Why does the shop local movement matter?
Looking for a sterile, big-box store experience? Sorry, you won’t find that here. What you will find at Maine Sport Outfitters is a whole new world. Something special that most of the retail world is, unfortunately, drifting away from. A warm and inviting environment, our flagship store in Rockport, Maine feels more like a cozy up-north cabin rather than the cold cookie-cutter steel warehouse that most stores have become.
However, even though our physical building is incredible, our team members are the true heart of our brand. First, we are never commission based. We pride ourselves in “helping” not “selling.” Second, team members are carefully curated so that we are not just “associates” but rather “experts” in our respective departments. Third and most importantly, working at Maine Sport is not just a job. We are all unapologetically outdoor enthusiasts.
Start on the top floor and speak with Seth in our Fishing Department. With an unmatched wealth of fishing knowledge, Seth will help you with everything you need for a successful trip from matching flies with what is currently hatching to timing the tide for your best chance at a bite. How does he know so much? When the store closes, he’s also heading out to the water. Fishing is his daily activity, not just a hobby.
On the ground level, stop and speak with our Programs Director, Stephen. Here you will find all the resources you need for an unforgettable adventure whether you are looking for a guided mountain hike, sea kayaking trip, boat rental, or just a map and a few pointers. You see, when our team members leave after a day of helping you find your adventure, they don’t head home and flip on the TV. They go out and live the lifestyle that they promote all day long. Just look at our vehicles in the parking lot! You’ll see canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and bikes on the top of many of them. This isn’t a job. It’s a way of life.
Next, head down to our bike shop and speak with our Shop Manager, Colin, and you will really see what we mean. Colin is such a die-hard bicycle “Maineiac” that instead of owning a normal vehicle like most of us, he instead owns 7 unique bicycles that he rides year-round.
Spend some time visiting us and you will find dozens of more examples of how we live our passions each day both on and off the clock. Jeff, our hard-goods buyer, is constantly finding that next great camping spot. Kelly, our soft-goods buyer, is always dressed like she is in an outdoor industry fashion show. Kenny, our paddle sports expert, hosts kayak fishing tournaments on the weekend. We could go on and on, but instead, come and see for yourself!
We know what many of you are thinking. While supporting local businesses is great, chain big-box stores offer more selection at better prices. Right? Actually, no. This common misconception is easily debunked. You see, many of your favorite brands that we carry have strict guidelines telling us specifically what prices we can advertise their goods for. These guidelines are the same for the sterile big-box stores, so, our prices are typically the same. The only difference being that shopping locally helps strengthen your local economy and directly helps keep your friends, family, and neighbors employed, whereas shopping at big-box stores simply helps support minimum wage exploitation and Fortune 500 billionaires. Also, our inventory selection is not only impressive in terms of size but just like our team members, it’s carefully curated. Our expert buyers select only the top brands and products that we personally have used and have found the most value from.
We are excited that the Shop Local Movement is gaining traction and we hope that some of the information mentioned helps you understand the importance. We thank you for taking the time to read our blogs and we truly thank you for supporting not just Maine Sport Outfitters, but all local businesses.
Written by Joel Martin
Maine Sport Outfitters Marketing & Events Coordinator
Links and Sources: