IN THE KNOW with Joey Sandberg of The Choice
Hey Joey, happy belated 40th my friend! How have you been!?
Things are great Scott thanks for asking. Muscle and joint wise it’s getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning no thanks to skateboarding and snowboarding for way too many years.
Haha, I hear you pal! How have the last 18 months or so been with you? How’s business been at The Choice?
The last 18 months have been a wild ride, for myself it was grinding it out at the beginning to navigate this weird new world and make sure the family and team all came out alright. Once we figured it out, we were able to take a little time to explore what our surrounding area has to offer and connect with family a bit more, a welcome change for sure and nice to see what B.C. really has to offer.
As for the shop much like all sporting goods /outdoor retailers we were the lucky ones. Business boomed after the initial shutdowns, we were able to do the long-awaited renovations we’ve been putting off due to time constraints and our team was able to focus on developing our website and e-commerce as we all found out real quick that this was going to be absolutely necessary and crucial to future business.
After the initial craziness we leaned into some sort of normalcy and just tried to keep up with the demand of our selection because of the extra expendable cash that our demographic seemed to be flossing.
Have you had to pivot at all to drive your business? What did this look like for you?
The pivot was mostly to the online side of things. Lucky for us we were already headed that way and had figured out the brunt of it a year before the pandemic, so we just had to focus a little more to load more product and selection online and make it available to the internet world. It was a little hectic to say the least, doing all this while still maintaining exceptional customer service instore (and online) and trying to keep up with the instore demand as well. As far as brand pivoting, we were able to stay the course for the most part but also able to try a few new brands out since we had some room instore. It was very refreshing and kept us on our toes.
How has life been in Cranbrook through the pandemic?
Good ole sleepy Cranbrooklyn. We run a fairly laid-back way of life out here, not much changed besides a lot of people mass exiting the major centers and buying houses in our more affordable little rural hood. It’s never been busier which is good and brings a change whether it is wanted or not, it’s inevitable. Cranbrook is booming as people discover we are not just a highway truck stop town and the area offers so many opportunities so close to town as well as a major airport with the best views and regional hospital for all your ailing needs.
How about the shop, any changes on the horizon?
Keep grinding and staying relevant, stay on the boards and keep the love alive. Succession planning since you’ve revealed the age at the start of this fucking interview. As far as the shop, I think it’s the same answer to mine.
You and I have worked together over the years, and you have been a regular to the show, what are some of your earliest/funniest memories of the show? What are you most looking forward to about a return to in-person buying and tradeshow season?
Earliest and funniest? Ugh, tough one. The events that go along with it are always great. I Don’t really have one that sticks out, but I think it’s just the people and the lifestyle of our industry. Everyone is passionate and just truly loves this shit and if you don’t, get the fuck out and make room for the up and comers that do.
I can’t wait to see the actual faces of the reps and other shops/buyers and have actual conversations. To see the actual product in person there is no substitute and I think is mandatory in making educated buying decisions for our customers. I hope in person tradeshows never go away.
Great catching up again Joey, we’re looking forward to seeing you again in person and having you back at KNOWSHOW next January!