WILSONVILLE, Ore., -- Recognizing their evolution into a top quality store with prestigious brands and the highest quality merchandise, G.I. Joe's has dropped the G and I from their name. The change to a shorter name coincides with the company's 55-Year Anniversary and the simultaneous openings of new stores in Bellevue, Washington and Kirkland, Washington.
The new name matches up with the common abbreviation used by customers. "People have been referring to us as simply 'Joe's' for decades now," said Norm Daniels, President & CEO. "In fact, 'Go to Joe's, Grab the Gear, Seize the Weekend' was our slogan for many years. The official change to 'Joe's' is long overdue."
The original name came about in 1952 when company founder, Ed Orkney, sold only military surplus at his store on North Vancouver Boulevard in Portland, Oregon. But by the early 1960s the company was no longer selling military surplus. "Our original name was fine back then, but now our company is on an aggressive expansion program," said Daniels. "We will be opening new stores in Meridian, Idaho and Spokane, Washington later this year, and it is important that as we enter new markets we avoid any confusion as to what our business stands for. We are not military surplus. Joe's has the best brands and highest quality authentic gear for the serious outdoor enthusiast."
Shannon Burley, Director of Corporate Communications, said, "Changing the name to 'Joe's' has been quite an exciting task, especially when you consider all the places where our name and/or logo appear. From the signage to the employee polo shirts -- clear down to our logo on the little vinyl sleeves that fishing licenses go in -- it takes a huge effort to identify and get everything changed over. The stores are going to look fabulous."
At all 27 stores, customers who arrive at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 1st will be treated to a ribbon cutting ceremony with free cake and refreshments, officially introducing the new name and new look.
Customers are also invited to visit the new Joe's website at JoesSports.com. Ongoing improvements are being made in site design, customer service, online merchandising, content development and email marketing efforts. Corporate email addresses will change to the @JoesSports.com URL.
Norm Daniels remarked, "We realize that some people, especially Portlanders, may have feelings of nostalgia for our original name. After 43 years with the company I'm probably the most nostalgic of all. But the name change will serve us well as we attract new customers in new markets, while remaining a Northwest-based company that is proud of its heritage."
Joe's is a closely held retail chain of 27 full-line sports outdoor & more stores in Oregon and Washington. Known as the store for Northwest outdoor enthusiasts, Joes, founded in 1952, celebrates 55 years in business