SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE FEATURED ARTICLE:

Customers are VIP at Yukon Charlie’s

Yukon Charlie’s is one of the premier snowshoe manufacturers in the country. A good deal of the company’s success, since its inception 15 years ago, is its unwavering commitment to customer service. Most of that success can be traced to the fact that Yukon Charlie’s is a family run company with strong family values.

“At the end of the day, we want our customers to be happy with the products they buy from us and feel confident that those products are supported by great customer service,” says Dan Roy, one of the co-owners of Yukon Charlie’s. “We have a wide range of users, from true beginners who may have never put on a pair of snowshoes before, to people who have been using our products for 10+ years and have owned several pair.  Our ability to be able to personally address all of the questions and issues that customers have is very important to us.”

As a company, Yukon Charlie’s got its start in 1996 by Bill LaPierre Sr. A lifelong businessman who also enjoyed the outdoors, he saw an opportunity to bring snowshoeing into the mainstream by introducing high quality, yet affordable snowshoes and accessories. “At that time, the cost of a pair of snowshoes was $150+ and remained a very niche activity,” observes Roy. Thus, the company’s goal was to introduce a line of snowshoes that would retail for under $100 and really drive the growth of the industry from a recreational user perspective. “Gradually, over the years, we have seen that vision come to fruition as the industry and consequently our business continues to grow to new heights.” Today, in excess of 1.5 million pair of Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes are used by consumers across North America.

Over the last few years, several designs have become quite popular with customers, including the Trail Series, V7 Women’s series, and the Mountain Profile series. “Each year, we change up designs, graphics, and features and in 2011, we are rolling out the new Icon series, which we think is really going to do well,” says Roy. “At the price points we focus on, there is nothing else out there that can compete. We are excited about Icon for this season and hope that our customers will appreciate the new line and our efforts to follow through with our continued mission to bring more value to the market place.”

What sets Yukon Charlie’s apart from the competition?

“Customers find our snowshoes appealing for several reasons,” says Roy. “I think it is a combination of the features, graphics, and price – which translates to overall value. We are focused on the recreational consumers so we do everything we can to incorporate the best features into our snowshoe designs while keeping the price really competitive. Our goal is for the consumer to be able to buy one of our snowshoes at a price that is 20-40 percent lower than a similarly equipped snowshoe from any of our competitors.” Roy adds, “From a graphic perspective, I think we have a good eye for what appeals to consumers. It is not rocket science, but the product needs to look good on the shelves at retail, and it has to stand out for consumers to notice it.”

Roy emphasizes the end result: “That customers can feel confident that they purchased a quality piece of equipment at a great price, and we as a company stand behind that quality.”

The team at Yukon Charlie’s loves the business they are in, and also appreciates the daily opportunity of continuing to build its brand and increase the joy of snowshoeing. “We are growing fast as a business, but still maintain a personal connection to every product that goes out the door and every customer that is out there using Yukon Charlie’s products,” says Roy. “We are looking forward to introducing more products that continue to get people out there with family and friends to enjoy the winter.”

For more details about Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes and other products, please visit www.yukoncharlies.com.