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Southern Ont. Geocaching Store


Dennisfauchez

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Consider this a marketing survey.

The idea has been thrown around of someone in the Niagara Region oppening an outdoor store with a section devoted entirely to Geocaching accessories.

The store would have items such as GPSr's, tents, bags, pouches, most likely cache containers, Groundspeak items, first aid kits, outdoor doo-dads, camping supplies, and so on...

 

Just about anything you could want for Geocaching and the general outdoors experience.

 

The thing is that this sort of store would be costly like any other small business, and there would have to be a good demand for it to survive. So the question here is simple; Is there a great interest in this sort of business in the Niagara Region, keeping in mind that the store would likely be opened somewhere in the North of Welland or in the Fonthill,Pelham area. (The Sumerlea/Kunda park area for those who know their maps well)

 

This wouldn't be a question of "would you come and visit some time" this would be a need for a regular supply of people, so even if you are not from this area (Niagara) would you come down from where-ever you ARE from to visit?

 

P.S. Their would likely be an online store with this oppening.

 

Thanks,

Dennisfauchez :(

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This wouldn't be a question of "would you come and visit some time" this would be a need for a regular supply of people
Hmmmm.....I'd buy a few travel bug tags every few years maybe a GPS when a decide to upgrade, etc but it's not going to be a very steady business IMHO. I can't think of anything I use for gc'ing that I'd buy regularily. It's not like when I go camping I always need food, when I go GC'ing I always have what I need (few trade items and my GPS).
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I think you'd need to incorporate other hobbies to make this work. Think metal detecting, rock climbing & roping, caving, snowshoeing and hiking. I don't know if Welland is the best area for this either. I'd guess you'd have better luck in Niagara Falls because the traffic and attractions are greater - although anywhere on the QEW would likely be good.

 

Cheers!

C-A

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Well, I have to say that while I personally applaud anyone opening ANY retail business, just for having the courage and conviction to do so, if it were a friend who were asking for my counsel, I would advise against it, as described. As some others have noted, you might have a little better chance in Niagara Falls or St. Catharines, though I'm not sure what outdoor stores already exist there.

 

I could definitely not commit to being a loyal customer, since there is just so much close at hand, in my area and I don't see how you could hope to compete. Aside from the likes of GPSCentral, GPSCity and RadioWorld, which are literally at our fingertips and always competing to have the lowest price, you would be up against the retail giants, like Canadian Tire, Futureshop, WalMart, etc. Add to that some very good local outdoor stores, such as Hiker's Haven, Tumblehome, Adventure Attic, Canadian Outback and who knows how many more. If we want convenience, we already have it. If we want sale prices, we already have it. If we want higher quality and more informed sales people, we already have it.

 

If you try it, I certainly wish you well, and I'm sure I would make a trip down once, just to support a fellow cacher, but you should have the real facts, so I'm not trying to be negative, but realistic. :blink:

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:) Thanks for the feedback guys, and by all means keep it comming. This is exactly the constructive critism that I had expected. And just to note on what has been mentionned already; Their would likely be other sports/leisure activities tied in. Things like fishing and snowmobiling are somewhat big in the region, and with the escarpement nearby their are quite a few people interested in rockclimbing... we have the lakes to give us beaches for the metal detectiting...we have the backwoods to give us hunting seasons...and so on...

 

So in short I would agree, but note that it mentionned a section devoted to geocaching. Not that the whole thing would be a Geo-outlet. And of course theirs the issues of the Retail Giants and the serious compitition from them, aswell as from the dot com universe. Though I don't think their are any real outdoor stores this side of lake ont., except the one in St Catherines (Outdoor Oriented I believe) and a few fishing stops in Port Colborn...

 

Keep the comments comming :blink:

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Well I would have to agree with Coupar Angus on this one. An extensive amount of inventory across a broad spectrum would be needed. That said, the only store I'm aware of in the Niagara region is the one Dennis mentioned "Outdoors Oriented" and I know they don't carry GPSr's because of the Wal-Mart/ Canadian Tire and online retailers.

 

I really doubt that Pro Bass Shop is any direct competition due to it being in North Toronto. A local and well diversified store for camping, hunting , hiking and outdoor sports like rock climbing, ice fishing, archery, and other such ideas could do well if it was located like someone suggested along the QEW by Thorold Stone rd. but again, it would require considerable floor space, inventory and financial backing to get properly established.

 

I would strongly recommend reading several books on forming a business plan before considering this venture.

 

One thingAlgonquin Bound said that I firmly agree with.... I give anyone credit that tries to make a go of a business, I'd love to but I can't bring myself to do it.

 

B) The Blue Quasar

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I don’t live near the Niagara Peninsula but I am in the area several times a year. I have to agree with the previous posts that you would need to diversify but an “outdoor store” with Geocaching goods would definitely be something I would check-out. If the prices could be kept competitive, so much the better.

 

Having it near the QEW by Thorold Stone Rd., as was suggested, would be perfect for me. B)

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Here is what you would be competing with  Bass Pro Shop

For those in Ontario who haven't been.. it is something to see!! :rolleyes:

140,000 square feet of nothing but outdoor stuff.

And for the shoppers in the family,  its part of the second largest mall in Canada!!

Thanks for the link to Bass Pro Outdoor Shop. We're definitely going to check out this mega outdoor store with the timberland theme.

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Thanks for the link to Bass Pro Outdoor Shop. We're definitely going to check out this mega outdoor store with the timberland theme.

 

Don't get too excited about the store. I was in there a few weeks ago and although the selection is excellent the prices seemed to be about 15% greater than elsewhere (sometimes more - check out their GPS units to confirm). The entire Vaughn Mills shopping mall is tuned for a certain amount of snob-appeal, in my opinion, and I left without buying anything.

 

C-A

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If you try it, I certainly wish you well, and I'm sure I would make a trip down once, just to support a fellow cacher, but you should have the real facts, so I'm not trying to be negative, but realistic.

 

My sentiments exactly - Although I live 200 km NE of you, near 'Da big Park', I travel your way on ocassion, and would go out of my way to patronize a GCer. :rolleyes:

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