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Ten Years Old!Ten years ago, in a dark and smoky pub down a Sheffield backstreet, the germ of an idea that grew to become Ultimate Outdoors was born.
A Motley crew of outdoor enthusiasts, sharing a few pints of Wards Bitter (remember that?) after a days work in the local outdoor shop, set about putting the world to right. They began by listing all the things that they thought would make the Ultimate Outdoor shop.
The list went something like:
Friendly staff who know their stuff, but didn't have the arrogant attitude found in many climbing shops of the day.
A range of products that satisifed the needs of all outdoor people, from bikers to ramblers, climbers to campers.
Top quality stock only, to avoid the disappointment witnessed when people bought cheap rubbish. The top quality stuff should be sold at as competive a price as possible, to bring it within more people's reach.
Staff who love the outdoors, who get outdoors for work and play, so they can share their experience with customers.
Once the hangover had worn off, one of those outdoor enthusiasts remembered the conversation, wrote out the ultimate outdoors philosophy*, and with the help of his family bought a little outdoor shop operating out of a converted terraced house. The rest has been a bit of a blur, but highlights include:
Getting all the staff to Chamonix for our first overseas training trip.
Winning National Outdoor Retailer of the Year.
Managing to avoid redundancies during the Foot and Mouth Outbreak. (see below)
Low points include:
Foot and Mouth resulting in a 75% decrease in trade, when we had just bought our biggest shop.
Throwing up in the North Face Rep's new company car, after a night of post training boozing!
Spending more time in the office than on the hill.
Has it really been ten years? Here's to the next ten!
* the ultimate outdoors philosophy is 'we believe all outdoor enthusiasts should be offered practical, honest advice about top quality, value for money product, backed up with first rate service and customer care. This should take place in a friendly and inspirational environment.'
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