In early January, The New York Times business section reported an analysis of the amount of retail space operating in the US. Based on average sales per square foot- the United States has approximately TWO square feet for every ONE needed. In essence, there is currently twice the retail open and operating than is necessary for the volume of sales we’re doing. And that does not include vacant space and empty storefronts.
The article suggested that 2012-2013 would be years of consolidation, mergers, and store closings. Just two weeks before, owners of The Alpine Experience announced the consolidation of Olympic Outfitters with The Alpine Experience- reducing the overall retail square footage and streamlining operations. Boy, this article sure makes ‘em look like prophets or something!
Speaking of profits (now that’s smooth play on words transition, huh?), that’s another driving force of the consolidation. TAE has long re-invested a large portion of its profits back into the community, from Conservation and Environmental protection to Youth and the Arts. Those investments ramped up as sales grew , peaking in 2008-2009. Unfortunately, this year’s budget is HALF of what it once was. Without profitability, these investments do not exist. We want to continue our community investment long into the future- consolidation helps ensure this.
Since the announcement of the brand ‘Retirement’ of Olympic Outfitters, we have heard one overwhelming question from you – “How Can we help?
The answer is simple and twofold- first, come shop the liquidation. Every dollar sold off is a dollar to re-invest in spring inventory and summer goods. Every dollar helps us finish off the consolidation process. We are moving to HALF-OFF all remaining goods at OO in March, hoping to finish the liquidation by month’s end. Time to get yourself some new shoes. Or perhaps a new jacket, or pair of shorts for the summer.
Second, and equally important- spread the word. Advertising is still dreadfully expensive, and with the sheer glut of marketing out there- its hard to maintain a presence. You are our best ambassadors, and by far our most credible. Tell your friends and family and coworkers about the liquidation. Tell them about your favorite outdoor store in the region. Your voice is far more powerful than any advertisement we could run.
Third (wait, wasn’t there only two things?) … get outside and play this season. Use your gear so often and so much that not only is your life full of adventure, you also need some new stuff!
We’ll be watching for you in the mountains…