Our New And Improved Footwear Service
At Open Air, our goal has always been “To inspire and help more people to enjoy the Outdoors, sustainably and responsibly”. It is that vision that drives our team and everything we do. For us, the outdoors is about so much more than selling a product such as a jacket or pair of boots, it’s a lifestyle, a pursuit of passion that results in truly life-changing experiences and life-long memories.
Over the past year, there have been plenty of challenges for us in achieving this vision. From having to close our shops for eight out of twelve months, to completely transforming our website and building a new warehouse operation. Time and time again our team has shown fantastic innovation, willpower and skill to help overcome these challenges, continuing to inspire people to get outside and explore their local surroundings in a safe and sustainable way.
It is only through the support of our loyal customers coupled with changes that we have made to the business that we have been able to survive and still be here to offer our incredibly popular and valued services.
Clothing retail has progressed more than any of us could have imagined over the past year and more and more we have found that people are more than happy to buy clothing online. Even this month after retail reopening, the Financial Times reported that UK retail has seen a reduction of up to 27% footfall vs 2019 as more people are continuing to buy online.
Since reopening Open Air at our new dedicated footwear location on 28 Green Street, we have been overwhelmed by the positivity and supportive nature of our customers and the feedback we have received.
So where does this leave us as a retailer?
As an outdoor clothing retailer this has placed us in an interesting and in our opinion, given us a rather exciting opportunity. As it has been for the past year, our website will continue to be the base of all of our clothing range, where we are able to quickly, effectively and sustainably ship out packages across the country to our customers to help them prepare for their next adventure.
Where this becomes a little trickier is when it comes to footwear. Unlike clothing, footwear requires an expert fitting in order to get the most comfortable fit for your shoes or boots. We know the importance of comfort when walking, trekking, trail running or climbing so we believe that quality service should be at the forefront of each of these experiences and each fitting should be personalised to you.
That is why we are continuing to innovate and operate on an appointment basis, where only a handful of people will be in our shop and you are able to receive the undivided attention of our footwear experts.
In order to manage this effectively, we have implemented a booking system to ensure the safest environment for our customers and team. We do not believe it is right to simply make customers wait at the door and if you have arrived without making an appointment and our team are not with other customers then we may still be able to see you, however if we are with other customers, you will be asked to book an appointment online instead of waiting outside. Whilst we all love the outdoors this is not the experience we believe you should have with us.
We know that customers loved our previous store, as did we but we also recognise the needs of our customers have changed. We have been able to help more customers across the whole of UK, some of whom have shared amazing stories of how we have helped them to get Outdoors. In the end, we believe this is what it is all about – getting Outdoors sustainably and responsibly and we hope we can continue to count on your support.
There are further exciting changes planned, our store is being refitted over the coming months when we will have: –
- Our extensive footwear range beautifully laid out
- A selection of bags and packs available with a fitting service available
- A selection of poles available for demonstration
- Capsule ranges of key clothing pieces appropriate for the season and we hope to introduce a try service
- For those not living near Cambridge, we are still also offering our dedicated virtual fitting appointments to help offer our expertise no matter where you are!
Book Your Fitting Today! We look forward to seeing you soon!