Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2016 - (Page 20)

sat down in the back of their busy Buena Vista shop to fix a big problem. They were scrambling in disarray, trying to be a store for both paddlers and tourists in suddenly popular downtown Buena Vista while also running coloradokayak. com, one of the largest whitewater paddling-gear sites on the web. formula, but evidence of omnichannel success is emerging as innovative entrepreneurs pioneer new approaches. With strategies that defy MBA professors, these savvy retailers, both big and small, are finding ways to beat the threats of direct-to-consumer deals and discounted Amazon sales. Richmond and Gorby took an atypical tack. They broke up. Today the two pals operate separate companies, each pursuing their own vision while supporting each other's business. "We still promote each other heavily," said Gorby from his Salida warehouse a half hour away from the Buena Vista shop. The deal has removed the myriad headaches of trying to run both a downtown shop and a tightly focused online store under the same management umbrella. Richmond couldn't stock his store with kayaks in February and March as he focused on winter sports, so his presence faded under the everswelling shadow of Goliaths like Backcountry. com. Gorby couldn't expand his warehouse to include yoga pants. Consumers wanted both, and they wanted everything that was online to be in the store. "People come in and use our staff as a resource and then, right in front of us, search Google for a better price," Richmond said. Now, he can point them to Coloradokayak. com, and suddenly his whitewater inventory includes a warehouse down the road. "We can access their inventory right away and we often use their warehouse as a purchasing center," Richmond said. "I think to be successful in paddlesports, you need to have all angles running. You need the ability to do shipping and ecommerce, and you need a store where people can come in and demo stuff." Richmond needed to stock the store with sunglasses, flip-flops, T-shirts, women's active wear, and all the stuff that moves in an outdoor shop in a tourist-driven mountain town. Gorby, the store's e-commerce chief, needed to cater to its core customers: the swelling ranks of the whitewater tribe, suddenly surging with standup paddlers venturing onto rivers. "We were spinning our wheels and neither of the entities was really thriving," Gorby said. It's a common lament, heard from count- THE CLICK-AND-MORTAR EVOLUTION David Marchi, who owns Crow's Feet Commons in Bend, Ore., knows the pain of losing sales to an online leviathan. But he actually encourages it. Kiosks in his store even direct customers to a website that isn't his. But those shoppers are in his store. That's the key, said Marchi, who sells beer and coffee alongside bikes, boards, and skis. "The most important thing for a brick-and-mortar store is getting people in the door," Marchi said. FACE TIME Human interaction at Rock / Creek, which gutted its online marketing budget in 2014, pays big dividends. CASE STUDY Virtual Reality The constant attrition online retailing inflicts upon brickand-mortar shops is not a new story. But what happens when those traditional storefronts actually embrace the online world? Savvy brick-and-mortar retailers are figuring out what it takes to play in the new wild world of omnichannel retail. by Jason Blevins TWO YEARS AGO, COLORADO KAYAK SUPPLY OWNERS CHAD GORBYAND EARL RICHMOND 20 OUTDOOR RETAILER / Summer 2016 less shop owners across the country grappling with the delicate balance of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar. Throwing mobile capability into the mix has only increased the tension as more sites need to respond to shoppers who veer from phone to computer to store. Building a well-supplied, easily navigated, financially stable online and physical retail outlet-a true click-and-mortar store-is one of the greatest challenges ever faced by an outdoor retailer. No one has the perfect Courtesy Rock / Creek THE PULSE http://www.Backcountry.com http://www.Backcountry.com http://www.Coloradokayak.com http://www.Coloradokayak.com http://www.coloradokayak.com http://www.coloradokayak.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2016

Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2016
The Pulse
Nitty Gritty
Case Study
Big Picture
Global Perspective
The Voice
Thom Hill
Brian Jones
National Parks
Half-Moon Outfitters
Mountain Crossings
Standup Paddleboards
Know Your Customer
Yoga Pants
Up Front
The View
How I Got Here
From the Road

Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2016