Herb Philipson opened up his first Army & Navy Store in Rome, N.Y. in 1951 and kept expanding from there.
The chain opened up shop in Watertown in 2003 with a mix of clothing, sporting goods, and outdoor merchandise.
Gary Philipson, the chain’s president and the founder’s son, announced Monday he wants to sell the Herb Philipson’s chain, saying no one in the family wants to take over and the stores need “new energy” and and “fresh vision.”
But it’s also because customers just aren’t going to the chain’s stores as much anymore.
They’re going online instead.
That’s a problem familiar to most brick and mortar stores.
Will Kline, a retail strategist with the Retail Coach, says people may walk in, but that doesn’t mean they’re buying anything.
“That satisfaction of going in and feeling, seeing how something fits — but to save a dollar or two they know that they can put forth a little effort and go search online, look at a few websites, to see if they can find them cheaper,” he said.
On top of that, a web presence is huge. While Herb Philipson’s does have a website people can buy from. its competition is from companies such as Amazon.
That’s where Kline says brick and mortar stores have to get creative to survive.
“But what Amazon can’t offer is that rock-climbing class or half-day hiking excursions with experts in the north country,” he said.
Herb Philipson’s president also added that cold weather used to be the chain’s “bread and butter,” but that’s no longer a guaranteed sales generator.
posted by: WWNYTV Jan. 16 2018