MEC sold to private investment firm

Discussion in 'Canada' started by jfman, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    #1
  2. Gerald_G

    Gerald_G mostly still a noob.

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    Reports around AB that more people are doing outdoor activities than ever - hiking being a socially distance compliant activity - you'd think they would have a banner year in sales.
    Based on the foot traffic I saw on a recent hike, I can't argue that there are way more people hiking than in years past. So how does a store that sell outdoor gear go broke in a year with record numbers of outdoor users?
    Maybe the lack of sales is caused by something other than lack of potential customers.
    #2
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  3. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    Free shipping over $50 - I can appreciate that they need to compete with Amazon, etc., but that has to cut into their profits.

    Here in Winnipeg they didn't do themselves any favors by locating downtown on Portage Avenue where parking and crime (or the perception of) deters folks from shopping there. I've been an MEC member since the '80s, will miss them if they fold.
    #3
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  4. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    Mec lost me when they dropped the print catalogue. This was the lead in to the explosive growth and diluted product line
    that we see now. Why is MEC selling outright fashion and f'ing Levis?
    If they had stayed small and stayed in their lane with modest growth I think they'd still be in good shape.

    I've been a member since '85 when the Toronto store was their third location and it was a room above a Wendy's on Yonge street.

    Now there's 2 locations in both Edmonton and Calgary. Barrie Ontario? Really?
    #4
  5. Gerald_G

    Gerald_G mostly still a noob.

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    Calgary and Edmonton stores were the same story, a real pain to use (especially for an out-of-towner such as myself). South Edmonton Commons recent location being a nice change, but too little too late really.
    Investing in smaller town outlets rather than fancying up the major city locations might have helped. My last few visits, I've been left with the impression "I can get this exact product from other retailers for less $$".
    They seem to carry the same stuff as everyone else now, using the same wholesalers everyone in Canada uses.

    Even free shipping does not solve the distribution issues, like most folks, my shopping needs don't often include planning ahead long enough to have something shipped in.
    Also it's impossible to buy shoes, hiking boots, and most clothes without a fitting first. No way I'm ordering hiking boots shipped in. I too will miss the 80's MEC, the 2018 MEC, probably not so much.
    #5
  6. toddiscdn

    toddiscdn Take off, EH!

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    Im not usually that guy, but, fuck MEC, again member since the 80s, kinda pissed when they got more associated with the anti hunting/fishing/offroad etc, but thats the dilemma of being a hunter, dual sport rider and a back country canoe tripper/hiker, whatever.

    So I payed my 5 bucks back when and they didn't consult us like when they ask us to vote for BOD every year, so I should be pissed, but to sell to americans!, fuck! what the fuck ! fuck off!....... sorry bout that, had to get it out .
    #6
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  7. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    As a fairly long time member it was sad to see MEC go from selling value priced good quality goods, often Canadian made to an 'outdoorsy' clothing centred retailer selling expensive brands like Patagonia, Blundstone or Yeti (coolers). A couple years back anything camping related didn't seem to be stocked at the Ottawa store, so you'd ask, the staff would tell you 'I can order it for you and it'll come in a couple days'... Great I could buy it sight unseen from Amazon & not do two trips to the store. I remember them having 5 tents setup on the floor, two were the same model, one in a line with the others the other as a display with the camp stove & chairs. Then I checked their stock cupboard & 3/4 of the tents were out of stock. But you could count on finding a great Yoga mat!
    #7
  8. matt.the.ogre

    matt.the.ogre Fair-minded Villian Supporter

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    I'm sure building a new multi-million-dollar headquarters building didn't help.
    #8
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  9. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Companies tend to gravitate away from their core when they realize the margins are higher in other products.

    you need a new tent every 4 years but designer “outdoors” clothing that’s every 3 months for the people who like to tap that credit card on the machine often.

    those are the folks who pay the bills on that warehouse Of a store they just build
    #9
  10. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Their biz model seemed to insist on expensive store locations with fuck all for parking or access.

    Their house branded gear was solid stuff, but not the same quality any more. Bummer.
    #10
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  11. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    I travelled full time in a Used MEC tent for a year and it lasted the whole trip, Patagonia winds and all. Same thing for MEC sleeping bags and mats.

    To be fair a valve on one of the matS was leaky after that year. Went to MEC and they replaced BoTH our mats for free.

    Happy customer here
    #11
  12. CCitis

    CCitis Long timer

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    Buy what you want now before it changes
    #12
  13. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

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    MEC lost its way a while back. I too have been a member since the 80's and actually worked there briefly part time. The idea of the Co op was member owned so huge profit wasn't necessary things used to be less expensive there. No longer, full retail for everything. 45 dollar t shirts. Backpacking ice cream makers. The amount of plastic garbage for sale is shocking.
    #13
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  14. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    TOO LATE! It has already changed a few years ago. Member since '70s. Doubt that any of us will get our 5 bucks back. MEC went sideways when Bored (sp) Of Directors did a power grab and thumbed their noses at members. Or did they signal us we were #1.
    #14
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  15. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

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    Lost their way, dramatically increased overhead and far too many over-educated and puffed-up MBAs on the board.....who presided over the demise of a nearly 50 year old institution. SHAME ON THEM!
    #15
  16. B-Nads

    B-Nads Adventurer

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    Agreed - they started going down the drain a long time ago...basically an over-priced, generic sporting goods store. They replaced their specialty lines with name brands, out the prices through the roof, and customer service suffered. I shop most of my gear on Altitude Sports now. Great close-out prices and quick shipping.
    #16
  17. AngusMcL

    AngusMcL Been here awhile

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    HRM, NS, Canada
    I'll echo what everyone else has said. Used to be a great source for gear, but no longer. My mother became a member in the early 80's and I loved looking through their catalogues as a kid. My wife and I have both been members for 15 or 20yrs.

    The Halifax store is probably their newest retail location. It's in a decent spot... I like it downtown rather than in one of the big box store retail 'parks', but they NEVER have anything in stock!! I'm guessing it's one of the locations to be closed in the first wave.

    A.
    #17
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  18. B-Nads

    B-Nads Adventurer

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    The newer, big outlet in Laval hasn't opened yet - just the old one in Montreal.

    I spent Christmas in Halifax last year, and I agree - the stock there was pretty limited.

    I got my 1-man hike/bike tent from Altitude for a ridiculous price, and if you have a Sail close there are some great deals to be had in the store, but their online pricing is nothing special.
    #18
  19. navi

    navi Been here awhile

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    lower main land, canada
    Best I use up my members dollars before they fad into the corporate coffers
    #19
  20. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    Sep 26, 2008
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    Location:
    north vancouver bc
    always had great customer service.
    supply chain seems to have dried up since covid hit town.
    i still miss 3 Vets, in Vancouver. they were certainly competitive.
    #20