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June 16, 2005 logo.gif
HQ: Salt Lake City, UT
Founded: 1996
Management: CEO and co-founder is Jim Holland and John Bresee is President and co-founder. They are avid skiers, do not boast sigificant operational experience, but have been doing eCommerce as long as anyone.
Investors: Bootstrapped with an initial $2000 investment from the founders.
Business Model: is an online retailer focused on outdoor gear, particularly snow sports, selling products from the likes of North Face, Oakley, Burton, Rossignol, and K2. BackCountry has developed niche sites targeting hard-core skiers (, snowboarders (, bargain-seekers ( and and middle-market price-sensitive outdoor athletes ( The company has consistenly been one of the fastest growers in online retailing. In 2004 Backcountry’s sales were up 84% to $27.4M from $14.9M in 2003.
Competitors: Fogdog, Planet Outdoors and Altrec.
Dirt: has maintained triple digit growth year over year since its founding until 2004. We love the company’s spunk when it issued a press release revealing that “ Blames the Weather for 84% Sales Increase – too Much Time Outside Keeps Company From Posting Triple Digit Growth.” Like some other successful online retailers, Backcountry has learned to grow by launching several different sites focused on niche markets.

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