Wild Rock Is Getting A Facelift

Renovations are well underway on the building that Wild Rock is in at 169 Charlotte Street as they add some beautiful stonework to their facade.

This downtown stalwart remains open during construction, and will look even sharper when it's complete.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Grand Opening of Harold Town Conservation Is Saturday

The Harold Town Conservation (see Peterborough Now Has a Mountain Bike Destination) at 2611 Old Norwood Road is celebrating their Grand Opening on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wild Rock Outfitters will be on hand with Specialized and Trek bikes during the bicycle demo day (bring your helmet and cycling shoes).

The Otonabee Conservation will also be there to celebrate International Trails Week and the Grand Opening at 12:30.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Wild Rock Spring 2014 Gear and Bike Swap Is This Saturday

Wild Rock Outfitters (169 Charlotte Street) is hosting their annual Gear and Bike Swap on Saturday, April 12th at 10 a.m. Bring in your gear before the 11th and if it sells, you can get 100% store credit, or 80% cash.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Local Gift Under $25 For The Cyclist

WildRockGifts2013.jpg

Stumped as to what to buy this year? Here are two local gifts under $25 for the Cyclist. Stop in at Wild Rock (located at 169 Charlotte Street) and pick up the Torch Bright Flex LED Light, which is easy to attach to the front and back of your bike to make sure others around you are aware of your presence. Be sure to pick up a container of Sports Balm, which will make for a much more comfortable ride for those that spend a fair bit of time in the saddle.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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PTBOPics: Wild Rock Annual Women's Night

Women with a passion for cycling and the outdoors gathered at Wild Rock Sunday night for their annual women's night, which was catered by Brio Gusto. Here's some pictures we snapped...

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Julie Morris]

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PTBOCanada Q&A With The Founders Of Wild Rock Celebrating 20 Years in Peterborough

Wild Rock Outfitters in Peterborough is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this week. We had a chance to chat with owners Kieran Andrews and Scott Murison to look at their past, present and future in town.

PTBOCanada: Tell us how things have changed over the last 20 years in business.

Scott: In the past, the outdoors would have been considered a niche or fringe market. Anything to do with the outdoors would have been considered to be an 'extreme' sport. Even camping and hiking were really rugged and 'out there' kinds of concepts. Now, it has become more mainstream. We have more parks and they are more accessible, which means people are doing more day trips.

When you think of someone being more 'active', you no longer think of them hanging by their fingernails off a cliff, but rather canoeing, kayaking, or being out on bikes with their family in a park. Wild Rock has followed that to some extent. If you want to go to Everest, we can get you there, which may have been the dreams of people 15 years ago. Presently, our customers dream of having a really great weekend or after-work experience. The thought of a few hours of mountain biking or going for a trail run is what gets people through the day.

Cover of the July 1997 issue of Business Advantage

Kieran: Neither one of us feel like we're 'done' yet. We both really enjoy the core of what we do. We used to deal with small independent businesses, but now everyone we do business with are large publicly traded companies. We've learned to navigate that and continue to change; it hasn't phased us. We're committed to this and proud what we do.

Wild Rock started as a five year project. We were only 24 when we opened Wild Rock, and it wasn't a time when we were thinking of permanence. At that time, we weren't thinking about what to do with the rest of our lives—we just borrowed what money we could to start the business. It was an amount that if our 'five year project' failed, we could go back to the lives we were living before and pay off that amount. As the end of that period came up, our first loans were paid off, and the question came up, 'What do we want now? What's next?' So we decided to extend our project by taking a 10 year mortgage for the building, which started the process all over again. Now in turn we're renovating it, so the threshold keeps getting pushed out. 

PTBOCanada: We really like how you nurture local clubs such as the Peterborough Cycling Club and the Peterborough Paddling Club. Tell us about that.

Kieran: There are a couple of reasons for that. We tend to grow and support infrastructure in the community. If there is a really good strong cycling community in Peterborough, that's just a healthy thing but we don't feel we need to be running every one of those things. If someone doesn't like shopping in our store, they should still be able to ride with the cycling community—and the cycling community would be better for that. Wild Rock tries to support those clubs so that they are self-supporting and independent, which will be better for us in the long run.

Scott: Outdoor Clubs attendance is up, such as in jackrabbit ski clubs. The Peterborough Cycling Club is the largest cycling club in Canada per capita. Members are out numerous times a week.

PTBOCanada: How much has retail changed for you over the years?

Scott: The industry has become a lot more competitive with the advent of the internet which allows you to shop from your armchair. Some people are much more price savvy, so we just have to learn how to meet that.

PTBOCanada: What prompted the move from your original location to the present one?

Scott: Two things. First, our business was growing. Second, it was the first wave of corporations getting into the outdoor business. Hiker's Haven was bought by a Dutch company and they were going to open something like 37 stores across Canada. Craig's Coast Mountain was purchased in B.C. by the Forzani group, and were going to open 75 across the country. We decided it was time to increase the size of our store to somewhat block that.

PTBOCanada: At one point recently, you were considering moving to the vacant Peterborough Co-Op building on Lansdowne Street. In the end, you decided to stay put. Why was that?

Scott: It was a beautiful building and exactly what we would have wanted. Tons of space. From a business sense it would have done well, but not from a holistic sense. Our employees wouldn't have wanted to work there. I live downtown, I want to work downtown and I can ride my bike. In the end, we decided to stay here.

Kieran: The only reason to even consider the move was that the building was so fantastic. Without question, we would have been more successful out there but at the end of the day, that's not always the most important thing. The choice to work downtown is as much about living downtown. Pretty much all of the staff ride their bikes or walk to work. It's pretty much something I believe in from a quality of life standpoint. I can go for a week at a time and never have to get in my car.

 

PTBOCanada: So we see you are starting to utilize more of the current building. Things such as the new sale room downstairs and the Canoe/Kayak/SUP building out back. Tell us about that.

Kieran: It's been an ongoing project. We've been working on the building to get more out of it pretty much since we moved in to it. From a sales standpoint, we're probably triple what we were at when we moved in. That is like a house you buy as a couple when you get married, but then you have four kids and you are still in the same two bedroom house [laughs]. Instead of changing homes, we keep changing the home to make it work for the family.  

Scott: We're proud of how the post and beam construction is coming along on the new addition, which should be complete by Spring 2013. The building itself has been around since 1929 (it was once an A&P Grocery Store).

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Click here to view Wild Rock's website.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Wild Rock 2012 Ski & Snowboard Gear Swap

Wild Rock has rolled out their large ski selection, including clothing, boots and more from Salomon, Swix, Fischer, Madshus and more. If you bring your skis in before the end of this month, you will save on waxing, hot boxing, stone grinds and performance ski tuning.

There will also be a ski and snowboard gear swap on Saturday, November 3rd at 10 a.m. While you are there, don't forget to pick up your tickets for the Banff Mountain Film Festival on January 17th and 18th.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Wild Rock Outfitters Installs iPad Kiosks In The Store

Wld Rock's Scott Murison We stopped in recently to chat with Wild Rock Outfitters co-owner Scott Murison about the new iPad kiosks that they have installed in the store. Here's what he had to say about why they made this decision and how they can match prices now with the competition...

Scott: "At Wild Rock, we used to have to open up catalogues and show people items, but no one does that anymore. Now customers come in knowing the product line from the website, which can be difficult because if we go to order an item, we need to know the product code. Now with the iPad kiosks, it makes it much easier."

Scott: "There are company quick links along the bottom of the screen such as Patagonia, The North Face, Lole, Canada Goose, Icebreaker and Arc'teryx, plus you can browse the Wild Rock website. The other issue is that a customer could come into the store and scan the barcode with their smartphone and then shop elsewhere for the cheaper price. We want to nip that in the bud and have a chance to match the price and then you can have the item at the price instantaneously. There are stores out there that are banning cellphones to try and dissuade this. We're finding a lot of the Canada Goose clothing is not authentic and actually a knock-off. So when a customer comes in and mentions that they can get a jacket cheaper, we can go to the iPads and have the customer show us where they found the price in question. It will help to clear up any misconceptions."

There are three iPads set up around the store to help you learn more about the brands. One is in the Sportswear & Footwear department, one is in the Bikes & Nordic section, and another is in Camping & Paddling—which in the Winter switches to Snowboarding.


Drop in and try them out, and also have a chance to win a prize as each iPad kiosk has a contest to win a separate piece of outdoors gear.

Wild Rock Outfitters is located at 169 Charlotte Street in Peterborough and you can follow them on TwitterFacebook and on their website.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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PtboPics: Mountain Bike Movie Premiere "Strength In Numbers" At Splice

 The Mountain Bike movie by Anthill Films, Strength In Numbers, premiered in Peterborough on Saturday night at Splice to an enthusiastic crowd.

 

Numerous models of Trek Bikes were on display from Wild Rock, and be sure to drop in there to learn more about which line suits your riding style.

Mike Watt, owner of The Plush Boutique, was on hand to show off the new line of Levi's 511 Commuter Line which are perfect for cyclists. Water resistant, 3M Reflective Tape on the interior cuffs, and pockets with features galore sure show Levi's dedication at gearing this to cyclists.

For more about the event, see outdoors blog Trail Swag and also learn about Peterborough's new Mountain Bike destination Harrold Town.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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PtboPics & Coverage: Women's Only Event At Wild Rock

On Sunday evening, Wild Rock hosted a special Women's Only event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The first 50 women who had RSVP-ed for the event were welcomed with a bag of goodies as they arrived, including a travel mug from Marmot, a 3-visit pass to Goodlife and an assortment of other items. There were also door prizes and contests to enter for some fabulous prize packs. The place was bustling as women networked and chatted as they sipped wine and sampled horderves. It was a great evening, and one that I'm sure will become an annual event.

 

 

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Julie Morris]

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