SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Rich Huskey, The Alpine Shop
The focus of this week's SNEWS Qs is Rich Huskey, general manager of the Alpine Shop in St. Louis, Mo.
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General Manager, Alpine Shop
What are some of the most popular items in your store?
GoPro and Contour cameras continue to garner a ton of interest. People love being able to show off the cool stuff they do. We’ve gotten videos of kayaking, mountain biking, skydiving and everything in between.
Of all the new technology coming out these days, what is your favorite and why?
While not all that new, with the warm weather we have had, the improvements made in quick dry fabrics are nice. The Minerale fabrics work well and have been well received by both staff and customers. Also, the new SPOT Connect technology is great. The ability to communicate through GPS is innovative and will allow everyone from the casual outdoors person to the extreme adventurers to communicate in ways they haven’t been able to in the past.
What makes your shop different from all the other specialty outdoor retailers?
Our Vision separates us. We strive to live by our vision of “Transforming Generations Through Discovery Outdoors.” Alpine Shop puts on a number of free instructional classes and demos in order to get people active and outside. We constantly work to get in front of new faces and introduce them to all of the great things mother nature has to offer.
What’s your philosophy on customer service?
We want to exceed expectations and we want to do that from every aspect of our interaction. Whether you’re attending a class, prepping for your first great adventure or going out to tackle the most extreme, we want to make sure our customers are properly educated, outfitted and prepared. There’s nothing we enjoy more than having our customers come back and tell us how much fun they had or how someone on our team positively impacted their life by educating and outfitting them. Those are the stories that keep us in this industry and keep us motivated.
What do you think makes customers loyal to stores?
It’s all about their experience. We have to make sure that we have a clean, stocked and easy-to-shop store and that our team is personable, experienced and knowledgeable. We have a ton of great customers and have developed a great deal of relationships with them. It’s those relationships, the stories and the passion we share for all that we do, that will keep our customers loyal.
–Compiled by Ana Trujillo