Happy New Year!
We’re excited to be looking forward to 2021, and have a whole host of seriously exciting plans in the works, which we can’t wait to share soon. Whilst COVID-19 may have been the biggest story of 2020, there were still plenty of ups as well as (lock)downs, so here’s a quick look back at a few of our highlights from our year.
We’ve always been proud of our independence, and keen to take advantage of this when selecting the ranges we stock. In late 2019, we were excited to welcome back Swiss brand Mammut and their Alpine know-how into our stores. We’ve expanded this range during 2020, with some excellent technical clothing, footwear, innovative packs and sleeping bags. We think our Autumn/Winter 2020 clothing range is our best ever, with some amazing colours and advanced tech. We’ve also noticed a greater emphasis on sustainability and recycled products – from Fjallraven’s Re-wool to Rab’s recycled down insulation.
In response to demand following the first lockdown, we introduced virtual services for those who couldn’t make it into the shop, beginning with footwear consultations, but expanding into other areas. By giving time for a personal consultation with one of our experts, we’ve brought a taste of our in-store experience to all our customers, and we’ve been delighted by the way they’ve been received by you and the feedback provided. We’re continuing to develop these services, and aim to make video consultations the new normal in 2021 for those who can’t make it to the shop.
For those who are local to Cambridge, our appointment booking system continued to operate – when not in lockdown – in our Green Street stores , to provide a safe and enjoyable personal shopping experience in store – no need to worry about queuing outside, one way systems, screens, or overcrowding!
We used the opportunity during the year to reconfigure our shops a little and give them a new lick of paint. Cambridge’s very own Star Radio came to see what we were up to in September – if you haven’t seen it already, check out their video:
In November, Open Air turned 30! Whilst we were sad not to be able to mark the occasion with a big birthday celebration, we’ll save the big party for 2021 – perhaps 31 is the new 30 after all?! It was fun to dig out some old photos, and reminisce about the staff, customers, and friends of Open Air who’ve all been part of the story over the years.
Last but certainly not least, December saw the launch of the new Open Air footwear store at number 28 Green Street, with a dedicated space to provide all of your outdoor footwear needs. From socks to mountaineering boots, hillwalking boots to climbing shoes, and trail shoes to wellies, we’ve got you covered! We’ve got many exciting new plans for our footwear store in 2021, and we look forward to welcoming you back in person, as soon as we are able to!
Overall, it’s been a very different year, but one that we can look back on and realise how we were able to adapt and innovate. This year more than ever, we’ve really enjoyed being able to help people get outside more and to enjoy the great outdoors. We would like to take a moment to celebrate the incredible team and all our customers that helped make it happen and thank you for all the support you have given us. Here’s to next year!