Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Rocky Mountains

Merchandising Tour: Store environment that invites smiles

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright visits one Moosejaw's new retail stores to see how the outdoor retailer is enticing customers with more playful merchandising.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Moosejaw could never be accused of taking itself too seriously — except when it comes to gear, of course. In fact, we’re guessing that it would be impossible to hang out in the retail environment without smiling. Boulder, Colo. now has a brick-and-mortar Moosejaw, and from playful copy on ordinary graphics to a disco ball hanging in a fitting room lined with Thermarest mats, the visual merchandising is full of humorous and funky turns. There is even a distorted full-length mirror along the clothing wall.

Brand story is messaged through a lifestyle focus in a way that “embraces the madness” with freshness and flair. Unexpected details include a velvet-covered crate that acts as a footwear stool and a George Washington-style powdered wig atop a male mannequin. Make no mistake, there’s serious equipment throughout, but the store just as easily appeals to the outdoor enthusiast who is heading out for a walk in the woods as the one summiting Mt. Rainer. No elitist attitude here.

According to Boulder store manager Erin Doherty, being tech-savvy is a Moosejaw focus and the store is equipped with four iPads to provide immediate access to inventory and expedite the sales process. Eliminating checkout lines enhances the consumer experience and helps avoid buyer’s remorse — otherwise known as the “uh-oh, do I really want to spend money today?” sensation customers can experience the longer they wait.

Moosejaw has a nontraditional signage and copy approach that gets attention, and recently posted a sign in its window calling for “bad ass salespeople.” A fixture topper states, “We tried gift wrapping at Moosejaw once. It was a disaster. We didn’t realize you had to be one thousand years old to do it right.” Brand stickers take the place of a cluster of traditional brand signage.

Neighboring Apple Store employees are pretty stoked about their new neighbor as well. A full sized ping pong table sits just inside Moosejaw’s signature garage-style doors (left open whenever possible), and rumor has it the crew comes over fairly regularly to play when on break. According to Doherty, the store wants to invite the community to come on in and hang out.

The key is to invite customers to drop on in and have some fun, and hopefully when the time rolls around for a new pair of climbing shoes or pack, visitors won’t think twice about who to hit up.

(pack wall)

Moosejaw has an aggressive growth plan, with five new stores planned for the next five years, but it draws the line at being a part of the indoor mall scene because that’s just not their vibe. Moosejaw worked with FRCH Design on its new store design.

“We’re here to have fun and share our passion,” Doherty said. Amen to that.

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright

is the founder of Merchandising Matters,,

which provides visual merchandising and

marketing support to the outdoor retail industry.

Reach her via email at

with questions, ideas and suggestions.

Outdoor Retailer is a visual merchandising delight, but it also can be overwhelming! Spend an hour at OR with Robin Enright, merchandising editor for SNEWS and CEO of Merchandising Matters and see just what details are responsible for that merchandising magic and then bring them back to your booth or retail environment!

SNEWS Merchandising Tours, co-sponsored by Outdoor Retailer and SNEWS, are designed to gain merchandising inspiration and discover creative methods you can put into play. Join one of the Merchandising Tours at Summer Market and see for yourself.

Email to put your name on a contact list for more information and to ensure your name is on the registration list for the next Outdoor Retailer Merchandising Tour Program, Summer Market 2012 . Spaces are limited.