Like a river reclaiming a riverbed, there’s a new kayak shop in Austin, Texas, opening just seven months after longtime Austin paddlesports retailer Austin Canoe & Kayak announced its plans to throw in the towel.
No Bad Days Kayak is a new kayak shop in downtown Austin. “We started it with a slow growth plan to bring back stellar customer service to both the Austin an online markets,” says owner Forrest Greene. “Earlier this year when we were all rocked by the news of ACK closing down, we took a more aggressive approach to close the gap they left behind. We’re working tirelessly to get the brands they represented back in Austin, as well as online.”
The store prides itself on its approach to customer service. “We take a no pressure sales approach that ensures you get in the best kayak in your budget, even if that means you buy elsewhere,” he says, adding they have a knowledgeable customer service rep on hand to answer any questions people may have. “So many companies are trying to automate customer service these days, but we’re doing the opposite We’re automating backend processes to ensure we get more interaction with customers directly. whether in store, on the phone, via email, or live chat through our website.”
They’re planning a unique approach to online orders as well. “When it comes to online orders we have a plan for shipping that ensures a kayak shows up undamaged, something ACK struggled with,” Greene adds. We call it the 12 hands approach. We have some high hopes for our shipping in the future as well, including offering onsite rigging.”
“Our plan is to be the best kayak shop around,” he adds. “We have a great shop with plenty of parking and are currently in the middle if adding a lot of great brands, including NRS, Aftco, Daiwa, St. Croix, Old Town, Strike King, and more.” It also carries such brands as Hobie, Jackson, Bonafide, Bending Branches, YakAttack and more.
Austin Canoe & Kayak was founded by brothers Peter and Steve Messana in 2005, quickly growing from one lone store into an operation with four more stores in Texas and a growing e-commerce platform. In 2016, the company merged with Summit Sports, a four-store ski retailer in Michigan, to form Outdoor Adventure Brands, bringing Austin Canoe & Kayak’s expertise and business model to the skiing industry. But Austin Canoe & Kayak closed on Jan. 1, including both its Texas stores as well as its four Summit Sports ski stores in Michigan. Minneapolis, Minn.-based The House, a division of Camping World, acquired the retailer’s leftover inventory.
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