Keeping the customer satisfied.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 09/15/11 •  3 min read


Let me make sure that this gets said first: Most ski shop employees are flat-out terrific. They treat their customers with respect, they’re valuable sources of inside information, and they’ll do everything in their power to help you find the gear you need. To the good guys, a big salute.

But there are always a few exceptions. The bad apples that can spoil a whole shop. Believe it or not, some guys still don’t get it. Even with all the kick-ass women skiers out there, they still think women can’t possibly be serious about skiing, or even be all that good. (Actually, I have no idea what they think; I can’t get into mind set.)

So if you work in a ski shop — or run one — take a moment and read this before your big season kicks in. If you’re guilty of anything you see here, please knock it off in a hurry. Unless, of course, you want to send women running from your shop. And into somebody else’s.

When a woman comes in, do you…

Of course, all this presumes you carry women’s gear in the first place. Because if there’s one way to make sure you won’t sell to women, it’s not carrying women’s skis or boots. For some women, unisex equipment is fine. But for others — women like me, who aren’t very large — women’s equipment is a godsend. So if you want to tap into this market — and it’s a big one; according to Snowsports Industries America, 40% of all skiers are women — please, have more than one or two token models in stock, in a variety of sizes. And know everything there is to know about them, too.

What it all boils down to is this: treat us with respect. We’ll thank you for it by opening our wallets. And both of us will go away happy.