Getting ready to head out to the great outdoors just became easier with the late December opening of a new store in Olive Branch.
Located at 5400 Goodman Road, Grivet Outdoors aims to cater specifically to those who enjoy running, walking, hiking or yoga, even those who like to look like they enjoy running, walking, hiking or yoga.
“In the younger age group it’s definitely trendy right now,” said Coleman Whitsitt, a co-owner in Grivet Outdoors. “There’s a lot of people who may not like the outdoors but they want to wear a Patagonia jacket or an outdoorsy jacket. It’s a cool thing and it’s a really growing market.”
It is the second store opening for co-owners Whitsitt and Phillip Irwin, both from Memphis who started with a store in the Cooper-Young area at the start of 2018.
“Both Phil and myself are outdoor people,” Whitsitt said. “We’re both from Memphis and grew up in Memphis. We had other careers that we were transitioning out of.”
The Olive Branch location was appealing because of the customer base and where it was situated.
“The first store was doing well and we wanted to find a second location around Memphis,” he said. “Our target market customer wise is definitely here in Olive Branch with hunting and fishing and there’s definitely running and hiking customers that are here. There hasn’t been a running store here for years. That was the main push for Olive Branch.”
The Olive Branch store has been open since Christmas Eve to complement the Memphis store, which is at 2461 Young Avenue.
Whitsitt said, despite the riverfront flat land makeup of the Mid-South, there has been a growing interest in climbing, with locations in Arkansas and Tennessee within a few hours drive and with the addition of climbing walls in the Memphis area. Whitsitt said Grivet Outdoors has shoes and apparel for that and more.
“There’s not a lot of climbing in Memphis but there are climbing gyms here,” he said. “Any outdoor apparel, jackets and trail and hiking shoes, we have. We’ve even got hammocks and some hats and similar T-shirts and stuff.”
He also noted that climbing and running are two of the more popular activities going on now.
“The climbing world is really growing right now across the country,” Whitsitt said. “Running is the fastest growing sport in America and in general it is really growing right now.”
Many customers also shop and use the store’s website, www.grivetoutdoors.com to find their selections, but Whitsitt said there’s always a need to have a “brick-and-mortar” presence.
He added that Grivet Outdoors is staffed with people who are trained in the outdoor lifestyle and will have answers to questions and provide insight about products with their experience.
“Larger stores are going to have everything laid out and there won’t be any service rep or someone who’s knowledgeable in the product,” Whitsitt said. “Our employees will be trained and usually are using the products themselves. You should able to get a better idea and more help and service.”
It’s also a wise move to ask if a customer doesn’t immediately see anything on display, another difference from other stores that lay it all out there, and if you can’t see it, they don’t have it.
“We should have in stock what you need always,” Whitsitt said. “We’ll be carrying items and refilling consistently.”
Grivet Outdoors, at 5400 Goodman Road in Olive Branch adjacent to Potbelly Sandwich Shop, is open from noon-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.