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Thread: REI coming to North Conway

  1. #1
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    REI coming to North Conway

    They are taking over the space that is being vacated by EMS. EMS is moving to a smaller facility up the road.

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    Nice!

    Too short

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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    We'll see which actually opens first, this or the Bedford store. Of course they're still not managing to open one closer to me than Reading.

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    I expect it will happen quickly as they are probably paying a bundle for the lease.

    Unfortunately I expect this may be a deathblow for what is left of EMS.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    This is also REI’s first so called “CONCEPT STORE” on the East Coast.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Unfortunately I expect this may be a deathblow for what is left of EMS.
    I was at the Marlboro, MA store about 6 weeks ago and asked about the heath of the chain. They said it is doing well and they are even opening a few new stores. Keeping the rents low seems to be a key concern...

    Doug

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    An article from the local paper, Opening is slated for Fall 2019

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...8d802cd0d.html

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, there is still no REI in Bedford (my home town) while EMS re-opened in Nashua.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I was at the Marlboro, MA store about 6 weeks ago and asked about the heath of the chain. They said it is doing well and they are even opening a few new stores. Keeping the rents low seems to be a key concern...

    Doug
    It was reported in The Conway Daily Sun that EMS is actually buying the building they are moving in along with downsizing. Probably will be more like the old store that was in The Eastern Slope Inn. Should be interesting what REI does withe their new space. It was actually developed by EMS as a “Concept Store” originally. Personally I have always found it an ergonomically difficult store to navigate.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    We were hoping for something different. Does N. Conway really need another outdoor retailer? And can the local economy support a retailer that caters to relatively well-to-do customers? Perhaps, as the vacationers from MA will all shop there (although MA has its own REI stores). Will be interesting. I don't know what REI has to offer that EMS didn't -- skis and bikes on the left, camping gear on the right, expensive clothing in the middle, shoes in the back and some basic climbing gear. I would think the local retail landscape wouldn't be suitable for more skis and bikes -- plenty of those shops exist (and where you can get personalized attention as opposed to the big box store approach).

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    IMHO the Conway area long ago sold its collective soul to the god of high end merchandising. REI just replaces EMS as the latest in a chain of stores out to grab a buck as folks pass by on their way to the ski slopes or the WMNF.

    When the original LL Beans outlet opened up on the strip it was truly a factory outlet as it was the only LL Beans outlet outside of Freeport and I got some great deals. Those days are long gone.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    We were hoping for something different. Does N. Conway really need another outdoor retailer? And can the local economy support a retailer that caters to relatively well-to-do customers? Perhaps, as the vacationers from MA will all shop there (although MA has its own REI stores). Will be interesting. I don't know what REI has to offer that EMS didn't -- skis and bikes on the left, camping gear on the right, expensive clothing in the middle, shoes in the back and some basic climbing gear. I would think the local retail landscape wouldn't be suitable for more skis and bikes -- plenty of those shops exist (and where you can get personalized attention as opposed to the big box store approach).
    I'll chime in on this. REI has many more brand names and the selection is a lot better then EMS in all categories. Secondly, REI has a better training program, their employees are much more knowledgeable them EMS employees. Further more, they offer many free clinics that have a lot of value, both educationally and people taking clinics, buy gear. I also like the dividend option, although I don't get a big return, its still worthwhile. Twenty years ago, EMS was a fine store, for many reasons, they lost their way since then.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO the Conway area long ago sold its collective soul to the god of high end merchandising. REI just replaces EMS as the latest in a chain of stores out to grab a buck as folks pass by on their way to the ski slopes or the WMNF.

    When the original LL Beans outlet opened up on the strip it was truly a factory outlet as it was the only LL Beans outlet outside of Freeport and I got some great deals. Those days are long gone.
    I don't know if that is a fair characterization of REI. I don't think they fit the mold of the typical greedy corporation. They are much more than that in my opinion. They push a lot of environmental initiatives from their suppliers and the public in general and give a lot of cash back via their dividend rewards program. I wouldn't associate them with a "money grab".
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; NY 46: 6/46

  14. #14
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Rather than wield the sword of a cynical Luddite I see a lot of positive potential for REI in the Mount Washington Valley. Being a local in the area for 50 years I can attest to have seen a lot of changes in the Outdoor Industry. There was a time the only place to buy any gear was Limmers. From there it has been a constant evolvement of not only retailers but also developers and manufacturers of outdoor gear. The immediate local vibe to this new player has been positive. Every outfitter over the years has found it’s nitch among the consumer. REI will be no different IMO.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I'll chime in on this. REI has many more brand names and the selection is a lot better then EMS in all categories. Secondly, REI has a better training program, their employees are much more knowledgeable them EMS employees. Further more, they offer many free clinics that have a lot of value, both educationally and people taking clinics, buy gear. I also like the dividend option, although I don't get a big return, its still worthwhile. Twenty years ago, EMS was a fine store, for many reasons, they lost their way since then.
    In addition, they do a lot more in the community. All the bridges in my local forests were funded by REI.

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