The battle among leading Scandinavian sports and outdoor retailers is heating up, as the XXL Sport chain of megastores has gone on a leasing spree that will increase its total retail space by about 35 percent this year. Adding 30,000 square meters of extra space, the second-largest Norwegian sports retail group will open at least four more XXL megastores in Sweden and another two in Norway.

XXL already has five stores in Sweden, where it set foot in 2010. The new leases will almost double the store presence of XXL in Sweden in 2012. The Norwegian retailer will open a store at the HeronCity mall in Stockholm, in what is described as the country's largest retail park. The second-largest is the Tornby retail park in Linköping, where XXL has also leased space for next year. The two other Swedish stores are planned in the Birsta park in Sundsvall and in Uppsala.

In Norway, the retailer will complement its network with stores at the Moa Centre in Ålesund, and the Strømmen shopping center in Oslo, both among the four largest in the country. Furthermore, two XXL stores near Oslo, in Alnabru and in Ski, are to be enlarged. Another store in Kristiansand will move and its space will be expanded by 50 percent to reach 4,500 square meters.

Another sizeable investment for XXL is the opening of a new central warehouse of 24,000 square meters. The retailer boldly decided to switch to this bonded and ultra-efficient warehouse during the month of December but missed just one day of deliveries.

These new investments are certain to mark another fierce installment in XXL's battles with more established retailers, particularly the Gresvig buying group in Norway, and Intersport and Team Sportia in Sweden. The new store program is a large step forward for XXL, which has set itself a target to become the largest integrated sports and outdoor retailer in Norway, Sweden and Finland. It also comes just after Décathlon and Usports, two other retailers with comparable store sizes but diverging strategies, have moved into Sweden.