Conceived of on a powder day at Mt. Bachelor in late-1998, Tactics is the evolution of an idea born out of fun. We are located in the great Northwest at the confluence of the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains. Tactics.com is the largest and most passionate rider owned and operated online snow | skate | surf | street specialty store in the country (if not the world?). Our retail store in Eugene, Oregon, keeps our company culture rooted, connected, and passionate.
The Abbreviated History:
The company is formally founded in February, 1999, by a handful of riders with much celebration and a healthy dose of optimism. The go-go days of the dot-com era are in full swing and venture financed (which we are not) competition sprouts up around us at every turn. The snowboarding industry thumps us with closed door after closed door – “you want to sell snowboarding gear online – are you crazy?” We manage just enough bro-brah here and there that a few brands take a flyer on us. The company moves out of a storage unit and into one of the founders’ garage in Eugene just in time to receive our first shipments of product. The bank reminds us that if we don’t pay back the loan, what little we own of our houses and cars will take care of paying them back. It’s legit – game on – our first order soon arrives. Passion and enthusiasm rule the day as we pack boxes and answer emails late into the night. Just as importantly, we learn early on what it takes to fulfill promises to our online customers.
In the spring of 2000, it is time to poop or get off the pot. Two of the founders poop. Everyone else gets off the pot sooner or later. We also move out of the garage and into a small warehouse space in a larger building shared by artists and photographers. The word gets out in town and soon local customers show up at the warehouse wanting to shop. We open up a little tiny retail snowboard shop next to the warehouse in the fall. The store is ghetto and on the wrong side of the tracks, but our mantra to our employees is to treat every person walking through the door like they are a rock star. What we learn from our in-store customers helps us take care of our online customers. The great experiment of combining an online store with a brick and mortar store is in full swing. We are ahead of our time. The dot-com bubble begins to burst.
Bubble fully bursted now, we watch many of our venture-backed online competitors implode – crushed by the weight of unrealistic expectations, planned riches, and lack of focus on the customer. We pull on our boot straps a little tighter and move into a new and larger location in the spring of 2001. The building provides better visibility for our re-located retail store and a bigger warehouse space, but we have to remodel the whole stinking building with our own hands. We expand from snowboarding into skate and surf, operating online at Boardtactics.com.
We hold on for a bumpy ride as we grow from a tiny little unknown company into a respected one in our industry. The months race by…
Square footage becomes precious and we expand into a warehouse location one block up the street. Our staff and their pushcarts become a common sight wearing a path back and forth between the main location and the extra warehouse.
We learn of an old 1940s, 30,000 square foot, 3-story warehouse nearby for sale. We pull the trigger. When the staff sees their new home to be, most of them threaten to quit, or worse. The place has been leaking for years and it is dark and dirty. An 8-month renovation project begins at the end of the year. Combining historic preservation and modern green building techniques, the building will become a model for maintaining a tie to the past while incorporating environmental sustainability principles.
Based on customer feedback, we completely redesign the Boardtactics.com website. The cool, but sometimes buggy flash navigation is gone and the new look is cleaner and easier to navigate. Tactics reconsolidates its operations into the newly remodeled building. The new retail store blows everyone away. Warehouse, retail, and office are all under one roof again (for now).
The timing is right. We acquire the domain name and Boardtactics.com becomes Tactics.com.
Tactics goes extra green and joins 1% for the Planet. By the end of December, over 15 activist environmental organizations have received checks from Tactics ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Another new warehouse move is under our belt. What a hassle. Our 10,000 square foot warehouse expansion and fulfillment infrastructure improvements allow us to offer an ever larger selection and process orders more efficiently.
Tactics hunkers down while the economy takes a nose dive. Amidst a constant barrage of news of bankruptcies and the retail downturn, we end the year even stronger than how we started.
The year of the customer! Well, at Tactics, every day is the day of the customer, but this was our official mantra in 2010. It is all about you.
Tactics.com gets a facelift! After several solid years, it was time to give the .com a new online look.
Although an environmental ethic is still one of our key company pillars, after a strong 5 year run, Tactics suspends its 1% For The Planet membership. Our total 1% For The Planet donations exceed $330,000 from 2007-2011. We expand our Eugene, Oregon, retail store to its full 8,000 square foot potential. Backed by our online selection, it evolves to be one of the most respected boardshops in the country. And, we bust down a wall at the warehouse to add another 5,000 sf of warehouse space.
Tactics breaks the 100,000 e-commerce shipments in one year mark.
Tactics celebrates 15 years in biz and still going strong! Can you say mobile? Who doesn't have a smart phone? We are finally on board - now Tactics.com looks right on your iPhone and tablet as well as your desktop.