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Sunday, 23 May 2010

Outdoors Oriented: New concrete flooring could cause falls

I live in a small are of Southern Ontario Canada. Sadly, there is only one outdoor shop in my area which has a limited selection of outdoor gear. I have been shopping there for over a decade. The shop opened in 1994.

On May 22nd I visited the new store which is located in a big box centre in West St. Catharines. I was there to make a big ticket purchase.

To my surprise the employee of the store stated “Do you have shoes in the car?”. I was barefoot. I advised him I have been shopping here for over a decade, and dresscode has never been an issue. He snapped back “New store, new rules. Please don't visit here barefoot again”.

I decided to not purchase a new high-end expedition pack from the shop, and bought some less expensive items instead.

Perplexed at the situation, I e-mailed the store Owner Jamie Brigham with my concern. Shortly after he responded to me with a rather surprising e-mail.

Jamie Brigham explained that his new floors are a form of concrete which is slippery and someone could easily slip and injure themselves, especially if barefoot. The letter went on to state that he had no problem loosing myself, my friends, or any of my support for his store over the slippery floors.

The biggest issue is not shopping elsewhere. I am happy to take my money to another store (Moutain Equipment Co-Op doesnt have a dress code). The issue is the store owner admits the flooring is slippery and unsafe.

While teaching an outdoor course, the subject of equipment outfitters came up and I shared the story of why I would never recommend Outdoors Oriented, due to their slippery flooring and letter I received from the store manager.

One of my students advised me of a more serious issue. If the floors are that slippery a barefoot person could get injured, what about the elderly? What about children? What about those in flip-flops or other treadless footwear? Anyone entering the store could be at risk of injury.

I would like to gently recommend making the extra drive to buy your outdoor equipment and gear at Mountain Equipment Co-Op in Burlington, Ontario. They have a better selection, more competitive prices as well as ethical sourcing. MEC was happy to furnish me with a letter that their floors are safe and I could dress any way I wish.

Outdoors Oriented: Slippery Floors may cause injury
Slippery Floors may cause injury


Sarah said...

Hello Wolfmaan. You taught an excellent survival course over the weekend. Thank you so much!

I was going to buy a brand new Kayak from Outdoors Oriented until we had our discussion.

Obviously this kind of establishment doesn't care about it's customers or they would have not asked you to conform to a dress code, or advised you their floors were so unstable that you need special clothing to shop there.

They have lost more than just yourself as a customer. I'll shop somewhere else as well.


Dave Smith said...

This kind of behaviour from stores makes me sick.

I have always avoided that place like the plague mostly because the staff are very cliquey and always seem to look down their nose at you.

I, too shop at MEC or online to avoid the bullsh*t that goes on at that place.

The ethics of a business that will outright say it's okay for you not to shop there because your ideals differ from theirs does not deserve anyone's money.

Thank you for your post.

Ted Taen said...

The ignorance of shop owners never ceases to amaze me.

Here is a dilemma for them: What happens in winter? My shoes will be wet which makes more of a hazzard, but if I take them off I'm upsetting their sense of well being.

The best option is to not shop there so I don't have to confuse them all.

Hikers Haven said...

Please feel free to shop at Hikers Haven in Oakville Ontario. We will be happy to have you in our store barefoot or otherwise!

Jay said...

I, too, recently took a couple trips to the new Outdoors Oriented and experienced the same kind of disrespect.

I first asked if they carried New England KMIII (a rescue rated static climbing rope) in black, to which the salesperson's reply was "never heard of it". I politely pointed to the white bundle of KMIII hanging on the wall next to him and said "there's some in white right there". He picked it off the wall, said something along the lines of "wow this stuff is heavy - why would anyone want this stuff..." Under his breath, before scanning it and saying quite bluntly "yeah we don't carry that in black".

Next I asked if they carried/were able to order a specific type of figure-8 descender to which the response was "no... why do you need all this rescue stuff?", as if my requests were somehow unreasonable or uneducated, to which I explained that I use such things regularly for entry into confined spaces, urban and otherwise, in often inhospitable environments while sometimes hauling gear.

I got a blank stare before I bought a small piece of gear and left. Next time I will drive all the hour to MEC like I always have in the past.