By Jeff Copetas
VP of Marketing & E-Commerce
I want to tell you a little bit about working here. Around this time each year, when the leaves are almost done falling and the initial biting winds start stinging our faces, things get busy. Really busy. Really, really busy. As a result, we often find ourselves scrambling around the building trying to get all of our work done – and we all have a unified goal – to get as much stuff into our stores for the holidays so our customers can find what they are looking for. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Just get the product into stores. But it’s so much more than you think – and we won’t bore you with the details about how we approach such things. Just know that with 13 stores across five states, it’s not as simple as one would think. How many of these should go here? Any why? And when?
Anyway, as any retailer will tell you, the holiday is just a mad rush, starting NOW. With that said, not only do we scramble to do our own jobs here at the office, we are often called upon to help other people and other departments get their job done, too. Again, it’s an all-out push to get our stores in as good a shape as possible so you, customers, can find the right gift for your hockey player. Sometimes doing these “other jobs” is interesting and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes not.
But I will tell you this much, for example: dropping a person in Marketing into the warehouse for a few hours makes you appreciate and better understand the complexities and functions of a warehouse that has to feed 13 stores. Or dropping a person in the corporate office into the shipping department for half a day opens your eyes to what works and what doesn’t. What else? How about spending the day working in one of our actual stores? We do that as well, during our annual Tent Sale.
In the end, doing other people’s jobs is beneficial in so many ways. It makes you understand your whole company better and it makes you a better employee because you can see through the eyes of what some of your co-workers see every day. How is that not beneficial for your own position? As a Marketing guy, I can stand in a store and gather some insight into the shopping customer. As a guy who runs the website, I can work in the warehouse and see the process of shipping our product, how it looks, how it’s packaged, etc, etc. Insanely helpful.
So yeah, sometimes the work isn’t what you want to do, but you do it. Last night almost the whole corporate staff was out in the warehouse from 5-9pm, applying pricing tags and “splitting” product into bins for our stores. Hard work, but helpful in making us better employees and teammates. A lot of us here played competitive sports, be it high school all the way up to the division 1 or pro levels. It can be a competitive workplace environment, but most often it reminds me of teammates on all the teams I played on growing up. We all have different background, different roles, different ways for which we are judged. Nobody is exempt – our CEO was right out there with us last night. He, too, helps in shipping during the holidays, in the warehouse and the stores. That means a lot.
But put it all together and you have a team. A hard-working, serious, goofy, loud or quiet set of people – all with one common goal. And that’s cool.