New posts

MEC in recievership

Sept. 15, 2020, 12:23 a.m.
Posts: 75
Joined: Aug. 11, 2015

Posted by: Poz

They stopped being a real coop a long time ago and it always rubbed me wrong they were still benefiting tax wise from that status when in reality they were anything but.

This totally. I know a good few bikers who went there for tires. They were hosing bike shops on that score.

Sept. 15, 2020, 9:04 a.m.
Posts: 10871
Joined: June 29, 2006

Posted by: PaulB

The mid-90s were definitely peak MEC... loved getting those dividend cheques to spend on even more gear! Their Serratus house brand packs were pretty good, and a lot of stuff was still made in Canada. As a climber, it was like a candy store, you could not get better prices anywhere. My commuting backpack is a 25 year old MEC brand one which seems to be indestructible.

Depending on how it plays out, this is potentially a huge opportunity for local shops to further fill niche markets and leave the trendy stuff to Forzani.

My 25 year old Serratus pack is still kicking and in pretty good shape I am told.  I lent it to a buddy about 10 years ago and he still uses it.  :)

I never made any conscious decisions to go to MEC less, but it always seemed that when I did pop in and browse I wouldn't usually buy anything.  I can buy name brand bike shorts from an LBS.

Sept. 15, 2020, 7:26 p.m.
Posts: 4770
Joined: July 9, 2004

Ya that 90s early 2000s house brand stuff doesn’t die. I’ve got a tent, sleeping bag, a couple duffles, and shorts. All of them just don’t die.

Sept. 15, 2020, 8:07 p.m.
Posts: 625
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

One of the original founders was interviewed on CBC radio today and asked about the failure. She basically echoed everything said here.

Sept. 15, 2020, 8:36 p.m.
Posts: 1668
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

What gets me is they get the tax breaks yet nothing is cheaper in price like it used to be. 

Too bad I really liked the vibe in the old location on main before they moved.

Sept. 15, 2020, 9:05 p.m.
Posts: 625
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

They poured all that money into expansion and poof!

Sept. 15, 2020, 10:51 p.m.
Posts: 33445
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

At least they got the new Broadway store built.

Sept. 16, 2020, 12:25 a.m.
Posts: 1148
Joined: March 18, 2017

Why are people so emotionally attached to paying more for items one can purchase from any other online retailer for less?

Sept. 16, 2020, 7:44 a.m.
Posts: 1564
Joined: April 25, 2003

Because it used to be something special.  Friends of my folks used to work there, sewing tents and going on adventures together.  When I was a kid they were the only place to get a lot of the stuff they had - I took a couple trips in high school to buy climbing gear and hit the indoor gyms as some of my first little roadies in my own. 

For the last few years I’ve come to believe that they were ripping the taxpayer off as they’re just like any other store.

Sept. 16, 2020, 9:35 a.m.
Posts: 151
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Endur-Bro

Why are people so emotionally attached to paying more for items one can purchase from any other online retailer for less?

Because much of the profit was used for positive environmental projects. 

The NSMBA would not be where it is today without grants and sponsorship from MEC. MEC grants were used to springboard from struggling volunteer board to paid administration staff. It seems small but it's a quantum leap in capacity.

Sept. 16, 2020, 2:37 p.m.
Posts: 1575
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

For anyone who lived outside a major city, the MEC catalogue and mail/phone ordering was the enabler of many adventures. I can still remember my credit card number from 30 years ago from reciting it to customer service so many times ordering climbing gear that I otherwise would have had to drive 10 hours to buy in person.  Eventually going to an MEC store was almost like a pilgramage.

I think there are a lot of people in the 40+ demographic for whom MEC was a major part of their outdoor experience. It's dissapointing that they self-destructed in pursuit of pointless growth. They probably could have stayed at four or five stores, plus online shopping, and been profitable for decades.


 Last edited by: PaulB on Sept. 16, 2020, 2:41 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Sept. 16, 2020, 5:04 p.m.
Posts: 2480
Joined: May 23, 2006

What did building those two structures on 2nd ave have to do w/this?

I joined MEC when it was in the quonset hut on 4th.

https://www.change.org/p/members-of-mec-anyone-who-has-purchased-anything-from-mec-save-mec?


 Last edited by: tungsten on Sept. 16, 2020, 5:06 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Sept. 16, 2020, 6:27 p.m.
Posts: 625
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: earleb

Posted by: Endur-Bro

Why are people so emotionally attached to paying more for items one can purchase from any other online retailer for less?

Because much of the profit was used for positive environmental projects. 

The NSMBA would not be where it is today without grants and sponsorship from MEC. MEC grants were used to springboard from struggling volunteer board to paid administration staff. It seems small but it's a quantum leap in capacity.

Love this post for the obvious but also how it speaks to why the philosophy of organizations like MEC are important

Sept. 17, 2020, 1:38 p.m.
Posts: 14616
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I had outdoor buds in the Okanagan who would describe the location of any thing in Vancover by its relationship/ proximity to MEC

probably the glory years were on 6th when Taiga works was across the p-lot

The early Coop members were UBC Varsity outdoor club types who would now be 65-70ish

I wonder if maybe what MEC had become was a symptom of what the world has become,

I mean whom would start an MEC today ?


 Last edited by: XXX_er on Sept. 17, 2020, 1:59 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Sept. 17, 2020, 2:46 p.m.
Posts: 1028
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Posted by: XXX_er

I wonder if maybe what MEC had become was a symptom of what the world has become,

I mean whom would start an MEC today ?

I think that's an important point... brick and mortar shopping has obviously taken a huge hit in the last 10 years with the rise of online shopping, and MEC is basically just like a cooler version of a department store. I'd imagine that pretty much all department stores are in financial trouble (or at least close to it) these days.

Forum jump: