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MEC sold to private investment firm

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

  1. wos

    wos Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,902
    Location:
    beside the cool pool
    The best part about the Edmonton stores was being glared at by the wanna be hippy folks (staff and clients) looking down their nose at me because I rode one of those murdercycles not an environmental oil burning 80's rusted out volvo. When they started their political activism, shutting out products that came from companies that made rifle components and accessories I really slowed down my purchasing. I do like their Edmonton South common store, just hate the traffic situation in the south common area, Seems to be designed to slow you down getting out.
    #21
  2. Gerald_G

    Gerald_G mostly still a noob.

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    As a small town resident, Edmonton South commons is a place I avoid if possible too.
    The map makes little sense, the intersections without signals are on roads with far too much traffic to not have signals.
    It's a pain, but better than going downtown, trying to work the parking lot machines (at -30) and then calling a 3rd party contractor (not MEC) when the machines don't work etc.

    I could never figure out why retailers think there are no crossover customers between the hiking and hunting crowds.
    I do both, and many friends I know do both. Retailers in the hunting market seem oblivious to the potential of outdoor rec customers, and MEC actively worked to avoid having customers who may also hunt/fish.
    #22
  3. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,012
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC (right beside the forest)
    Unfortunately they lost their way as a co-op at least 10 years ago; MEC has operated more like a retailer that has an advantageous tax position due to its status as a co-op for many years. I have bought a fair bit of gear from them over the years, but agree that they ran into trouble when they started carrying brands that are available at many other retailers; it seems that they thought expansion would save them, but like other retailers found, that didn't work. They started treating profit and loss more like a company beholden to shareholders rather than a co-op owned by members. It's sad, but most of my hobbies don't require some of the more specialized gear that were their core, so there are options.
    #23
    HatesSnow likes this.
  4. KayDubbya

    KayDubbya Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Oddometer:
    469
    At the risk of sounding political, a few years ago I commented to a good friend that "MEC went woke and will go broke". She disagreed. I guess I won. They lost the plot a few years ago when the coup took place. It's been downhill since then.
    #24
    cal08 and 2dogs1cat like this.
  5. frazman

    frazman Post***ern Redneck.

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,865
    Location:
    North of 40, South of 60.
    Many years of mismanaged growth prior to 2020. Ive been a member since 1991 and it's been quite a few years since I've bought anything from there. At one point in the mid-90s, most of my wardrobe was MEC products. What's irked me since Day 1 was the more-often-than-not out of stock merchandise.
    #25
  6. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    아무데도
    Here in cowtown, the generic Atmosphere shop across the street from MEC has been *far* better since it opened. MEC stopped being great over a decade ago, when plastic tat became more common than proper outdoor gear
    #26
    Cal and Lycan1 like this.
  7. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,327
    Location:
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    Atmosphere is really hit or miss here... sometimes they have decent sales and sometimes they have stock.

    I've been a MEC member since the early 90's and spent a lot of $$$ there... lately (even pre-COVID) I haven't even bothered. Prices on non-MEC gear are MSRP and the MEC gear just doesn't seem to be what it used to be. Thankfully my Gore-Tex jacket and pants from almost 20 years ago and still holding up.
    #27
  8. tbas3

    tbas3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    597
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I thought I was a long time member but not that long compared to some of you on here. I joined probably a little over 20 years ago. I have one of their tiny tents and a nice down filled sleeping bag that has kept me warm in some cold places. Good quality stuff.

    I lost interest in them about a year ago. I got a bulk mail out letter where the CEO or whatever he is called was apologizing for being a straight white male. I don't really care for people being sorry for how they were born. Seemed like a weird email to send out.
    #28
  9. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,460
    Location:
    Great White North
    Say it like you mean it, Todd :lol3:lol3

    I kinda agree. I'm also a long-time member. The local (KW) store never re-opened this summer when everyone else did, and it's likely one of the 5 or so that will permanently close. They never had much in the store of value to me anyway. But it was Canadian, so I occasionally went in and bought something I needed. I feel sorry for the poor staff there. They weren't half bad for the most part. We're lucky here, we still have a viable alternative. I just hope they can last through all this shit. Their big problem is getting stock. I went in a few weeks ago to buy a new tent, knowing exactly what I wanted. They didn't have any and had no idea when they might see more. Pandemic issues at big manufacturers and suppliers just trickle on down. Could be worse, I guess; we could live further south.
    #29
  10. HatesSnow

    HatesSnow Waiting for Summer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Now somewhere I actually want to be.
    Like others have said, MEC has been going downhill for a long time. Corporate types have been infiltrating the board for years and focusing purely on profit instead of running it like a co-op for the benefit of the members, which was the entire reason for its existence. I voted every election and the choices got slimmer and slimmer every time, not to mention that the "preferred" candidates (those preferred by the board) were nearly always more corporate types. The union bashing activities when the employees were organising the Victoria store were the last straw for me.
    #30
  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,019
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    Shopped there a few times. I'd rather the big box subdivision locations (Barrie) vs the downtown locations (Halifax). That said, I guess with Canadian Tire bringing on Sportchek and Atmosphere, it really ate into them. Throw in Amazon and overseas retailers (Aliexpress), not hard to see them bow out.
    #31
    2dogs1cat likes this.
  12. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,319
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    “After careful consideration of all viable options, the board made this difficult decision,” said MEC’s board chair Judi Richardson. “Despite significant progress on a thoughtful turnaround strategy undertaken by new leadership, no strategy could have anticipated or overcome the impact of the global pandemic on our business.”

    Am I wrong or is this a Board Chair completely out of touch??
    #32
    tbas3, HatesSnow and 250senuf like this.
  13. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,487
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    "The outdoor recreation gear and clothing retailer lost $11.487 million last year on sales of $462 million, according to financial statements audited by KPMG and posted on MEC's website." That's from HERE.

    They were bleeding money, and that was pre-pandemic. That's simply not sustainable. ... competition, how about Cabela's!?
    #33
  14. SaugeenADV

    SaugeenADV Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Southampton, ON Canada
    I had bought tones of stuff from MEC over the years but as everyone else has said they certainly lost the plot and simply became another sporting goods retailer. To me what did them in what that they never had sales and everything was full MSRP. That worked fine when the had their own GOOD products and were offered at decent prices or unique products that weren't available elsewhere but its simply too easy to comparison shop now to find the best deal. Their MEC branded gear also took a huge nose dive over the years and basically became a waste of time. I would say I will miss them but really I miss the MEC of 10+ years ago.
    #34
    jlw, 2dogs1cat, HatesSnow and 4 others like this.
  15. Drobs71

    Drobs71 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    My wife and I visited the Winnipeg location recently and discussed that exact issue. The store was still busy, but location, parking and the fear of area crime are deterrents. They do provide a good Canadian retail experience, which is good equipment for the price and I don’t mind spending money on that, especially if it supports the local and national economy.
    #35
    GreatWhiteNorth likes this.
  16. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,694
    Location:
    NW AB
    My wife has Serratus bicycle panniers that she bought 30 years ago and still uses about 4 times a week.
    I've looked at the new stuff they have and their house brand won't last 5 years of her use.
    #36
  17. frazman

    frazman Post***ern Redneck.

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,865
    Location:
    North of 40, South of 60.
    the competition that’s come along also help to supply nails for the coffin. When MEC opened up in Ottawa, your alternatives were Crappy Tire, the Scout Store or Trailhead ($$$$). Bushtukah became my go-to about 15 years ago. In the last 10 years or so, we’ve gotten SAIL - that’s HUGE competition to MEC- and Cabela’s. I can safely say I’ve spent more dough at SAIL and Bushtukah in the last 10 years than I did at MEC in 30 years.
    #37
  18. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    Jun 27, 2007
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    Location:
    Great White North
  19. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,327
    Location:
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    Sail closed the Woodbridge, ON location. I never felt compelled to buy anything from them. Their prices were no better than MEC. The store never seemed busy as compared to MEC either.
    #39
  20. jlw

    jlw Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Niagara, Ontario
    I want my membership fee returned.

    As a coop I owned (a small part) of that company. The BOD sold it away.
    #40