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NYC retailer launches new website and store-within-store for outdoor gear

Published October 22, 2018

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Brooklyn retailer 718 Cyclery is deepening its commitment to outdoor gear with a new website and pop-up on its sales floor, dubbed Mighty Hatchet Adventure Shop and Outfitters.

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The idea grew out of 718 owner Joe Nocella's longstanding practice of offering multi-day bike trips and overnight micro-tours out of his shop.

"We started thinking more about the landscape in New York City for outdoor goods. You have REI and another big location called Paragon, but beyond that there's really nothing in terms of outdoor gear or camping gear," Nocella said. "The thinking leading up to this was that thinking of ourselves as just a bike shop can be limiting, and we thought that being able to rebrand part of this and spread our wings outside the bike industry into the outdoor world would be something that could stand on the shoulders of stuff we already do — all these trips, classes and other stuff. It's just a natural progression."

The website, mightyhatchet.com, offers such products as knives and tools, camp cooking equipment, fire starters, sleeping gear, and emergency and safety supplies. Free classes at 718 such as the Friendly Fire outdoor cooking class and gear overview, scheduled for Nov. 7, will also be promoted on the website.

At 718's brick and mortar, a section on the sales floor highlights the new Mighty Hatchet branding. "We're treating it as a pop-up within the store rather than doing a separate retail footprint," Nocella said.

Nocella recently added accounts with outdoor distributor Liberty Mountain and tent and sleeping gear brand Big Agnes. He also is expanding his stock of camp cooking equipment he already carried at 718 to help equip his tour customers.

718 offered about a dozen bike trips and micro-tours this year, and Nocella plans to expand that to around 18 outings in 2019. Those trips aren't necessarily great money makers for the shop, but they're invaluable in building customer loyalty, he noted.

"There's a connection there that's far beyond the usual customer relationship. Once you ride 50 miles and you're camping and cooking, that connection is unbelievable," Nocella said. "And I think that's been a huge part of us being able to continue to do what we do in outdoor stuff and relying on the endless supply of people looking to escape the city for the weekend."

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