Someone's Ski Shop

As a retail storeowner sometimes your worst fears are realized. No matter how much training you do…..well sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much training you do.

As a retail storeowner sometimes your worst fears are realized. No matter how much training you do…..well sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much training you do.

Several years ago a customer walked into one of our competitors' shops and indicated the ski shop across the street was full of people. (We probably didn’t have anyone in our store.) In a normal everyday scenario this would have been fine. However, he then indicated that the lights were off and it really didn’t seem like there were any employees in the store.

A quick phone call across the street to the competition confirmed the situation as the person answering the phone replied “somebody’s ski shop”. Not exactly sure what to do next an employee was dispatched to walk across the street and CONFIRM the situation.

It didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out there were a lot of customers in a closed store with a large absence of owners and employees. A quick call to the police got a fast and courteous response but did turn up several customers browsing in the dark store completely unaware of the situation and obviously in no hurry to quit shopping.

In a rush to catch the evening movie, the employees had forgotten to lock the door. A few curious people drew even more and no one seemed bothered that the lights were off and there were no employees in sight.

I call it “leave your brain home when on vacation” syndrome.

Jeff Crabtree, Skinny Skis – Jackson, WY

Through July 1, retail sales staff answered the contest call to submit a story of survival and perseverance in the face of challenging customers. The story titles with summaries that made the first round of qualifications are listed below, and each is now in the hands of our judges to decide on the top 10. You can read each story in its entirety by going to the contest landing page -- click here.

Ten lucky story writers will each win over $1,000 in product prizes based on the contest judges' votes. Here is where you come in! Of those 10, one will be named the grand prizewinner, cashing in on a trip for two to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007. Three others will be named official "honorable mentions," and in addition to the valuable prizes, each will receive a gift certificate that can be redeemed toward attendance at an Outdoor Industry Association-sponsored event, such as Outdoor University, Mountain Sports Festival or the OIA Rendezvous. The grand prize winner will be announced at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. We will determine the grand prize winner and the three runner up winners based on popular vote (sorry judges) -- those among the top ten receiving the most votes win, it's that simple. This is for store pride, for knowing you have a winner amongst you, so vote as often as you like. Tell your friends. Tell your friends friends. Tell your dog -- but only if he can work a computer keyboard.

Deadline for voting is August 1, 2006.Click here to register your vote now!

Did you miss out on this year's contest? Bummer, but no worries. If you haven't already done so, outdoor retail staff can get ready for next year by activating a subscription now at Then, watch your SNEWS® for announcements calling for our next contest entries and get ready to be a winner.



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