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Utah-based online retailer Backcountry signed a lease earlier this week as the anchor tenant at Collection 14, a mixed-use development along the 14th Street corridor in Washington, D.C. This will be the company’s first East Coast location, adding to the company’s existing three in Utah and Colorado.
This latest news marks the continuation of Backcountry’s shift toward a brick-and-mortar presence in outdoor retail. The company opened two locations earlier this year, one underneath its headquarters in Park City, Utah, and the other in Boulder, Colo.
In a January interview with OBJ, Backcountry CEO Melanie Cox explained the omni-channel strategy Backcountry is taking by opening storefronts to bolster its already large online presence. “I think that omni-channel more and more is the most viable approach to retail,” Cox said. “You need to meet customers where they want to be met.”
While some might not think of Washington, D.C., as an outdoor mecca—at least compared to places like Colorado and Utah—the move makes sense for a retailer like Backcountry. With this opening, the company can gain a foothold on the East Coast and potentially capture a new loyal fanbase.
All of this comes after a flurried couple of years for Backcountry. The company has gone through numerous leadership changes recently, including the 2020 appointment of Melanie Cox as CEO, the appointment of Sarah Crockett to the newly-created role of chief marketing officer, and this year’s appointment of Girish Satya as global CFO.
After the opening Backcountry’s previous stores, Cox told Outdoor Business Journal that her company will work to contribute to each new community it moves into. “We’re going to be supporting local nonprofits and establishing partnerships that will give back to the community,” she said. “Our stores will work hard to reflect the DNA of the communities we’ve selected.” It remains to be seen if the new retail store will endear itself to consumers in Washington.
The store is scheduled to open some time in 2022.