The Evolution of a Sierra Trading Post Customer

Take a moment to travel back in time with me. Danger Zone is blaring on your stereo. Top Gun is making major bucks in the box office. Ferris Bueller takes a well-deserved day off. The year is 1986, and Sierra Trading Post is about to hit the scene.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Sierra Trading Post. We've grown quite a bit since our 1986 debut, and you've been right there growing with us. Let's take a closer look at how your experiences with Sierra Trading Post have evolved over the past 30 years.

1986: The Catalog Shopper

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

Look at you, with your big hair and shoulder pads. You don't even have to leave your house to shop Sierra Trading Post if you were one of the 100,000 people who was shipped our hand-drawn catalog. Founder Keith Richardson, his wife and five employees begin Sierra Trading Post as a catalog company in Reno, Nevada. Get out your pen, it's time to start circling your outdoor clothing and equipment wish list.

1990: The In-Store Shopper

Stop. Collaborate and listen. We open our first store in Reno, Nevada, just in time to kick off the '90s. But you weren't browsing racks and tables like today's savvy shopper. No, you were digging through assorted bins in search of treasure in the form of deeply discounted products from your favorite outdoor brands.

1992: The In-Store Shopper - Wyoming

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

Party on, Cheyenne: Sierra Trading Post just opened a store in your hometown. Not only did we build a store, but we moved in, making Cheyenne, Wyoming our new headquarters. At this time the Cheyenne location includes a store, offices and a fulfillment center all in one building.

1998: The Online Shopper

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

Alright. Things are starting to look more familiar, now. Google is born and e-commerce starts to take off, so Sierra Trading Post enters the world wide web as one of the first catalog companies to establish an online presence. Now you can shop all of your favorite brands at discounted prices while watching Friends. But if you need to make a phone call, you'll have to get offline.

2007: The Catalog Shopper - Expanded

What? You still haven't heard of us? Maybe 2007 is the year you familiarize yourself with Sierra Trading Post. We launch nine separate catalogs and begin shipping them to millions of customers worldwide. This is the year the final Harry Potter book and the first iPhone hit shelves. If you add Sierra Trading Post to the top of your outdoor retailer list, you can consider it a banner year.

2009: The Social Shopper

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

Just Five years after the launch of Facebook, four years after the launch of YouTube and three years after the launch of Twitter, Sierra Trading Post joins the social world starting with these three platforms (oh, we had already been blogging for two years). With our social splash, you can now feel closer to us than ever.

2010: The Mobile Shopper

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

At this point in time, you probably have a smartphone or will soon be the proud owner of one. We launch a mobile version of our website so you can shop Sierra Trading Post almost anywhere. Just in time for the release of the very first iPad.

2012: The TJX Shopper

While the rest of the world was going Gangnam Style, we were going TJX style. Sierra Trading Post is bought by TJX Companies, Inc. in 2012. If you frequent T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods or any other TJX store, you're probably excited to have Sierra Trading Post added to your TJX Rewards® card.

2013: The Ship-to-Store Shopper

You can now continue binge watching Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones without worrying about a doorbell interruption. Sierra Trading Post introduces free ship-to-store services. Order online, wait for an email and pick up your order... for free!

2015: The Exploring Shopper

Sierra Trading Post Timeline

You might have noticed that we look a little different. Sierra Trading Post works with ad agency Carmichael Lynch to evolve our logo, tagline and brand voice. While you can still "love the deals and live the adventure," we switch to something more fitting: We are all explorers.

This new branding rolls out along with a new retail store in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Burlington, Vermont. To backtrack a little, here are a few other retail stores we've opened by now: Cody, Wyoming and Meridian, Idaho (now Boise) in 2000; Denver, Colorado and Fort Collins, Colorado in 2014.

2016: The Everyday Value Shopper

Daily coupons start to disappear, but this is exchanged with the more subtle change of lowering our prices right out of the gate. Why wait and search for a coupon when you can get a great deal right away? We take the leg work out so you can spend more time playing and less time couponing.

2016 also marks the addition of our Cottonwood Heights, Utah store, making for a total of nine total Sierra Trading Post retail stores.

We're excited to be turning 30 and can't wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for sticking with us through all these years.

If you want to share your own memories as an ever-evolving Sierra Trading Post customer, get social! Share your photos and memories with hashtag #STP30Years.
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
Comments (6)
6/19/2016 at 4:19 PM
What have I been your customer that long
6/19/2016 at 6:59 PM
i was 10 and incredibly excited after my first glimpse of that small catalog. honestly, i dont know if i was more enthused with the gear or the drawings of them.Now 40, im no longer excited about the catalogs but I continue to appreciate the savings and quality of all my purchases ive made for the last 30 years.we'll be with ya for another 30. happy anniversary jonathan
6/22/2017 at 8:14 PM
Have given up; StP no longer carries any good clothing. It used to have alot of great stuff but now it's just junk. VERY SAD. I was a pretty good customer
11/3/2017 at 2:13 PM
It's unfortunate that STP has decided to get away from offering daily coupons. I have not seen a general price reduction is their "Everyday Value" concept. Do they know how many loyal customers they will be losing by not offering any coupons. I'm one loyal customer that will be forced to shop elsewhere online with companies that care you offer it's customer coupons. Just because a company offers a coupon does not mean every customer will decide to make a purchase if such coupon is available, although please know that are a huge amount of shoppers that only shop when offered a coupon. Good luck to STP with this business decision.
12/9/2017 at 4:37 PM
It’s sad that STP has lost its soul. I now know what I learned in business school about a company taking over another company and driving it into the ground. Case in point: TJX and Sierra Trading Post.
1/8/2018 at 2:33 AM
I've shopped with Sierra Trading Post for decades. In the last year I've noticed that they have discontinued or really cut back on a number of my favorite brands (Johnstons of Elgin, Barbour, Calida, Medima, Hickey Freeman). Why?
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