oh man… it's just too hard to resist adding one more opinion to the mix, though i'll admit it is no less biased than any of those expressed above!
This thread has clearly become a soap-box for people to express their disappointment of all-things MEC related, and the new logo seems to have pulled the pin on a grenade of changed-based anxiety that has probably been building since whenever whomever is grieving signed up for their MEC membership to begin with. I guess i'll jump on the soap box for a minute...
MEC is not a perfect retailer (yes you can be a retailer AND a co-op), and like all imperfect retailers they struggle with things like assortment, inventory planning, seasonal change, etc etc etc. They assort the store differently at different times of the year based on what you, the co-op member, has indicated you want year-in year-out through your consumer habits (yes, you are a consumer!). If members showed consistently through the years that they're going to buy full-priced ski gear in February, then they would plan their inventory to serve the members in that way. But as a co-op who is trying to protect the best interests of their members, they know that no-one will be happy when they show a net loss on a bunch of excess ski equipment they need to sell off below cost because people weren't shelling-out at the end of the season… As members, we want them to be safe with their inventory - that's what allows them to keep the doors open (and in fact open new doors).
The subtleties of inventory management should not be underestimated: One week of abnormal weather (good or bad) can greatly swing sales in a category, and can contribute to low stock on this or that.
In response to some asinine comments above, here are a couple things i believe to be true:
- As a climber, MEC carries the largest assortment of gear around.
- As a skier, MEC carries the largest assortment of backcountry equipment around.
- MEC's hiking/trail/mountain footwear selection is on par with the largest around
- For all the completely ignorant goofs who somehow are under the impression that REI is a more authentic outdoor supplier than MEC… you HAVE to be kidding me!!!!!!
I've more-or less grown-up on MEC. My father still has catalogues at his place that date back to the late 70's or early 80's. All of my first outdoor gear came from there. Since sometime around 1990, my dad's been complaining about the demise of MEC, yet somehow they're still around providing a broader assortment in all the categories i like to participate in than anyone else. Point is, while it appears MEC has decided they need to broaden their reach to keep their core strong it doesn't mean they are going to stop carrying what you want to buy. It also doesn't mean you'll be able to find skin-wax in late February, but hey, the Save-on-foods near my house doesn't have Egg Nog in July or Pumkins in December either (ok ok, skin wax is probably more in-season in feb than my two examples…they should probably stock skin wax..).
Finally, the amount of self-righteousness and grossly hypocritical consumer behaviour expressed in this and other CT threads is ridiculous. The same people who complain are those who won't hesitate to nickel and dime MEC and mom and pop independents, with threats to take their consumer dollar south of the boarder through online shopping or driving to seattle to save $5. Also the same people who gloat when they abuse MEC's member guaranty by taking back 7 year old hiking boots because a stitch popped. What an entitled bunch we are.
If you care about local independent retailer, let your dollars talk and shop there. If you care about your co-op then let them know when you can't find what you want (they do track these requests) but direct your money there. If you care about yourself and your end-needs only, then shop around and go for the best deal out there (online or wherever) but at least own up to the fact that you're just another selfish consumer - not special in the least….