As for the comments made about EMS I'ld like to throw my two cents in.Â I started working for the company in 94', and after a few years I saw it going the direction of LL Bean and "American Eagle".Â Too many "Mountain Flannels" and not enough tech gear.Â I left, and came back in 2001.Â I worked in the Salem and Newington stores, before moving up to North Conway.Â I work for the Climbing School and Customer Service now, so I feel I've got a good idea of the direction the company is going, and it is not toward AE.Â We carry more tech clothes now than ever, I can actually out-fit my rack with the pro I want without going across the street, though I still like that place alot.Â Most people don't know EMS bought it self out from its parent company "American Retail Group" a few years ago, specifically because the higher ups did not like the direction we were being forced to go in.Â Our new CEO is moto towards getting the company back to its roots and I think it has shown.Â Things take time though.Â Not every one of our 74 stores is going to have a climber wiz working at it, but we are staffing our Customer Service line with AMGA Certified Climbing Guides.Â If you have a technical question you can call anytime and ask to speak to someone who spends close to 200 days a year trashing our gear.
I don't want to totally hijack this thread and turn it into an EMS bashing/defending argument a la the bolting discussions. I'll just say my piece and be done with it, if you want more details feel free to PM me.
Firstly, I won't argue with anything that DMan has said about the company. Indeed I think that of the major retailers, EMS has the best selection of climbing gear available. This year specifically has been the best I've seen in the past 5yrs I worked for the company. You can often enough find what you're looking for, get decent info, and their pricing is always competetive.
That said, I won't support a company that fires longtime, dedicated employees without cause. After devoting years of my life and generating thousands of dollars in sales for EMS, I was terminated without any discussion or written review. There was no warning, no offer of transfer to another location, no 2-week severance, just a, "please turn in your keys, here's your vacation time paid out." I'm sorry, but after acting as manager for three months while the corporate folks found an external candidate to hire, only to be fired by him for no specific reason, within less than a month of his entering our store, just rubs me the wrong way.
I can't really speak to the AE comment, that was just a direct quote of some of the vague BS that he gave for firing me. There are many sources of outdoor gear including big retailers, specialty shops, and websites. Personally, I feel that a company's values, including how it treats its employees, is as important a factor as price and selection when I choose who to buy from.
Certainly, there are lot's of good people who currently work for EMS. Many of them are my friends. I just feel like people need to know what values they're supporting when they choose to support any given corporation.Â Â
As I said before, please feel free to PM me if you have further questions.
Best wishes for fun, happy, and safe climbing everyone.
former Assistant Manager, EMS Comm Ave, Boston
(edited for spelling)