SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Joe Butler, Black Creek Outfitters

The subject of this week's SNEWS Qs is Joe Butler, president of Black Creek Outfitters in Jacksonville, Fla.

Joe Butler


Black Creek Outfitters, Jacksonville, Fla.


What are some of the most popular items in your store?

Kayaks, paddleboards and the accessories that go with them. We are invested in both sports with ACA certified instruction offered. We are located on a 22-acre lake and have the ability to get you on the water trying out the latest stuff every day of the week. 

Of all the new technology coming out these days, what is your favorite and why?

Our favorite would have to be all of the interesting ways people our measuring their performance — Suunto Ambits, the Fit Bit Ultra or the old-fashioned heart rate monitors.

What makes your shop different from other specialty outdoor retailers?

Our on-the-water experience is second to none. Being on a lake and being able to get customers on the water in an environment that allows them to make more informed purchasing decisions is awesome. Since we are in Florida the sun and water are important to our well-being.

What’s your philosophy on customer service?

We have high standards; I would like to think among the highest in the industry. However, being a member of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has taught us that there are many of us who believe the same things. Customer satisfaction of their experience in our store is the guiding principal. That goes from the way a customer is greeted, to the cleanliness of the store and top tier product knowledge to answer questions regarding the latest and greatest gear.

What do you think makes customers loyal to stores?

That top-tier user experience. We can all take our cue from the most successful company in the world right now, Apple. They focus on doing things the best they can possibly do. We do not make products but the reason people keep coming into a store is because the like the way they feel when they come in and when they leave. They enjoy being a part of the experience. The bar continually is set higher so we have to keep upping our standards.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo