For over 32 years Jans has prided itself on sharing expert knowledge with every customer who walks into our stores. The goal is to help people have a great experience outdoors – whether fly fishing, skiing, biking, climbing or hiking. And, perhaps most importantly, we strive to treat each customer as if they were guests in our home.
According to Outdoor USA Magazine, we’ve accomplished that goal. The current issue recognizes the Top 100 independent outdoor specialty retail businesses across the country and Jans was named to this exclusive group. “An investment in employees and an investment in the community is what made Jans stand out,” says Megan Glenn, Editor of Outdoor USA Magazine. “They are doing work to foster getting people outdoors with community – style events for new recruits and lovers of outdoor adventures.”
What Does it Mean to Be a Top 100 Retailer?
The idea of the Top 100 was the brainchild of Raimondo Forlin and his staff at Outdoor USA Magazine, a trade publication for outdoor and active lifestyle businesses. “This was the first year of the ranking and the drive was to push the idea of specialty retail, smaller and independent stores, because they play such a role in the community,” says Forlin, the magazine’s publisher.
Since Outdoor USA Magazine prides itself on focusing on “shop local,” it made sense for them to create this annual ranking. “We wanted to highlight how specialty retailers work every day to promote the outdoor values and build healthy communities,” says Forlin. “Some think of the industry as the brands, but we believe it is the daily work of the employees in the store, promoting ideas and healthy attitudes towards life that builds outdoor communities.”
For Jans, that means that the numerous events that we provide free-of-charge to the Park City community and our customers are paying off. Whether it is the casting lessons at the Deer Valley ponds, our summer trail runs and weekly bike rides or Nordic wax clinics, all of these events help get more people exposed to the outdoors.
Another reason that Jans was selected was the commitment to our staff. Not only have our stores been around for a long time, but many of our team members, such as Fran Meehan and George Sideris have worked for Jans since the first store opened its doors.
“Maintaining and training people, rather than the constant turnover of chain stores, is unique to specialty retailers,” says Glenn. The fact that Jans consistently employs and retains industry experts is what makes us unique in the industry.
How Were the Top 100 Stores Selected?
To be considered, stores had to fit within the definition of an independent outdoor specialty retailer. This was defined by Outdoor USA Magazine as, “a retail organization that primarily serves outdoor and active lifestyle enthusiasts and does not exceed 20 stores in its operations.”
Nearly 400 retailers, nominated by leading industry brands, were considered for the honor. The criteria used to narrow down the field included things like customer service, creativity, marketing strategies and community involvement.
How Does Being a Top 100 Retailer Benefit Jans’ Customers?
So what does all of this mean to our customers? First, it shows that Jans is “a part of the local community and is interacting on a much deeper level,” says Glenn. This is consistent with our commitment to give back to Park City through the annual Jans Winter Welcome which raises funds for local youth to get involved in 13 different winter sports.
It also means that we focus on really getting to know our customers and then sharing our expertise with them. We remember them when they walk in the door and try to help them find the right product to enjoy whatever outdoor activity they are pursuing. Glenn agrees, “Being a top retailer means you are dedicated to customers and not just as future profits. You are dedicated to them as people, and are committed to finding the product that is right for them.”
Liz Yokubison, Senior Editor