Iconic specialty outdoor retailer launches national search for new hire to learn the ropes of retail – and potentially take ownership
January 27, 2022
The founder and owner of Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis’ original outdoor store, this week released an open letter to the industry with an unusual business proposition – to find, hire and train a general manager who can also potentially take full ownership of this iconic specialty outdoor retailer.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (January 27, 2022) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – The founder and owner of Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis’ original outdoor store, this week released an open letter to the industry with an unusual business proposition – to find, hire and train a general manager who can also potentially take full ownership of this iconic specialty outdoor retailer.
“I don’t want to sell the store to some faceless corporation, and I don’t want to close the doors and liquidate the inventory for an easy profit. Instead, I want to find a person who can run Midwest Mountaineering for the next 50 years, someone who truly understands that it’s not about how much you sell, or how much money you make, it’s about getting people outdoors,” said Rod Johnson, Midwest Mountaineering, owner and founder.
According to Johnson’s letter, the new hire will initially be hired as the store’s general manager with a starting salary of $85,000 a year, and will be provided training on the intricacies of the current business. Once the training is successfully completed, the manager will potentially be provided with a pathway to ownership.
“This person could come from anywhere in the world, with any sort of retail general manager background, as long as they have a true knack for retail – that rare ability to instinctually balance what’s good for the customer, what’s good for themselves and what’s good for their staff. I believe that we’re all better people when we spend time outdoors, and I want to find a successor that embodies this idea,” said Johnson.
To read the complete letter, please go here (LINK). To send a letter of interest, please email email@example.com.
Johnson started Midwest Mountaineering out of his kitchen in 1970, as a self-described “long haired hippie with no credit and no formal business education.” His original business was based on selling climbing and backpacking gear to friends and other college students in the area as a way to find wholesale gear for himself.
As the business grew, Midwest Mountaineering moved to a nearby second floor commercial space which Johnson rented for $50 a month. To save expenses, he lived in the back room of the store, and subsisted on food from a day-old bakery store nearby.
Over the next five decades, Midwest Mountaineering has grown to be a recognized regional leader in outdoor adventure and outdoor lifestyle, with an estimated two million transactions that have connected the Minneapolis community to the right gear, the best apparel and the latest knowledge.
“The last few years have been remarkably profitable, as outdoor recreation has surged in popularity. The brands which line our shelves include the best of the best, the outdoor knowledge and professionalism among our 50 person staff is exceptional, and our connection to our customers and our community is unparalleled,” said Johnson.