One of my favourite poets of the 19th century is John Clare. Considered to be one of Britain's most iconic and important poets, Clare was known for his descriptive poems of rural life and scenery. When Clare was asked about his poetry and inspirations, he merely replied; "I found the poems in the fields and only wrote them down." In the same respect a lot of my inspiration for blogging comes from the English countryside; from the patchwork-like fields stitched together by hedgerows and dry stone walling to the wondrous wildlife and the fine flora and fauna. Having been imbued with a sense of admiration and affection I find myself spending a lot of my time outdoors in the charming countryside and thus require practical clothing and footwear.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail regarding a Go Outdoors store opening in Nottingham which opens Saturday 5th November 2016. Located at Mansfield Road in Arnold, the vast and spacious store including an upstairs boasts all outdoor and country pursuits providing excellent clothing, equipment and accessories for all disciplines including; camping, caravanning, climbing, cycling, running, skiing, walking, riding and fishing. Furthermore the store encompasses a range of facilities comprising of changing rooms, bike servicing, bike repair service, rucksack fitting and boot fitting. The store includes a tent display area, public toilets, disabled access and (Ben will be pleased to know) pets are allowed into the store.
Upon arrival I was kindly met by Steph whom is the regional marketing manager. After introductions and a lovely chat, I met with the Derby store manager Natalie who has been assisting with the store opening. Natalie informs me that they have been very busy preparing for the grand opening and are currently adding the finishing touches as well as revealing that BBC's soap opera EastEnders actor and BAFTA award-winning investigative journalist Ross Kemp will be joining them for their opening. As we take a tour around the store it is transparent that Natalie is very knowledgeable and passionate about Go Outdoors and answers all my questions with expert enthusiasm. The various disciplines are segregated into departments making it effortlessly easy to find what you are looking for.
Starting upstairs in the caravanning and camping departments, Natalie discusses the various products on sale and the tent exhibit area allows customers to experience first-hand which aids them to make the right decision based on their requirements. As I explore, its wonderful to see the numerous tents in an array of shades, layouts and number of rooms. Natalie explains that demonstrations are key to their stores as it allows customers to explore and try out the products before purchasing. Go Outdoors is perfect for first-timers too who wish to pursue an outdoor activity but unsure where to start. Go Outdoors offers a printable itinerary list, which you can complete on your own or with the help of a sales advisor and details all the items you will need (a kind of beginners guide if you will) and takes all the fuss and worry out of finding what you need. This is a wonderful idea and really seeks out to help customers without the pressure. Interestingly statistics portray that more and more British residents are choosing staycations, that is holidaying in the U.K. as appose to jetting off abroad with over half (58%) in 2014 (Visit England, 2016).
As we progress through our tour, Natalie shows me the fishing department which boasts all manner of equipment for the perfect catch including clothing and footwear, furniture and luggage to the various types of fishing: carp, match and pole, fly and game, predator and spin and lastly sea and beach. What's refreshing is that the sales advisors are passionate about the great outdoors, each with their own particular interests and the passion is clearly visible.
Next I am directed to the cycling department with a huge display of bikes from road and mountain to children's and even folding bikes. Everything from accessorises to spare parts and maintenance can be sourced, including servicing and repairs in their very own quarters, which is great as you can have your bike serviced or repaired while you shop. From reading my blog you may have guessed that I adore classic and vintage designs and while enjoying the tour, I spotted these beautiful vintage ladies bikes complete with wicker baskets in an array of stunning shades (my favourite is the sage green).
Our tour then leads to the horse riding department featuring clothing, equipment, horse care products and stable equipment. Natalie demonstrates that Go Outdoors stocks prestigious brands such as Nike, Berghaus, Marmot, Outwell, Harry Hall, Raleigh and Salomon to name a few. You can find a full list of brands stocked here. Furthermore, Go Outdoors stocks a more 'fashionable' range where you can purchase clothing and footwear but not necessarily appear to go hiking.
Natalie informs me that they provide a 'bundle option' where the customer can purchase the essentials and make a saving, for example a skiing bundle consists of a jacket and trousers costing £60 instead of the retail £80 and this bundle option can be found throughout the various departments.
Go Outdoors offers a fantastic discount card which allows the customer incredible in-store offers. The card grants customers a 15% discount on all retail prices throughout the store, price guarantee where if you find the product cheaper in another store: Go Outdoors will beat the price by 10% and lastly, exclusive offers including early sale previews. The discount card costs £5 but means you have all year access to these wonderful offers. You can find out more about the discount card here.
Our tour ends with me being able to choose a few of the products (I shall be posting a separate review) and was served by the lovely store manager Graham. Overall Go Outdoors offers a wide range of products crossing all boundaries from climbing to cycling and prides themselves on it's friendly and informative service, making the customers experience their number one priority and ensuring you get the right products for you. I would highly recommend a visit and Nottingham's grand opening will see the first 200 visitors receive £20 plus 10% on Saturday 5th November 2016.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my visit to Go Outdoors. Is this a store you will visit?