For anyone living out their dreams in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas, Pack Rat Outdoor Shop has been the stronghold of gear and service for almost four decades. In 1973 Scott and Carolyn Crook didn’t have a resource for paddling gear, so they decided to start their own shop to provide quality goods to their area. Since then, they’ve grown to celebrate all sorts of adventure sports that live in the Arkansas hills and rivers. This coming spring Pack Rat will be commemorating its 40th anniversary.
The shop sees little turnover in staff. Many of the current employees have been working at Pack Rat for over a decade—no small affair given the natural recycling that’s associated with college towns throughout the American landscape. So, why Pack Rat?
“The Crooks are great people, and are a pleasure to work for,” says manager Rick Spicer, who’s been with them for thirteen years. “Plus, they’ve always allowed me to take off as much time as I could afford to take, which has been invaluable.”
Pack Rat has made a practice of teaching its employees how to sell something, but more importantly, why to sell a particular product to a specific customer. It’s not just about moving product. “We want to sell good experiences,” says Spicer. Creating relationships and selling products that they can get behind makes the experience better for everyone. Luckily, it’s no stretch to get employees to gush about products they love—and get to use on a regular basis.