At the new Erehwon Mountain Outfitter store, you won’t have to go outside to test the warming capabilities of a winter jacket you’re eyeing. Just step into the "cold room."
The 22,000-square-foot location—the biggest and fifth in the retailer’s fleet—opened last week in Schaumburg, Illinois, featuring the frigid test room, a bar top at the bike/snow sport service center, and 7,000 square feet dedicated to an outlet section.
“We want our Erehwon stores to appeal to a broad range of customers that aspire to get out into the middle of Nowhere—Erehwon is Nowhere spelled backwards, after all,” President Colin Moynihan told SNEWS. “While we always aim to be a source for the highest quality outdoor products, we also recognize the need to offer our gear and apparel at great prices.”
Moynihan said that he is most excited about the opportunities the larger footprint presents (other stores are 10,000 to 12,000 square feet), such as offering a broader assortment of kayaks, paddle boards, roof storage and racks, bikes, skis and snowboards, grills, and coolers. He also said they have room to show off Sylvan’s GO pop-up tent trailer.
In a new era
In January, the 45-year-old specialty outdoor retailer was bought by Camping World. The huge conglomerate has been on a buying spree these past two years, also scooping up Uncle Dan's in October 2017 and Rock/Creek Outfitters in April 2018.
Despite being under the corporation's umbrella, Moynihan said customers can expect the same in-store experience and customer service they've had for more than four decades. And, he said, vendor partners can expect to see many of the same faces they've seen in stores and on the trade show floors—which we also heard from Rock/Creek owners.
The merge, Moynihan said, means that the collective of specialty outdoor stores get to work together to learn best practices from one another, promote local communities through outdoor events and activities, and support important outdoor initiatives.
“Beyond this year, we just want to aim for excellence,” Moynihan said. “Our business is evolving as retail and technology evolve, but our brick and mortar roots in the industry are deep and the local store experience is central to everything we love about the specialty industry.”
As the merger continues this year, we have yet to see how the retailer's new storyline unfolds.