Adventure gear stores report mixed business

  • spring travel season
- Prahlad Rijal, Kathmandu

Jun 3, 2016-

Adventure gear stores in Kathmandu have reported mixed business during this year’s spring travel season.

As the tourism industry rebounded after last year’s earthquake and subsequent Tarai unrest, some traders said their sales increased by 15-20 percent, while others saw lower-than-expected growth. 

The spring season (March-May) is a key period for traders as Nepal receives nearly 30 percent of adventure tourists—trekkers and mountaineers—during the time. 

“Our sales jumped by around 20 percent,” said Ranjit Gurung, sales manager at Black Yak store at Thamel. Black Yak, an adventure gear brand from South Korea, opened its store at Tridevi Marg, Thamel, in 2012 and has positioned itself as an Asian brand.  

Black Yak features mountaineering and trekking products like shoes, jackets, sticks, gloves, bagpacks, sleeping bags, caps, tents and accessories, among others. It also offers a casual range of T-shirts, shirts, pants and shoes. All the products sold at the store are directly shipped from South Korea.

Sherpa Adventure Gear, one of the prominent adventure gear shops at Lal Durbar Marg, reported “unsatisfactory” sales. “The flow of tourists is not substantial as compared to previous years,” said manager Ang Phurba. “Nonetheless, we expect the sales to double during the peak tourist season starting September.”

Sherpa Adventure Gear also reported slowed sales at its outlets in Pokhara and Namche Bazaar in Solukhumbu. As the trekking and mountaineering season has ended, Phurba said they will be launching discount schemes from Friday. 

Normally, the three-month trekking and mountaineering season starts from March and ends before the pre-monsoon period.

Sherpa Adventure Gear sells nearly 80 percent of homemade products like down jackets, T-shirts, trekking boots, trousers and gloves. Prices range from Rs1,500 to Rs20,000. Imported products like sunglasses, hats, duffel bags, water bottles, camping equipment and watches and barometers are also available at the shop.

Another adventure gear store Mountain Hard Wear at Thamel said although the sales have improved, the growth rate has not risen like usual. “The sales are low this season,” said Sujib Shrestha, sales representative at the store. “We expect the business to grow significantly during the autumn season.”  

Mountain Hardwear, an American adventure gear brand, opened its showroom here more than a decade ago.

Meanwhile, traders said the rise in the number of adventure gear shops in Kathmandu in recent years can be attributed to an increase in both domestic and foreign adventure enthusiasts.

Published: 03-06-2016 08:41

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