Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

No more REI Ice Axe?

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
 

No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby JHH60 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:56 am

Many of us probably know that the original REI branded product was an ice axe, from the early days of US climbing when there were no US-made axes available, and foreign made axes were ridiculously expensive. It's the reason that the handles of most REI stories are a wooden-handled ice axe encased in acrylic. My first ice axe was an REI Mountain Axe, which is basically a rebranded SMC Shuksan. Some of the REI-branded axes in stores in the last few years have been really nice looking - light, and well balanced. I just checked the REI website and noticed that there are no more REI-branded axes listed. Is this the final sign that they have moved from being a serious outdoors enthusiast/climber's company to being a mallwalking activewear brand? :(
User Avatar
JHH60

 
Posts: 1134
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: Belmont, California, United States
Thanked: 86 times in 72 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby Josh Lewis » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:09 am

Look at North Face, I used to think they were cool years ago until I started seeing kids wearing it to the mall. The same thing is happening with First Ascent. :? So it's what ever is in style and profitable. If people are not buying ice axes from REI, I don't expect them to stay on the market there. The only ice axe I've ever owned was a REI brand which I use to this day. 8)
My Websites: Alpine Josh · Alpine Ascent · AceMaps
User Avatar
Josh Lewis

 
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:12 pm
Location: Lynnwood, Washington, The Cloudiest Place on Earth, United States
Thanked: 437 times in 307 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby Gafoto » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:57 am

Josh Lewis wrote:The same thing is happening with First Ascent.

Like this was ever a surprise? They can't afford to market an entire line just to the mountaineering community. Eddie Bauer has always sold the First Ascent line in...malls.
User Avatar
Gafoto

 
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:08 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby JHH60 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:37 pm

The theory, with REI anyway, is that they're a co-op and are supposed to be focussing on supporting the outdoor community that patronizes them, vs. selling whatever is profitable. I guess those who patronize them are changing. Or maybe management is focussing on getting bigger paychecks through catering to a different member base. Too bad, because REI has had some decent gear with their brand on it in the past (their ice axe, Flash 30 pack, various clothing articles, etc. come to mind) and their return policy makes it a great place to buy stuff.
User Avatar
JHH60

 
Posts: 1134
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: Belmont, California, United States
Thanked: 86 times in 72 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby chugach mtn boy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:58 pm

The big change seemed to happen when REI hired the merchandising head from Sears to be their president. After that, you stopped seeing things like a page in their own catalog reporting a product test in which a tent they were selling turned out not to be able to stand up in a wind, or in which some boots they were selling turned out to fall apart twice as fast as another brand! It all shifted over to happy talk and pretty models to put the customer in a buying mood.

I know, I know, that was a looooong time ago. Before some of you were born!
User Avatar
chugach mtn boy

 
Posts: 884
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:54 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Thanked: 180 times in 108 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby Alex Wood » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:33 am

Josh Lewis wrote:Look at North Face, I used to think they were cool years ago until I started seeing kids wearing it to the mall. The same thing is happening with First Ascent. :? So it's what ever is in style and profitable. If people are not buying ice axes from REI, I don't expect them to stay on the market there. The only ice axe I've ever owned was a REI brand which I use to this day. 8)


I used to always think this too, but if the gear works, then it works. Just stay away from the malls ;)
User Avatar
Alex Wood

 
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 11:45 pm
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 18 times in 14 posts

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby DukeJH » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:31 am

But my nearest REI is at the mall...
User Avatar
DukeJH

 
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2002 11:12 am
Location: Huntington Beach, California, United States
Thanked: 22 times in 18 posts

The following user would like to thank DukeJH for this post
Alex Wood

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby lcarreau » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:06 am

Alex Wood wrote:
I used to always think this too, but if the gear works, then it works. Just stay away from the malls ;)


Image
User Avatar
lcarreau

 
Posts: 4037
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Court of the Crimson King, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 814 times in 614 posts

The following user would like to thank lcarreau for this post
Josh Lewis

Re: No more REI Ice Axe?

Postby Josh Lewis » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:38 am

DukeJH wrote:But my nearest REI is at the mall...

Same here. :? It's is pretty much the only reason I would ever go. And maybe to see a movie once a year if there is a good one out. 8)
My Websites: Alpine Josh · Alpine Ascent · AceMaps
User Avatar
Josh Lewis

 
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:12 pm
Location: Lynnwood, Washington, The Cloudiest Place on Earth, United States
Thanked: 437 times in 307 posts


Return to Gear

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.