By David Rutter
Kent Street in Sydney has long been a place where outdoor types come to check out the latest gear. The section of the street between Bathurst and Druitt Streets is host to ten outdoor and travel oriented clothing and equipment shops where you can find many of the biggest brands from around the globe – the only outlet lacking in the precinct is an army disposal store.
Depending on your budget, in these shops you can find the gear needed for many different outdoor activities. Primarily the shops are geared towards hiking and adventure travel; however some stores also stock climbing equipment.
Outdoor gear can be expensive, and for some outdoor adventures you shouldn’t scrimp on quality for essential items. Here at The Outdoor Type, we aim to not just help you decide what you need to buy, but also where to buy it.
With the aim of helping you get the best value for your money, The Outdoor Type undertook a survey of the “customer loyalty programs” offered by the retailers on Kent Street.
The programs vary quite markedly, and as always we recommend you check the terms and conditions of the programs before signing up for any of them.
Some of the programs offer more than just a discount on in-store stock, there are quite often “club member only” nights where “club members” are privy to the first chance for purchasing sale items and advance notice of seasonal sales. Some programs have slide or film nights, and even include travel or adventure information in their newsletters.
The Loyalty Programs Summarised
|Retailer||Program Name||Discount range||Upfront fee||Yearly renewal fee|
|Kathmandu||Summit Club||5-25%||$10||$10 (waived if you spend more than $100 in store in a year)|
|Paddy Pallin||Paddy Pallin Club||10%||$16.50||$11.00|
|Mountain Designs||club MD||10%||$0||$0|
|Mountain Equipment||ME Club||10%||$16.50||$11.00|
|Adventure Megastore||Friends and Family||5 – 10%||$0||$0|
|Snowgum||Snowgum Club||10% accrued towards rebate voucher||$11||$11|
|Larry Adler||e-Club||No set discount||$0||$0|
|Macpac||Wilderness Club||No set discount||$0||$0|
|Columbia||Columbia VIP||10% off retail price||$0||$0|
|Peak Fifteen||Peak Fifteen Benifits Club||20% off LAFUMA and MILLET (excluding mountaineering boots)
15% off SILKBODY
10% off SPOTTERS SHADES
5% All other products
Notes: Discounts apply only to fully priced items, unless stated otherwise.
The Loyalty Programs in More Detail
Program: Summit Club
Address: Shop 35, Town Hall Arcade. Corner Kent & Bathurst Streets
The discounts offered by Kathmandu vary from 5% to 25% depending on what you buy. With this program you do need to pay an annual fee of $10, but the fee is waived if more than $100 is spent in a year. Discounts do not apply to the purchase of gift vouchers.
Some of the details are below:
25% Kathmandu equipment and accessories*
20% Clothing and clothing accessories
10% All footwear, socks and footwear accessories
5% Non-Kathmandu branded products**
5% Intrepid Group Travel Journeys***
* Includes basecamp® products, excludes clothing accessories (20% off), sunglasses and
sunglass accessories and footwear accessories (10% off).
** Excludes Gasmate (10% discount).
*** Subject to availability, travel date must be prior to 30 June 2008. Summit Club
discounts apply to full-priced stock only.
The Summit Club membership also includes a newsletter with travel and adventure stories among their usual product reviews, and competitions. Summit Club members can also attend members-only sales.
Program: Paddy Pallin Club
Address: 507 Kent Street
Paddy Pallin has occupied its corner of the street for as long as I can remember. Paddy Palin has stuck in my mind ever since my family came across a fly of my late uncle’s that was made in the 1960’s or 1970’s. And it still keeps the rain out.
10% All products in Paddy Palin stores
10% Equipment hire from Paddy Palin stores (excluding snow equipment hire)
Membership includes a quarterly newsletter containing information on specials, articles, and new product information.
Program: Club MD
Address: 499 Kent Street
Mountain Designs offer a standard 10% off the retail price of all products. The program also includes a reward bonus – where 5% of each purchase (excluding sale items) is accrued towards bonus points, which can be redeemed in the future. There are restrictions on the use of the points.
The program also includes access to special club sale days, and other exclusive offers, bonuses and competitions.
Program: ME Club
Address: 491 Kent St
Mountain Equipment, true to their name, sell mountaineering gear. They have a great selection of ropes, harnesses and climbing shoes. They even have a short climbing wall to try out your shoes.
They offer a standard 10% off all full priced gear. In the first year you pay a $16.50 fee, and for each year after that you pay $11 to renew your membership.
In addition to the discounts, members receive periodic newsletters with information about upcoming specials, and slide nights where adventurers present their exploits.
Adventure Megastore (previously called Five 05)
Program: Friends and Family
Address: 505 Kent St
The program for Adventure Warehouse is a little different. Once you spend $500 in a year, you get 5% off the price of each subsequent purchase. Once you spend $1000 in a year, you get 10% of the price of each subsequent purchase.
For this survey The Outdoor Type were informed that Adventure Megastore constantly discount stock, and so aren’t as generous with their loyalty program as a result.
Program: Snowgum Club
Address: 481 Kent St
The Snowgum Club accrues 10% of any purchase towards a rebate voucher that is sent out to you every May. The rebate voucher is not redeemable for cash.
The club costs $11 each year. A ‘year’ starts on the 1st April and ends on the 31st March, and your membership expires on the 31st of March regardless of when you joined. The $11 is deducted from the accrued rebate before the voucher is produced. Your membership may be suspended if you do not spend more than $110 in a year.
Joining the Snowgum Club has other benefits, such as member-only specials, online gear specials, and notification of upcoming sales and new gear releases.
Program: Wilderness Club
Address: Shop 42, Town Hall Arcade 464-480 Kent Street
The Wilderness Club is free to join, and memberships are automatically renewed free of charge provided you purchase something from a Mapac store during the 12 calendar months of your membership.
No specific discounts are provided, but members receive information on special offers and exclusive deals, advance notice of upcoming sales, information on new gear releases, and access to member-only nights.
Address: 493 – 497 Kent Street
Like Macpac, no specific discounts are available with your membership, however members have access to special offers throughout the year.
Columbia Sportswear Company
Program: Columbia VIP
Address: 477 Kent Street
Columbia VIPs receive 10% off the retail price, and exclusive invitations to sale days.
Program: Peak Fifteen Benifits Club
Address: Shop 1B, Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street
Peak Fifteen’s program is geared towards the main brands that they stock – the French brands La Fuma and Millet, and New Zealand’s SilkBody.
As you can see – there are ten different retailers, and almost as many approaches taken to the loyalty programs offered. In the future, The Outdoor Type intends to keep abreast of updates to the loyalty programs. Also, to make comparison of the programs offered a little easier, we’ll be analysing the programs in greater detail in the future.