Taking our stores outdoors
For outdoor retailers like Eastern Mountain Sports, competition is at an all-time high. I’m not just talking about competition from other retailers and web sites, I’m talking about competition from game consoles, tablets, and smart phones. There’s a lot of STUFF competing for your recreational time and attention these days and most of it is a lot easier to enjoy than a chilly day in the woods. The beauty of competition is it forces us to work harder to earn your business and a prime example of this effort happened this past weekend at Outdoor Demo Days in NH and CT.
Instead of us just talking to potential new customers about how much fun cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are, Outdoor Demo Days are our chance to SHOW them. Organized by our Peterborough, NH store, this particular day brought reps from Tubbs, Atlas, MSR, Rossignol, Fischer, Swix and Alpina together at the Windblown Crosscountry Ski Area in New Ipswich, NH.
Some of the nearly 200 people who came out were first time winter adventurers.
Some were well-traveled hikers looking for new challenges.
Others were devout gearheads looking to experience the latest and greatest on the trails of one of the true hidden gems of the Monadnock Region.
No matter how much or how little experience folks had, each attendee received a personal fitting from our partners and all the instruction they needed from Eastern Mountain Sports Schools. Attendees got to try as out as much gear as they wanted at no cost and our friends at Windblown gave all demo guests free access to their trail network. The day after this event happened in NH, the staff of our Buckland HIlls, CT store hosted a Telemark Ski demo at Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT where diehard downhill skiers got to see what it was like to free their heels and earn their turns.
The way we see it, if we’re going to get people to put down their gadgets, give up their pre-conceived notions, and try new outdoor sports, we’ve got to make it as easy and nonintimidating for them as possible. Events like these are one of the most enjoyable ways to learn if a sport is right for you before you invest in gear but I should also note that all Eastern Mountain Sports stores have an inventory of rental gear to help you try before you buy. Be sure to check out what’s available at your local store.
Finally, if nothing I say or our stores do will ever convince you to play in the snow and cold, fear not, our Summer Outdoor Demo Tour will be rolling to a state park near you in just a few short months. Have fun out there!