America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

America's only certified Skyrace course. Race Beast of Big Creek on Mt. Ellinor in Hoodsport, WA on Aug 3rd, 2024.

Coming to Toronto this Summer:

Arc’teryx wants your gear to last you a long time – a concept driving the opening of its first Alpha store in Toronto. Named after its flagship Alpha jacket, the new outpost will mark what the brand refers to as its “vertical-led strategy,” essentially its aim for customers to get maximum usage out of their buys.

At the store, Arc’teryx will house its largest repair and resale ReBIRD Service Center, where two full-time technicians can repair items on-site, replacing zippers, cords, sliders, locks and buckles, along with both internal and external patches. They’ll also conduct product assessments, such as testing its GORE-TEX for potential leakage.

Aside from the obvious focus on sustainability in addressing environment concerns this ‘service’ that Arc’teryx is providing in-house at a retail store could be the answer for outdoor shops that don’t have the service revenue component that have helped ski and bike shops thrive this past few years. (Yes, I know they are struggling now, but it’s the brands that have inventory problems post-supply-chain-issues and that trickles down to the actual bike store.) But in general with the competition of online retail stores, physical retail needs to find a ‘service component’ that can generate revenue and can’t be replicated via Amazon-like online competition.

The well-known Aid Station, right in downtown Auburn, CA along the finish line of the Canyons Endurance Runs just announced that they are closing up shop and while this is always sad to see it’s somewhat not surprising in today’s climate. Retail is hard, and it’s harder than ever with sky-high rents and endless online competition. But if a retail store has a ‘service component’: rentals, ski waxing/tuning, bike repair, etc they have a chance to generate revenue with low cost of goods and a chance to compete. For run specialty shops or stores not selling bikes/ski I’ve always wondered what that ‘service component’ could be. If higher end brands are now beginning to offer gear repairs and are making this cool, it could be a smart play and a way forward for smaller independent stores, which in many ways are still at the heart of the local outdoor community.