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johnhemlock


May 15, 2004, 10:39 PM
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Denver Gear Shop
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Kicking around the idea of opening a climbing shop in Denver. I know there are three or four as well as the EMS / REI shops but I think it could support another one. More gear focused, less shells and daypacks. Any feedback? Any ideas on location? I'm in the early stages of planning - money isn't a huge hurdle and I have some experience in outdoor retailing. Just looking for a general yes / no type of impression from the Denver climbing community.


stevematthys


May 15, 2004, 11:18 PM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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go for it.


flamer


May 16, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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Hmmmm...an interesting topic.

I can't really give you a yes or no...but I do have some thoughts to share.

I spent some time working in a gear shop in Denver(the now defunct Grand West Outfitters).
Now this shop was part of a HUGE company who was is all about the bottom line. And climbing gear does very little for the bottom line.

The money that is there to be made off of climbing gear is not very much, and I'm talking specifically about mark-up. Most gear shop's stay in business selling clothing.

Personally I would LOVE a hardware only climbing shop!! And I would totally shop there!! BUT!! i don't think the market would support it.
There are already several shops in Denver(as you stated) and they carry the works(but generally carry alot of clothing), most people either prefer to kill 2 birds with one stone, or jujst want to buy the clothing and dress the part.
Another consideration is how much Hardware people actually buy. This is effected by everything from cost(it's expensive!), the fact that gear (hardware)doesn't wear out quickly, and the fact that people tend to peice racks etc. together.
I have a variety of thoughts on this but I feel like I'm rambling.

My point is this....I would love to see it and would shop there, but I don't think you'd make any money.

GOOD LUCK either way!!!

josh


coclimber26


May 16, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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FYI. Grand West outfitters of Colorado Springs just went out of business. they were selling their inventory for around 1million. They didn't have any takers so they started liquidating inventory and are getting ready to close shop next week. The mountain chalet in downtown springs is the only other climbing store in town minus REI. The owner sold shop because of other business ventures not lack of sales. There is a strong market now in the springs with the mountain chalet taking most of it...check it out...my two cents.


atg200


May 17, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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i really doubt the market in denver would support another gear shop unfortunately. mountain miser, neptune, big rei downtown, and the bent gate do a good job of covering most areas in denver - and there are lots of generic places like smaller rei's, galyans, ems, climbing gyms, etc around.


mother_sheep


May 17, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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Wilderness Exchange is probably the best gear shop in town. Then just down the street you have REI. The REI south of Denver on County Line Road sux. They don't have crap for gear there. So I make the drive downtown just to go to Wilderness Exchange. If you're going to open a shop, I'd suggest opening it South of Denver. There is another REI southwest of town. Their gear section kinda blows too. So the southern part of the surrounding burbs of Denver could benefit from a new gear shop. How about checking into a shop near the new R&J off of Arapahoe? If the prices, knowledge and staff were close to what I've discovered at WE, I'd become a customer. Keep us posted.


johnhemlock


May 17, 2004, 1:06 PM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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I appreciate all the feedback. I do think Bent Gate and Wilderness Exchange do a nice job - Mountain Miser can be a bit indifferent but have a good selection. I suppose if I really wanted to make money I'd invest the cash in a top-notch website and dropship all my merchandise from the manufacturer directly. This eliminates the need for a store front and sales personnel, among other things. But I'd like to have something that is a gear shop but also sort of a social hub for slide shows, etc. I agree that the southern suburbs would probably be a good bet.


killclimbz


May 17, 2004, 2:31 PM
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Re: Denver Gear Shop [In reply to]
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I guess the other question to ask is do you have credit/relationship with the manufacturers to open accounts with them?1 Some of them can be a real pain to get accounts with. Part of that is based on who they already deal with in the area, some of it is your credit, and some of them are just plain snooty.


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