The Forzani Group Ltd./Le Groupe Forzani Ltee
TSX : FGL

The Forzani Group Ltd./Le Groupe Forzani Ltee

December 12, 2006 07:00 ET

The Forzani Group Ltd.: John Forzani Retires From Executive Team- Continues as Chairman of the Board

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 12, 2006) - The Forzani Group Ltd. (TSX:FGL), Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods today announced that John Forzani will retire from his position as full-time Executive Chairman after the end of the current fiscal year. He will remain on the board of directors in the role of Chairman.

Mr. Forzani's departure from the senior management team will be effective January 29, 2007, and comes after more than three decades of dedicated service to The Forzani Group Ltd. John was the founder of the Company in 1974, with a first store of 1,200 square feet in Calgary, Alberta. The business has grown to what is now a $1.3 billion company, providing consumers with access to sporting goods products across the country.

"John Forzani's presence in the day-to-day management of our business will be missed," said Bob Sartor, CEO of the Company. "On behalf of all FGL employees and shareholders, I want to express our deep appreciation to John for his commitment to the Company. We will continue to benefit from his leadership and experience in our industry through his ongoing role as Chairman of the board of directors."

"I am very excited to be entering the next phase of my life. It has been a rewarding 32 years, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with our board as its non-executive Chairman, enjoying the future successes of the Company. One of the key responsibilities of a board is to ensure that succession and transition are seamless, and we have accomplished that. Our Company has a strong management team that has been built up over time, with a view to ensuring continued growth and prosperity for our employees and shareholders," said Forzani.

Brief Biography

John was born and raised in Calgary Alberta. After obtaining his business degree from Utah State University, John returned to Calgary and played professional football as offensive guard with the Calgary Stampeders for 7 years. Football opened doors to a new career in sports retailing. Identifying the demand for athletic footwear and sports equipment, John opened his first store in 1974 with his brothers Joe and Tom and friend, Bas Bark (all former Calgary Stampeder football players). The store was appropriately named Forzani's Locker Room, a single 1,200 square foot location in South West Calgary specializing in athletic and recreational footwear.

John has always held a strong belief in giving back to the community and has involved FGL in supporting philanthropic causes in a wide range of programs across the country. The Forzani Mother's Day Run and Walk (runs are organized in 5 cities across the country) began in Calgary 27 years ago to raise funds for health programs, equipment and charities.

Recognition

The business, charitable and academic communities have recognized John (and FGL) for his contributions, including the following awards:

Alberta Venture Magazine Alberta's Business Person of the Year

University of Calgary and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce: Distinguished Business Leader Award

Retail Council of Canada Distinguished Canadian Retailer Award

Canadian Institute of Retailing Services/Henry Singer Award

Prairies Region Entrepreneur of the Year

Calgary Regional Health Association and CFCN Television The Leaders in Business Award

The Forzani Group Ltd. is Canada's largest national retailer of sporting goods, offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand products, operating stores from coast to coast, under the corporate banners: Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports, Sport Mart, and National Sports. The Forzani Group is also a franchisor under the banners: Sports Experts, Intersport, RnR, Econosports, Atmosphere, Pegasus, Tech Shop, Nevada Bob's Golf, Hockey Experts and The Fitness Source. The Company also has websites for several of its corporate and franchise banners which can be accessed through its main website at www.forzanigroup.com.

The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of The Forzani Group Ltd. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. The Company, with the appropriate securities commissions, details these risks and uncertainties from time to time.

Contact Information

  • The Forzani Group Ltd.
    Robert Sartor, C.A.
    Chief Executive Officer
    (403) 717-1342
    or
    The Forzani Group Ltd.
    Bill Gregson, C.A.
    President & Chief Operating Officer
    (403) 717-1386
    Website: www.forzanigroup.com