Evo Founder Bryce Phillips on The Sessions @ SIA

Bryce Phillips, founder and CEO of Evo, is a great example of a business owner who is doing the right thing for independent retail. Opening his second location in Portland, Oregon less than a year ago, the entrepreneur has continued to build on the success he has created around the close-knit snow community in the Pacific Northwest. In 2001, Phillips created a website called Evo as a way to support his mountain lifestyle, but was buying and selling gear long before that, he admits. The store then expanded to its first brick-and-mortar location in Seattle in 2005, and hasn’t looked back over its 13-year trek. He had this to say about how the two channels, e-commerce and in-store, relate:

“It’s unbelievable how the two drive each other,” says Phillips. “What is one of the most compelling stats is that 50% of the orders placed online are picked up at the Seattle store. We don’t offer any incentive, it’s just that they want to go in the store, whether that’s for customer service, or maybe to just see what we are up to. It’s just convenient to be in the store to try it on, and be able to ask the customer service reps a question.”

evo founder bryce phllips on the sessions @ SIA

Inside the new Portland, Oregon evo location.

Evo is still predominantly heavy in hardgoods sales, explains Phillips, although it does well with the softgoods category as well. All in all, evo has a very strong focus on building the brand around community through in-store events, and making sure that “at every touch point the customer experience in special.”

While Evo got it’s start with a web presence, Phillips recognizes the importance of the in-store experience: “Brick and mortar is critical. The pendulum has landed in the middle. People were like, ‘it’s all going to be web and brick and mortar is going away,’ and that was never going to be the case. Now as we think about it, it’s a big topic from all levels, whether that be from a participation perspective to thinking about it from the vendors that we sell in, ultimately the customers need a place to go. The web is absolutely going to fulfill some of their needs but it doesn’t close the loop on the experience.”

For a more in-depth on Phillips’ thoughts on the evolving retail landscape, check out a few of our most recent interviews with him:

The State Of The Union with evo Founder Bryce Phillips, and a shop profile on evo as told by Phillips.

Watch the full interview above with Phillips to get his take on how the whole retail food chain works, what he thinks is needed to thrive, and how he hopes to continue building communities around the industry.

Editors Note: The Sessions @ SIA is a video series produced by TransWorld Business in collaboration with SIA Snow Show, featuring some of the most influential snowboarding brands, executives, and athletes. Stay tuned to TransWorld Business as the next videos in the series roll out, including Zeal, Evo, Jones Snowboards, Burton, and Capita, to name just a few.


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