Sunrise Mountain Sports, Livermore Closing, RIP

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ec

climber
ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 18, 2017 - 09:57am PT
Sunrise Mountain Sports (aka Mountaineering), Closing :(

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 18, 2017 - 10:08am PT
yes, I read this in the Independent yesterday... truly the end of an era.

But not entirely unexpected as Kim had been talking about moving on for quite some time.

Still a loss to the climbing community (such as it is).
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Aug 18, 2017 - 10:12am PT
I heard about that. Sad day.

I've spent my professional life involved with retail. The changes in my lifetime have been quite remarkable. The loss of the old school local retailers saddens me. The rise of chain retail coupled with internet connectivity spelled their doom.

There is cause for optimism imo, despite these trends toward, um, Amazonia, the One Retail to Rule Them All.

If we look at apparel / fashion retail, and outdoor sports retailers carry a good share of these types of products (think Patagonia, for example), there is a huge culture of startups and what I call New-Old ideas. You probably see ads for 'the better mousetrap' on Facebook like I do.

Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't start a new company on the Startup's Founder's premise - "I couldn't find a (hat, belt, underwear, socks, shirt, jacket, pack, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc) that performed the way I wanted it. There has to be a better way, I cried! And so we re-imagined the better (hat, belt, underwear, socks, shirt, jacket, pack, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc). It worked so well we decided to form a company and bring our idea to the world."

A story as old as Donini's underwear (and more full of, holes), I know. But there are dozens upon dozens of them starting every year, often by millennials and Gen Zees. Their new companies don't follow the structure of the retail I grew up with, and yet, they do. They just do it wired from the start for global supply chains, 3rd party warehouse companies, overnight shipping, eComm and retail locations both.

A lot of these startups are run by very small crews, 10-20 people. Some of them will make it big time. And lot of them will likely fail. But I think the cool thing is the entrepreneurial spirit is as strong as ever. Sure the rules have changed since the early days of Sunrise Mountaineering, Marmot, et al. But the fundamentals of retail have not.

I was in an REI the other day.... I don't even recognize them anymore. I'm telling you, there are opportunities aplenty to knock them off their pedestal. But it won't be done with the old model, by old people :)

It will be done by kids, who aren't content to shop the last big box outdoor retailers, and start their own. Even here on ST we see this spirit, like the chalk bag guy up in Montana who is now expanding into packs.

Its kind of exciting, in a business sense, what is going on right now.

EC, Sunrise was part of my climbing life. You made it that way. You looked your customers in the eye, and when we talked to you, we knew we were talking to someone who walked the walk.

Thank you Sunrise Mountaineering. Thank you EC.

DMT
Vlad Pricker

Mountain climber
The cliffs of insanitty
Aug 18, 2017 - 10:19am PT
Never climbed with Kim, but spoke with him a lot. Rob Grandfield and I climbed Orizaba and Popo.

Best wishes to Kim, Rob and all.

Rob Grandfield, next to Vlad the Paddy lad. Orizaba 1985 &#40;Photo by...
Rob Grandfield, next to Vlad the Paddy lad. Orizaba 1985 (Photo by ?, credit by Patrick)
Credit: Vlad Pricker

You know, I still have that blue Helly Hansen fleece but the yellow pants are history.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Aug 18, 2017 - 10:41am PT
Sad Times!! Went to some Great Slide Shows when EC Joe worked there. Met Warren Harding, John Bachar and many more climbers that were inspirations! I guess its the big box for the masses stores now or online. Glad I got to go when I did.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 18, 2017 - 11:01am PT
Brick and mortar retail stores, especially the small, independent ones, will continue to fall by the wayside like telephone booths and film cameras. How many times do we mourn the end of an era? But that also implies the start of an era...and so it goes. The only thing that will never change is the fact that their will be change.
jeff_scott

Trad climber
Lodi
Aug 18, 2017 - 11:22am PT
Bummer.......Ben shopping there for 30+ years......
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Aug 18, 2017 - 01:33pm PT
I met Kim through Steve Howard when Livermore Cyclery shared a building with, then, Sunrise Moutaineering. Kim, Rob and I had a memorable trip to Valdez to go ice climbing way back during the first Gulf War. Those two were motivated to climb!

So sorry to hear of the closing, but be assured that both Kim and Rob will be moving on to other fun and interesting endeavors!
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Belmont, California
Aug 18, 2017 - 01:52pm PT
But Western Mountaineering in San Jose was the first of that small indy breed to go down. They really did sell a lot of climbing gear too. Another one of the small mountain shops to go was that shop on Hamilton in downtown Palo Alto, about the same time as the Wheelsmith. Used to be a heck of a lot more climbing shops in the South Bay and the Peninsula to be sure.
ec

climber
ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2017 - 03:19pm PT
Gary Schaezlein successfully continued on with Western Mountaineering with down goods.

Eh, DMT, your welcome! Looking back, that was a great gig during my 16 years there (class of '85 thru 2001).
 ec
kenny morrell

Trad climber
danville,ca
Aug 18, 2017 - 05:01pm PT
I helped rob run the walnut creek store for a couple years back in the early 80"s. I had a blast working there made a lot of good friends that have held true to this day.I am really sad to here that kim and rob are closing shop. I wish those two all the best. kenny morrell
Vlad Pricker

Mountain climber
The cliffs of insanitty, inconceivable
Aug 19, 2017 - 09:44am PT
Hey Kenny, how is going? Or should that be, how's it hanging'?

cheers

Patrick
ec

climber
ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
The 1st Dollar...
The 1st Dollar...
Credit: ec
msiddens

Trad climber
Aug 19, 2017 - 05:56pm PT
So sad man!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Aug 19, 2017 - 07:05pm PT
Did Sunrise make chalk bags, my first bag (early 80s) had a Sunrise label, I bought it at Nomad when they had the Oceanside store.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Aug 19, 2017 - 07:37pm PT
^^^Sweet shot!

Yeah it's a bummer loosing business's devoted and passionate to bring a product and hospitality to the young "in-to-it" crowd. I lost alotta good buds back in the 70-80's when skateboard shops started closing. But I'll never forget what they taught me..
I'll continue to think positive what this store gave to its patrons, besides the gear.
ec

climber
ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2017 - 09:21pm PT
Nomad's side gig is/was Sunrise Mountaineering soft goods; only related by name...

 ec
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 19, 2017 - 10:05pm PT
Dr. Sharpe?!
ec

climber
ca
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2017 - 12:42pm PT
How/Where is Dr Sharpe?

BTW, Kudos to the many Sunrise Alumni who moved-on to greater places in the outdoor industry! That fact alone speaks volumes of the great staff we had there over the years.

 ec
Gowen Geter

Mountain climber
Chamonix, FRANCE
Sep 9, 2017 - 03:20pm PT
This thread exemplafies a more beautiful definition of commerce: the noise and warmth of human commerce. A shop that someone has put effort into for many years is closing, and is being felt as a loss to those it was intended to serve.
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