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Outside Business Journal

Innovation Project: Backcountry North

To Backcountry North, customers are more than customers. Owner Tracy Mayer considers them family.

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If Backcountry North’s Tracy Mayer has anything to say about it, brick and mortar specialty retail isn’t going anywhere.

“Part of the fun and the experience of that travel or adventure or trip is coming into a brick and mortar store,” Mayer says. “Brick and mortar will always exist if it’s done well.”

For the last 40 years, Backcountry North has been a Michigan staple, in part due to a strong connection with their customers. According to Mayer, a relationship that works both ways is key. “Our staff…know our customers very well,” she says, and in-turn, their customers know and trust store employees.

One example: Backcountry North invites returning adventurers to give slideshows and presentations about their travels in the shop’s small theatre. “Our customers are part of our larger family,” Mayer says.

Innovation project sponsored by Marmot

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