Hudson Trail Outfitters Closing Likely “by the first week in December”

4530 Wisconsin Ave, NW

A reader reports:

“Called the store and they confirmed–“we are closing our stores, probably by the first week in December.”

From Hudson Trail Outfitters CEO:

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that after nearly fifty (50) years in business, HTO will be closing its remaining four stores and shutting down the business.

HTO has been an institution in the DC Metro Area since 1971. From day one the mission was simple: open a store that sells the greatest outdoor gear and apparel on the planet, hire only those who love the outdoors and who are passionate about health and happiness, and provide Positively Outrageous Customer Service to everyone. 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.

The community and the Company have always supported each other with such dignity and respect, and the Company will always be proud of the role that it played in helping to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people, employees and customers, within the DC Metro Area. During this transition, all customers and all employees can count on continued excellence and pride from all associations with the Company. HTO firmly believes that an orderly wind-down of affairs provides the best opportunity for professional closure and maximum success and efficiency in what are otherwise sad and nostalgic circumstances.

The Company wishes to thank all of its customers and team members (past and present) for nearly five (5) decades of committed loyalty, high standards, professionalism, association, trust, support, partnership…and most importantly…. friendship. And what a ride it has been – who would have ever imagined that Ground Zero for what is now internationally known as Specialty Active Outdoor Retail was going to be Kensington, Maryland, or, that a passionate and creative outdoorsman from Washington, DC would one day grow up to both pioneer an entire industry, and, to become the example and trend setter for how that industry would grow and evolve for nearly half of a century?

In advance, thank you for your continued support during this transition.


15 Comment

  • They have good camping equipment at decent prices, but I always had problems buying bike stuff/getting repairs there.

  • Blithe

    Bummer! I’ve always been pleased with the customer service here.

  • DC CapHill

    Never had an issue with them, and although I got about a decade out of my “lifetime tuneups” from them, still, this KIND OF kills the whole LIFETIME of that arrangement.

    Any other suggestions for free and routine seasonal tuneups?

    • Free? good luck with that. I taught myself basic bike maintenance and usually take my bike to BicycleSpace once a year (late winter/early spring) when they have a tune-up special for $50 (normally $99). I think REI in Rockville does them for $40-$60.

    • Ten years of free tuneups was a good deal. Don’t think you’ll find a free tuneup anywhere – learn to do it yourself or pay to have it done at another bike shop

  • palisades

    I’ll have to check it out before we leave for Montana. Maybe stuff will be on deep discount…

  • I’ve been an HTO customer for almost 40 years (since I was a teenager), so this hits home. Another local business goes under – thanks Internet. Best wishes for the future to the HTO employees.

  • It really bothers me that just yesterday I learned this was a local company with only four locations. With a name like “Hudson Trail”, I assumed it was a larger company with origins in upstate NY. Had I know it was locally owned and actually a “small/medium” business, I would have gone there over the years instead of REI.

  • Another great DC-area small business specializing in outdoor apparel/gear is Casual Adventure in Arlington. Family-owned and operated for four generations, and the best customer service around.

  • End of an era. I first started shopping at the Kensington store as a 7th grader, way back in the 70’s, gearing up for various summer backpacking trips. My dad thought Super Surplus was good enough — gack — but I always held out for HB0 (Hudson BAY Outfitters, it’s former name).

    Hard to compete with the internet world, but it didn’t even really try. Many times I’d default to checking HTO’s site when I knew what I needed, only to be reminded that their web store was limited – to – nonexistent. So I’d click over to REI.

  • Used to go to their store in Pentagon City – was a total fan. Nice service and you could get things for fair prices. Sad to see them go.

  • I would drive to the one on Rockville Pike. Just a really cool store and top notch customer service. Exponentially better service than I’ve ever gotten at REI.

  • I was a big fan when I lived here in the 90s–the outlets in Kensington & Gaithersburg and the stores in Tenleytown (I liked the old one better). I’ve been back for 9 years and only occasionally visited their stores. i’ve never experienced the supposedly “exponentially better customer service” than REI and the offerings really aren’t that deep or distinctive. REI’s expansion and the recent growth in Northface retail outlets have probably cut into their market share, but they also just don’t seem to have done much of anything in recent years to distinguish themselves. I wonder if this is one of those family businesses that was done in by a younger generation that lacked the passion for the product or a creative business sense.

Comments are closed.