Special holiday promotions supersede price discounts at Moosejaw

Rather than offer many price discounts on goods, Moosejaw is pushing promotions like free snowboarding DVDs and free shipping. So far, so good: November sales are up 73%.

Paul Demery

With sales this month up 73% compared with November 2005, executives at Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel Inc. say their plans for the ’06 holiday season on Moosejaw.com are more than on track-they had projected 40% for the entire season. Rather than offer many discounts on goods, thus lowering its profit margins, the multi-channel retailer is pushing promotions like free DVDs to entice shoppers in its major youth demographic as well as others.

The retailer is doing many promotions, from free gifts with purchases over specific dollar values-such as a free snowboarding DVD with purchases of select snowboarding merchandise-to free shipping, which it will ramp up closer to the Christmas holiday.

“This is the time of year that we do not want to do sales or discounts if we do not need to,” says Robert Wolfe, founder of Moosejaw Mountaineering, No. 347 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites. “We work with our suppliers during the course of the year to ensure we can do solid holiday promotions, which benefit the customer and us.”

The merchant also continues its long track record of technological innovations-which include podcasts, text message marketing and an m-commerce site-by launching an opt-in desktop PC tool that alerts shoppers in real time when offers on the company’s special sale sister site, MoosejawLowdown.com, go online. These offers are closeouts or other such specials that sell merchandise at up to 60% off.

And in continuing with the craziness in its content-only Moosejaw Madness section, the retailer has launched a new gift section with an unusual twist: It recommends gifts for special living beings in shoppers’ lives-including ex-girlfriends.


Christmas and holiday season, Closeout, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Online shopping, Sales