The Importance of Independent Specialty Retail

My brother Andrew and I decided that we were going to venture out on Black Friday this year.  I was reluctant but I really wanted to show him my new client that I had been working with for the past year.  I was telling my brother of this amazing man who used to work at our favorite store:  Galyan’s.
What a moment it was to be talking about this man to my brother as though he is an historic legend in our minds.  As we approached my clients store I said to my brother someday you will get to meet him and it will be great.
Andrew                                 Terry
We walked in and who was at the front door…the legendary Terry Atwood.
Why is it so meaningful?  My brother and I grew up in the Midwest on a lake.  Waterskiing and fishing was our life during the summer, and now our childhood memories.  There was one place you would go to shop to get everything you needed for the summer:  Galyan’s. 
Galyan’s was a store unlike any outdoor store you have ever experienced.  It was going inside to experience outside.  Eventually, a major chain bought Galyan’s and the retail romance ended for my brother and I.  My brother even went to Galyan’s burial.  He watched as the original store was pummeled to the ground.
Until this very special Black Friday, Galyan’s was a special memory with a few treasured memorabilia tucked away to talk about with the grand kids.  Seeing Terry, introducing him to my brother was nothing more than SPECTACULAR!  Galyan’s memories quickly came back as a reality for a few moments.  My brother and I were able to celebrate our childhood memories and thank the man that had a hand in creating those memories for us.
Retail is not an easy business.  Owning an independent specialty store is even more of a challenge.  You get into it because you love the industry you are in whether it is cycling, snow, outdoors, fishing, or running, you want to share your passion with others.  Retail can consume your life and then the passion is gone.
Keep on!
Pat Galayn’s and Terry Atwood didn’t realize that in following their passion they were changing the life of my family forever.  Jim and Rhonda Hoyt didn’t know that by giving a bike to a single mom that this experience would start a career for Lance Armstrong.  Bob Kennedy didn’t know that selling a pair of running shoes to a High School student would save her life from obesity.
You are valued!  You are changing lives!  You are the Independent Specialty Retailer!

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