MEC revealed they are losing a ton of money and people aren't surprised
Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest outdoor gear retailer, has been losing a lot of money in light of slow sales, inventory backups, supply chain problems and ever-increasing online competition.
The outdoor recreation gear and clothing retailer lost $11.487 million last year on sales of $462 million, according to financial statements audited by KPMG and posted on MEC's website.
MEC CEO Philippe Arrata told CBC News in a statement that an increase in competition hasn't helped them.
"The sales growth hasn't materialized, as we've seen increased competition by traditional big-box players and emerging e-commerce players," Arrata said in the statement to CBC about the recreation equipment giant's financial challenges.
MEC started out in Vancouver in 1971, and has since expanded to 20 different cities across Canada. It refers to itself as Canada's largest supplier of outdoor clothing and recreation gear and has a reputation for a commitment to environmental protection.
The news of their financial loss hasn't really come as a surprise to a lot of Canadians.
Not surprising. Their MEC brand equipment used to be amazing, and then the quality diminished. That’s when we stopped shopping there. We’ve made two purchases at MEC in the last decade. It used to be multiple times a year. They lost focus of their core values.— Debra (@debramhunter) November 29, 2019
Most people are saying that the brand has become way too expensive, and even still their quality is suffering.
Used to buy quite a bit of @mec branded gear & clothes. Stopped when they started carrying more 'lifestyle' products and $$$ brands as selection of MEC items (and the quality) decreased. I don't go to MEC to buy $60 name brand shorts I can get anywhere else🤷♂️#BringBackTheMountain— Mike LastName (@hammertotz) November 29, 2019
Others took to Twitter to comment on how the co-op's values have changed, suggesting that's why business is failing.
Not surprised, they focused on the market of running and biking instead of wilderness activities. They didn't do enough to engage youth, women or POCs. I hope the pivot effectively.— Stronks (@Stronks2) November 28, 2019
MEC used to be in a #yyc basement with passionate staff. Why not return to your roots? @mec
Others think that the company's time has come and gone, and you're better off searching for their products at the thrift store.
The best mec products are now found at Value Village and in thrift stores. They are a great example of a brand that lost it’s identity to expansion and greed.— Jon Brown (@jon_brown_) November 29, 2019
But not all comments about the news were negative. Some are hoping MEC's business can still be saved.
We .. love shopping at Mountain Equipment Co-op. A hard location for outdoor gear is better than buying gear on-line.— richard kinar (@Rki009) November 28, 2019
Going to spend more Christmas money at the Co-op hope it helps them.
Hopefully the retailer is able to turn things around for it's too late.
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