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Pacific Canada  + Retail  | 
Mountain Equipment Compan plans to double its store count within six years.

Once Troubled MEC Now in Expansion Mode

Mountain Equipment Company plans to double its store count within six years.

The outdoor gear and apparel retailer intends to open three or four new stand-alone stores per year to achieve that goal, Peter Hlynsky, MEC’s new CEO, told Business in Vancouver.

The aggressive expansion effort marks a change of fortunes for once troubled Vancouver-based MEC, which has emerged from bankruptcy after being ravaged by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S.-based Kingsett Capital Management purchased the chain in 2020.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia approved the deal after a group of MEC members sought to block it. Founded in 1971, MEC was previously owned by about 5.8 million members under a co-operative business model.

As part of its restructuring, retailer changed the end of its name to Company from Co-op but continued to market itself under the MEC acronym. Like the former co-op, the company offers a membership program.

Hlynsky told BIV that MEC currently operates 22 stand-alone stores across Canada and three stores within Hudson Bay locations in Toronto. MEC promoted him to CEO in October after he spent about three years as the company’s CFO and COO.

Peak Performance, a Swedish outdoor apparel retailer, opened a new store recently in Vancouver’s Kitsilano area.

Photo: Paul McKinnon /


Inside The Story

Peter HlynskyMEC

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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