Video: Tom Barney's first day working retail


Tom Barney starts his new gig on the sales floor of a Colorado outdoor gear shop, and shares his first report for The Retail Immersion Project.

Former Osprey CEO Tom Barney has started a new job as a seasonal employee at Backcountry Experience in Durango, Colo.

Yep, that’s right. A former exec is taking to the sales floor.

Barney, Backcountry Experience owner Ben Rockis, and SNEWS are working together to bring you The Retail Immersion Project, where CEOs take a hiatus from corner offices to see what it’s really like to work in one of the retail shops they depend on to sell their brands’ goods.

Here’s Barney’s first-day-on-the-job video report (and his first time using a selfie stick).

“For the next five weeks, I’m going to be coming in, learning, listening, observing, writing, filming, and I’m going to try to take the vendor perspective onto the retail floor,” Barney says. “I’m going to be selling, just like anybody else, but I’m also going to be taking good notes on the way things really work in outdoor specialty retail.”

Stay tuned for more reports from the field.

If you’re a shop owner or executive interested in conducting your own Retail Immersion Project, please email We’d love to make more matches.



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