Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 27 of 27

Thread: REI coming to North Conway

  1. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    MA & NH
    Posts
    263
    REI is a smart organization from a marketing perspective. And to their credit, I have always understood that they do support a lot of environmental and conservation efforts. But this is largely to offset the fact that at their core they are still a big box store taking big markups off of retail goods that are produced with foreign labor (e.g., the REI brands are largely made in China and Vietnam, exploiting cheap labor). To be fair, they are obviously not alone. But I don't view them as being meaningfully better stewards than the general big box retailer crowd just because they try to make me feel good by putting profits into outdoor initiatives. I'd rather support Ragged Mountain's brand. But I understand others have different tolerance levels, which is fine.

  2. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,225
    Plus 1 for shopping at Ragged Mountain. A portion of their clothing and gear is made by local people literally in the back of the store. Their gear is well built and they offer repair service. The business recently changed hands and I hope they can keep some local production but its tough to compete.

  3. #18
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    2,768
    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    REI is a smart organization from a marketing perspective. And to their credit, I have always understood that they do support a lot of environmental and conservation efforts. But this is largely to offset the fact that at their core they are still a big box store taking big markups off of retail goods that are produced with foreign labor (e.g., the REI brands are largely made in China and Vietnam, exploiting cheap labor). To be fair, they are obviously not alone. But I don't view them as being meaningfully better stewards than the general big box retailer crowd just because they try to make me feel good by putting profits into outdoor initiatives. I'd rather support Ragged Mountain's brand. But I understand others have different tolerance levels, which is fine.
    REI also has many initiatives with their suppliers to provide green products, ethically sourced raw materials, etc. And they have dropped popular vendors who don't meet these criteria. REI is much more than public relations puff pieces for the local news. It is a culture. IMO they are very different than most big box chains (and I have worked for several).

    I get the desire to support local business (and I generally do where I can) but let's not automatically assume that "local = responsible" and "big box = evil" because that is simply not the case. Small companies nowadays often have to "sell their soul" to stay alive and keep their employees working. It's hard for tiny companies to stay relevant in a global economy.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  4. #19
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Center Conway, NH
    Posts
    2,600
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Plus 1 for shopping at Ragged Mountain. A portion of their clothing and gear is made by local people literally in the back of the store. Their gear is well built and they offer repair service. The business recently changed hands and I hope they can keep some local production but its tough to compete.
    Ragged Mountain has been a great resource for more than 3 decades. Considering the owner started it in his Mom's garage stitching chalk bags and selling them out of the trunk of his car at the base of Cathedral they have survived many ups and downs. There has been no change of ownership from the original founder and owner whom has also had the same partner/owner for most of the duration. They had some financing issues earlier this year but have reemerged quite nicely. The best part of the outdoor retailers in the MWV is the fact that there is diversity. Personally I have taken advantage of that diversity over the years and not had one sole allegiance to any one outfitter. As there is some overlap among product between the different stores their own personal diversities have been pertinent to their survival but also advantageous to the consumer. Again IMO the addition of REI only stands to enrich that paradigm.
    Last edited by skiguy; 12-23-2018 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Spelling
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #20
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Beginning and End
    Posts
    863
    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?...
    Like what? North Conway has one of every kind of store already!

    I think REI is a good fit for this outdoor town and a nice alternative to a sinking EMS. And if you want specialized climbing gear, go to IME or Ragged Mountain

    I don't think many N Conway business could survive if they had only "locals" patronizing their business. It is a tourist town first and foremost.

    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  6. #21
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    2,454
    REI is structured as a "cooperative" which is at the root of the dividend program. My son worked there as a young man quite a few years ago; we still have lots of gear that held up all that time. It was a great place to work. If they manage to "grab a buck" its because they've managed to serve a market.

    I never go by Ragged Mountain without stopping and never fail to find something I didn't know I needed!

    Kittery Trading Post is not mentioned very often here which might suggest it is under utilized as a resource for the hiking community.

  7. #22
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,737
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Kittery Trading Post is not mentioned very often here which might suggest it is under utilized as a resource for the hiking community.
    ME sales tax If you're coming to NH anyway, might as well save the state tax.

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

  8. #23
    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bahston
    Posts
    650
    Stan, good point on the co-op model being at the heart of REI's success.

    I always thought that EMS did a better job at product design but IMO, that's not enough. Typical capitalist structures have a particular logic built into them and EMS's arc and decline is just another case study in what happens regularly.

    REI's co-op Model May not be perfect but it does democratize some of the decision making and that can lead to good outcomes from a community POV.
    - Dave (a.k.a. pinnah)

    " Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." - John Lehman, US Secretary of the Navy 1981-1987

  9. #24
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    western 'daks
    Posts
    863
    I joined REI in the late 1960's. I always enjoyed their catalog, as it was full of helpful and useful articles to read about backpacking and details about how to use their products. Plus each board member had their own description and what wrote of activities they were involved with. For a time I kept each catalog for reference. I remember they were in competition with EMS, but REI gave the dividend, winning them over in most cases for my purchases. Then EMS got the bright idea of dropping catalog sales for a few years, eventually reversing that near fatal decision. I was angry when REI decided to put a store in NY state (but it was near NYC, too far from me to be of any value), because it meant NY could charge then sales tax (of course in-state presence no longer matters, we get hit with the sales tax anyway).
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  10. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    CT Refugee now in NH
    Posts
    923
    I have a suggestion if you dont mind credit cards. Get an American Express Blue. Pay your groceries, fuel, electricity, cell phone everything you possibly can on it. Of course, pay the balance completely each month because its a high interest card with alot of perks.. The reason is that it is much easier to REI GIFT cards from American Express than anyone else....meaning you get a more Rei money per dollar charged than other cards. (That I have)

    As an aside their premium car rental insurance seems to work well. Somebody did a hit and run on my enterprise rental. There was 1200 dollars of damage, 240 dollars of loss of use, and a 100 dollar administrative fee. Amex negotiated everything down and I did not pay a penny.

  11. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,225
    FYI, the best credit card deal indirectly connected to an outdoor sports retailer I have found was the Discover card. I could apply the cashback to buying LL Bean gift certificates at 20% off. It was a better deal than the LL Bean card. By keeping an eye on sales I got a lot of high end gear over the years that way. Not sure if the deal is still in place as the Discover card is pretty basic on the other perks so I use a different one.

  12. #27
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Beginning and End
    Posts
    863
    Quote Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
    REI's co-op Model May not be perfect but it does democratize some of the decision making and that can lead to good outcomes from a community POV.
    Here is a story about REI moving into NH, both at N Conway and Bedford locations.

    One advantage they will bring is a wider selection of brands than EMS carried. Article claims they returned 70% of profits in dividends to members last year!

    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

Similar Threads

  1. REI North Conway Grand Opening coming Soon!
    By skiguy in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 10-15-2019, 05:31 PM
  2. Massive heat wave coming to North Conway area
    By B the Hiker in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 04-11-2017, 07:43 PM
  3. Wild Things North Conway Closing their doors in North Conway
    By peakbagger in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-09-2013, 08:03 PM
  4. Peaked Mt. (North Conway)
    By slowandsteady in forum New Hampshire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-03-2010, 05:07 AM
  5. New EMS Announced for North Conway
    By rocket21 in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-04-2007, 08:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •