Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Boulder, CO (June 18, 2019):
As brick & mortar retailers are continually challenged to compete with massive online sites, big box chains, and even their own suppliers, savvy independent retailers know that finding new, creative ways to bring customers in the door is key to their survival. Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder’s iconic mountain shop, is doing just that with an exciting new program they’re calling the Neptune LAB, set to launch this August.
Consumers love discovering fresh new products from a new generation of brands. This desire to discover has fueled explosive growth for platforms such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, with over $4.3 billion pledged to more than 165,000 successful projects on Kickstarter alone. The Neptune LAB is an interactive experience featuring a small assortment of hand-picked products that have successfully launched through crowdfunding.
“The world of crowdfunding is rich with products well-suited to a specialty outdoor retailer”, says Neptune’s co-owner, Shelley Dunbar, “For over 45 years, Neptune has welcomed and supported up-and-coming brands that often had a hard time getting in the door with bigger retail chains. The Neptune LAB is a modern take on that strategy of offering our customers the latest, most exciting gear that they can’t find everywhere.”
The highly diverse mix of products will be featured for sale in-store only, for a limited time and in limited quantities. The experience will occupy a dedicated space within Neptune’s 17,000 square foot Boulder retail store, anchored by custom fixtures, signage, and an interactive digital component that will allow customers to explore information and videos from each featured brand. The program will cycle new products through roughly every 8 weeks, so the experience will always be fresh and seasonally relevant.
The Neptune LAB will feature an eclectic mix of products, ranging from traditional pieces like bags and packs to items that Neptune’s customers might not expect to find. Ryan Fezler, Neptune hardgoods buyer said, “We’ve intentionally built assortments that are going to offer our customers some products from categories they’d expect to find at Neptune, and some they wouldn’t. This is a great way to introduce young brands to our customers who wouldn’t find those brands anywhere else except online.”
To create this new in-store experience, Neptune partnered with Ignition Lab out of Portland, Oregon. “Neptune is a perfect example of why good brick and mortar retailers are making a comeback – they aren’t afraid to try new things. Neptune’s foremost goal is to delight and inspire their customers, so we were thrilled to bring this experience to life with them”, said Ignition Lab founder Josh Simpson. “Crowdfunding represents a growing share of the digital marketplace and it’s important for retailers to find ways to co-exist with digitally native brands. We think of this program as a retail incubator; it’s a fantastic way for the customer, the retailer, and the brand to try something new.”
Neptune is hosting a launch event to ‘kickstart’ the Neptune LAB. Participating brands and special guests will be in the store for a happy hour followed by a panel discussion and Q&A on the process of product design, innovation and bringing ideas to life through crowdfunding.
The new NEPTUNE LAB is launching at Neptune Mountaineering at 6:00 pm on August 7, 2019. For more information about the event and to reserve tickets visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/NeptuneMountaineering/events/
About Neptune Mountaineering: Founded over 46 years ago by Gary Neptune, this still-independent specialty outdoor retailer located in Boulder, CO has gained the reputation as one of the most iconic and legendary mountain shops in the world.
Media contact: Shelley Dunbar, co-owner at email@example.com