127: steve kennedy, gearheads outdoor store

We love our customer base and it’s wide, it’s varied, it comes from all over, literally all over the planet. And we really feel strongly about providing excellent customer service…”

– Steve Kennedy

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Please note – this episode was recorded in early March 2020. Since the recording of this episode, the store has released the following information: they have shifted their water services to outside only and the station is sanitized in between each use. Their inventory is available online for shipping or pickup at store and customers are no longer admitted inside the store. Staff is located at the door for pick up and shopping needs. Credit cards and cash is being sanitized and disinfectant wipes are provided at the door. 

If you’ve been to Moab, Utah and haven’t stopped at GearHeads Outdoor Store, you cannot drive by next time. Over the past two decades, this family owned and operated store has become an absolute staple in the desert. They are your one stop shop for free filtered water, yes, read that again – free filtered water – hiking, biking, climbing and all other outdoor gear imaginable. 

One of GearHeads co-owners, Steve Kennedy, is my guest on this episode. We discuss the challenges he’s currently facing (and overcoming) as he and his team shift to a temporary location, he touches on the shifts in consumer preferences and their gear of choice, the recycling programs they have been able to implement and we discuss the winning of the inaugural SNEWS’ CoolShop Award. 

Not only did GearHeads win the first CoolShop award by a landslide (over 7,000 votes more than 2nd place), but Steve and his team also donated their $500 winnings to the Access Fund, a national advocacy organization with a focus on conserving and keeping U.S. climbing areas open.

Through the hiring of a strong and knowledgeable workforce and understanding their customer base and how their preferences can shift from season to season, GearHeads is proving to be one cool shop and a must stop of Moab!

GUEST PROFILES:

Steve Kennedy

Steve Kennedy is co-owner of GearHeads Outdoor Store located in Moab, Utah. He joined brothers Doug and Greg to be part of GearHeads in January 2009. They have been in business for over 22 years with a mission to provide high quality outdoor equipment, clothing, footwear and more while delivering world class customer service.

TOPICS COVERED:

Moab Tourism, GearHeads Store, Consumer Preferences, RV and Overlanding,  Moving Store Locations, SNEW CoolShop Award, Recyling, Plastic Impact Alliance, Access Fund

SELECT QUOTES:

“We love our customer base and it’s wide, it’s varied, it comes from all over, literally all over the planet. And we really feel strongly about providing excellent customer service. We’re really picky when we choose team members because we understand that they’re the ones that are really greeting our customers and talking to them and helping them find solutions for their activities here and making them feel at home and answering questions about where to go, what to do, where to hike, where to climb.”

“…And we got to thinking about it and thought it was a lot of people involved in sharing GearHeads story and voting and visiting us that we just thought, “Wouldn’t it be better to put this money towards good use?” And the Access Fund is a group we’ve donated in many different ways over the years and we’re always just thrilled to help them. They have great respect for the environment here. They help educate people and they work on trails and restrooms and a lot of stuff to help protect this fragile desert environment.”

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