(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce our customer spotlight for the month of April, Hickory & Tweed. Hickory & Tweed has been an RCS customer since 1987, the year RCS was founded.
Hickory & Tweed began as a ski shop, founded in 1961 by Jim Ross, in Armonk, NY. The stores current owner, Skip Beitzel, purchased the store from Jim in 1985 after working there throughout high school and while he attended school at the University of Vermont. After which, a bicycle shop was added to the well-established ski business.
The store’s name pays homage to the origins of the sport itself, with hickory being the wood of choice for first generation skis and tweed wool being the most common layering insulation at the time – hence the name, Hickory & Tweed. From its early beginnings, Hickory & Tweed has established itself, not only as one of the premier ski and bike shops in the country, but an iconic brand in the ski business. The store has won numerous industry awards over the years, including “Ski Shop of the Year” from Ski Magazine and “Top 150 Bike Shops” from the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Their hallmark offering is a family ski and snowboard leasing program, which serves nearly 2,500 families.
Hickory & Tweed is a family business, just like RCS. Skip’s son, Mac Beitzel, manages their recently introduced ecommerce site. Mac created the store’s ecommerce site utilizing NCR’s retail online (NRO) application. Mac also manages the store’s social media and private label branding business.
Hickory & Tweed is also staffed by many long-time sales and management associates who are passionate about winter sports and cycling. The staff can often be found on the slopes or out riding the local trails. Based on the knowledge of their passionate staff, Hickory & Tweed’s service and atmosphere has always provided a unique shopping experience for their customers.
Almost 30 years ago, Hickory & Tweed was frustrated with several attempts to implement a point of sale system that not only worked for their business, but was easy for staff to understand and use. In early 1987, Dave Albert was preparing to start a new venture in the point of sale industry after working for many years in the bicycle industry. Skip had a chance encounter with Dave at a bicycle tradeshow. Skip and Dave kept in touch and once Retail Control Systems opened its doors, Hickory & Tweed was the very first customer! Hickory & Tweed also ended up hiring Dave to consult for them when they were first opening the bike shop portion of the store.
Since then, RCS has become intimately involved in all of Hickory & Tweed’s operations. RCS has successfully upgraded the store’s entire Counterpoint Point of Sale system several times and it’s always been a relatively easy process for Hickory & Tweed. Skip and Mac regularly attend RCS’ Envision Conferences, in order to stay up to date with RCS’ latest offerings.
In the end, I tell all who’ll listen, that when you buy-in to RCS, it’s not so much really about the hardware and software, but rather it’s about Dave, his staff and their support. I’ve always experienced them being there for us through thick and thin. And these days in retail, there’s a lot of thick and thin. – Skip Beitzel
RCS is so proud to have Hickory & Tweed as such a loyal part of the RCS family for so many years. We can’t wait to see where they go in the future and how RCS can help them reach their goals!