01 Sep Hudson Trail Outfitters to Close its Doors
Hudson Trail Outfitters Ltd. is closing its four remaining stores and going out of business after 50 years of serving the great Washington D.C. area.
The venerable outdoor specialty retailer made the announcement in a “Message from the CEO” posted to its website over the weekend.
“The retail landscape has changed so much within the last 36 months and the company has decided that the time has come to begin to ‘wind down’ all company affairs, knowing that it never had to compromise any excellence standards on behalf of the community,” reads the unsigned letter.
Hudson Trail is a family owned business that was founded in 1971 by Hank Cohen, who retired from day-to-day operations about five years ago. Under General Manager Sandy Cohan, HTO continued to emphasize a high level of customer service as well as e-commerce, which became the retailer’s single largest sales channel in 2007.
In May, 2013, Hudson Trail Outfitters secured a working capital loan from an asset-based lender. Asset-based lenders, or ABLs, typically work with fast-growing companies that can’t quality for conventional bank loans due to liquidity issues, or distressed companies that are in turn-around mode. While more expensive and invasive, asset-based lenders can provide retailers greater flexibility.
The company’s four remaining stores operate in Washington D.C.; Rockville, MD; Arlington, VA and Fairfax, VA. The region has emerged as one of the more competitive outdoor specialty retail markets in the country in the last decade as HTO, REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) slugged it out for market share both on the street and online.