Gone, but not forgotten.
Several weeks ago, I posted How warm is that jacket? about a cold room I saw on my trip to Scandinavia. Canada Goose has been expanding their use of cold rooms in North America.
The photo above is from Canada Goose’s flagship store in the Mall of America in Minnesota that can produce temperature to -13f. At the time of the launch in 2019, Minnesotans commented that -13 is a start but not quite the Polar Vortex temps of -30 that they had been experiencing that winter. Even so, most Minnesotans do not need a cold room to test out new jackets given their life-long exposure to winter weather. (Full disclosure: I was born and raised in MN.)
Now, Canada Goose has announced the next generation of cold room opening at the South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa, CA. In addition to cold, this room will have a daily snowstorm for shoppers to test out the latest winter wear. A very useful tool for SoCal residents unaccustomed to harsh winter weather. Canada Goose said they are bringing the weather of Churchill, Manitoba to southern California.
Nicely done, Canada Goose.
Chain Store Age reported the expansion plans of L.L.Bean today. The plans include the opening of three new stores in the eastern United States this year along with four new stores in Canada. Another sign of retail health is the return to 24 hour operations’ hallmark of Bean that was suspended for Covid dating back to 1954. Leon Leonwood would be proud. https://chainstoreage.com/ll-bean-expand-footprint-us-canada-resume-247-hours-flagship?utm_source=omeda&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NL_CSA_Real+Estate&utm_keyword=&oly_enc_id=9685F4219156A8T
Everyone claims that their service is what differentiates them from their competitors, and we often hear about under-promising and over-delivering in the era of “delighting” our customers. But what about when service breaks down? This is an example of just such a case with our experience at local bike shop.
We know that Covid has placed a strain on bicycle equipment and service. It seemed that in 2020 there were few if any bicycles available and replacement parts were nearly nonexistent. Many shops were swamped with repair work and shop work in our area was often scheduled 2-3 weeks out. It appears that in 2021, we are beginning to see a return to normal to some degree.
My wife is a year-round recreational cyclist who is also a bicycle commuter. She typically rides between 500 and 700 miles a month. We do the normal maintenance on our bikes ourselves, but she was having an issue with her front hub (a SON Dynamo hub), and we figured it was time for a professional tune up.
Our local shop has recently been bought by a large bicycle company, so my wife checked their website to see about their service packages. Looking over the service packages, she decided that a Level 2 at $139.99 plus parts should work for her, but she remained open to any suggestions that the bike mechanic might suggest.Continue reading “Over-promised and under-delivered”
Leafing through the circulars I received in the mail the other day, this montage of logos caught my eye. I thought that I had received the latest REI flyer until I looked a bit closer. It was a circular from Sportsman’s Warehouse.
Normally, Sportsman’s is associated with the hook & bullet crowd. But this flyer had no mention of hunting or firearms and only a small section on fishing. The main theme was about family; hiking together, camping together and fishing together.
They seem to be trying to attract a wider customer base than they have traditionally relied on. With their pending acquisition by Great American Outdoors Group (Bass Pro/Cabela’s), they will be part of a national chain of over 165 stores.
The company will be well positioned to carve off a significant junk of the outdoor dollars, particularly with smart marketing like this.
I placed a small order with Garage Grown Gear on Friday, April 2nd (Good Friday of Easter weekend). The order arrived at my home on the 6th. The order was complete and arrived surprisingly quick. Kudos to GGG.
What I really wanted to call out was the packing list in the box. There on the bottom of the packing list was a simple handwritten thank you note from Lloyd, a GGG employee, I assume.
It was nice to get a simple thank you, nothing showy or over the top. Nothing that made it sound like the employee had done me some huge favor by fulfilling my order or that I needed to reciprocate on. To me, it just seemed like simple heart-felt appreciation.
Sales associates: Remember common courtesy when working with your customers. “Thank you”, “Please” and “May I” should be a significant parts of your vocabulary. Say “Hello” and “Good bye” to your customers. Look for simple ways to add something a little extra to the service you provide. Remember what seems insignificant to you may have big impact on your customer.
Store managers; Set the expectation that you want employees to practice common courtesy not only when dealing with customers but also with fellow employees. Make sure that you recognize your employees when they do the little things for your customers.
Thank you Lloyd. I appreciate having you as someone that I spend my money with.
I applaud the efforts of the outdoor retailers that are making an effort to encourage recycling, reselling and up cycling used outdoor gear. In particular, the work of Patagonia is truly commendable. But the Europeans are way ahead of us.
In 2018, I had the chance to visit Bergans of Norway in Oslo and in the back of the store, on the sales floor, was this repair/alteration/upcycle center.
Continue reading “Way ahead of us”
Danner is a great boot company here in Portland. They have a great product line that is steeped in history. On a building in downtown Portland they posted this billboard. Great message. Great image. I just wish that this outdoor company had put their model in something more technical for his backpacking adventure than a pair of blue jeans.
(Originally posted in The Observant Customer)
The projected 100,000+ people across Canada calling for climate action were joined by the employees of Mountain Equipment Coop. I applaud MEC’s support for the environment and their employees.