Moor & Mountain to Say Farewell at the Month's End
Co-owner Alan French cites age and the Internet as reasons for voluntarily closing the business down.
After 45 years of running the Moor & Mountain outdoor supply store, owners Al French and Burt Batcheller are voluntarily closing up shop and retiring.
“The business has been very good to me,” said French.
On January 30, the duo is expected to close their doors officially.
“Alan French and Burt Batcheller represent an almost unfathomable wealth of local and global outdoor knowledge and passion - and are always more than willing to share it all,” said David Bunting of the Andover Trails Committee.
“It's a store where I know that anytime I stop by, I'll be able to engage in conversation about many issues close to my heart - the trails of Andover, the Shawsheen River, the Bay Circuit Trail and more,” he continued.
French, 79, cited many reasons as to why he and his business partner decided to call it quits and shut down the store.
“I would say the most significant reason is my age, and Burt’s too,” said French. The popular store owner is known to give supreme advice to knowledge and gear seeking hikers.
French also acknowledged the changing business world as a reason they decided to close down.
“I think the biggest factor to affect retailing in almost every field, particular in specialty store retailing, is the Internet,” French explained.
French cited online stores and the collective intelligence of customer reviews as reasons why consumers don’t visit stores such as his as much as they once did.
“When I started in 1966, the Internet was not a factor and now it’s a big factor,” French said. His and Batcheller’s unwillingness to move forward with the Internet literacy that the business world now demands ultimately played a significant role in their decision to shut down Moor & Mountain.
“My hunch is that in the future there will be much fewer storefronts selling the type of gear that we do,” said French.
As for the Moor & Mountain storefront, “The building is certainly on the market,” French said.
French’s fondest memories include his interactions with the many customers and employees that experienced Moor & Mountain throughout the years.
“What I’ll miss the most is contact with the customers and particularly the kids who have worked with us from Phillips Academy and the local high school,” French commented.
Moor & Mountain has called Andover its home for 36 years and French has few regrets. French, known for his hiking and gear advice reflects, “We have learned as much from customers as the advice we have given out.”