Burlington-based gear shop launches unique customer program

Burlington — Local gear shop owners Marc Sherman and Mike Donohue are extending their custom, Kickstarter-like program that allows customers to participate in the purchase of the Outdoor Gear Exchange (OGE) building on the corner of Church and Cherry Streets in downtown Burlington.

Since its launch on Sept. 26, 2014, OGE customers have contributed over $90,000 for the down payment for the purchase through a tiered program that rewards up to 130 percent with merchandise, discounts, quarterly certificates.

“We’re blown away by the level of enthusiasm with which people have supported this program. We set our goal of $100,000 and we’re confident that we can make it,” said store founder Marc Sherman. More than 140 customers have bought into the program at various levels ranging from $25 to $5,000.

“Mike and I are so proud of the shop, our staff, and how we’ve been able to serve the community for nearly 20 years now. We see this campaign to help us purchase the building as a great way to include our customers and friends in this significant next step.”

“Our customers are prepaying for their future OGE purchases and getting a discount,” explained Sherman. “We did this as a way to deepen relationships and share our return on the investment with the people who have supported us for the past 20 years.”

The program has several tiers that reward customers for their individual support of up to $25,000, at which the reward includes a multi-day hike, bike, climb or paddle adventure with the OGE owners. The most popular level of support is “Mt. Katahdin” – at which more than 50 participants have each contributed $1,000. OGE will reward them by paying back $1,250 in store credit over two years – a net return of 25 percent.

“I’ve always thought that OGE is the best thing going because of the combination of excellent selection, quality and value, their consignment program, and the way they are integrated into the community,” said program participate Pete Osler. “My family and I are long-time customers and multiple staff know me by name. I feel proud and lucky to be part of the OGE community and I’m hoping the money that we’re putting in (this is a team effort between me, my wife and our three children) means that we’ll be able to enjoy shopping at OGE for many years to come.”

“We’re on the edge of meeting our goal and are amazed at the outpouring of support,” said Sherman. “So much, in fact, that we’re extending the program through December 1. People are excited about this and appreciate that we created this program platform ourselves – we’ve truly kept this local.”