Still No Barneys Website?
When the heck is Barneys gonna get their website back up and running????
I was in there a couple times a few days before sheep season kicked off and that little shop was hoppin', seems like everyone that comes in from out of state goes right to barneys to gear up, amazing. He's sold out on the kevlar packs, and he had a back order now for some time, I don't see where he has the time to even work on or build his website...or in fact really needs one.
Bingo. Those boys are on overload every time I walk in. If they do a web store it'll probably be contracted out and you'll get to talk to hired operators that don't know anything about what you're buying. We don't need another Cabelas.
Just my take on all this. Perspective: I'm an inexperienced hunter who lives in Anchorage area. Dropping by Barney's often to check on a few items I wanted has been convenient, but is not an option for many many Barney's customers; in-state and out-of-state. I don't have any special info or expertise on these issues otherwise.
I learned from Bob's Mom a month or two ago that the website rebuild includes searching for new hires with Information Technology expertise and tying the website into a new inventory/accounting system. So the rebuild sounds considerably more extensive than just putting up a website.
She also commented about the overwhelming interest in the website.
So the hunters we see in the shop likely represent only some fraction of the national and international customers Barney's attracts. Barney's interest in getting the website up and running to accomodate the demand must be high, but seems to require a whole new scale of hardware/ software/staffing support, not always simple in Alaska in any field. If you call them about issues like this, what I'd do if either Bob or his mother is not in the store, is try to call back when they are - just to get the best information.
Staff recruiting is a tougher problem in Alaska than elsewhere. I have no idea what challenges Barney's is facing to make this transition happen, but doubt they have the resources to effect such a big logistics change like a WalMart or other big chain might. Talented IT people also seem in high-demand, so it might be a hard job to fill - and may be compounded by having a small staff to mind the store, handle ordering/inventory and deal with manufacturer issues in addition.
Of course the delay is bound to be frustrating for out-of-state (and out-of-area) hunters looking for quality gear, but this locally-owned (from Barney Seilers to Bob Hodson), family-run business will do everything they can to meet hunters' needs. For a special item/need, I might try calling them mid-morning, mid-afternoon on a weekday to discuss gear solutions. Even then, a transition like this might be prone to all sorts of delays. And worse if done poorly.
This summer, I met a hunter (not in Anchorage), 80 yrs old, who still camps/hunts - using a canoe and now does so alone. He asked me about Barney's because he wants to replace the tent he bought from Barney (Seilers) years ago. Our conversation wasn't as much about the gear as the trouble-free (gear wise) experiences he'd had over the years. That's the kind of gear the Sports Chalet seems to sell. Barney's seems a great business that offers great gear and great advice in a tough business situation that will take some time to resolve if it's to be done well. They're facing some growth challenges, but still seem to have the front-end hunter focus and field experience that's ideal for Alaska. They're trying to extend these benefits to more hunters, but it's taking some time.
I guess it works out pretty good if you live in Anchorage, but makes it tough for guys who live elsewhere in Alaska. Its a little hard to call and order something if you dont even know what they carry. At least the old website gave you some info on the products they sell.
Yep, I agree with Cub, why don't he just open another branch in Fairbanks and call it good. That way Joe miilionaire can stop in the Fairbanks store buy his Kevlar pack he had prepaid for, primolof sleeping bag, sporthill/sitka gear , brooks range Jacket and pants etc. on his way to Wrights air service before he heads out to the Brooks Range for three days ( these guys get their sheep the first huntin' day, and Griz the next).
He needs a website, not everyone can or wants to go in his store. It's 2008, time to bring it to the 21st century.