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Are pro programs a legitimate perk for industry professionals or a discount sales channel run amok? Some insiders are calling the whole scene a complete farce. Here's why.

The Pledge, announced to a packed house at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, was intended to bring the industry together, but ignited a wave of skepticism and criticism instead

As gear companies increase their direct-to-consumer sales, “pro deals” and “friends and family" promotions, retailers protest that they can’t compete. They’re being undercut and left holding the bag on inventory they can’t possibly sell at the same discounts. Todd Frank, owner of The Trail Head, an independent Missoula, Montana-based specialty outdoor retailer, says enough is enough. If vendors continue to offer these discounts and lure his customers away, he’ll stop doing business with them—and he calls on other retailers to join him.