Angeles community, in particular, is underserved today. There’s a critical need for a community-oriented retailer that can provide an opportunity for residents, commuters and tourists to try, learn and experience their preferred sport at ease,” Levra said in a company statement.

Sport Chalet’s “Next Generation” store was designed by architectural firm Gensler. Shoppers will be able to use iPads located throughout the store to order goods not in stock. According to a company statement, Sport Chalet’s comparable-store sales increased 3.1 percent in its 2013 fiscal year, which ended in March. It was the company’s first annual increase in six years. The new store will offer brands such as Nike, Reebok Crossfit and Volcom.