Words by NeedleSports
Just a note to say how impressed I am at the quick service from yourselves. I.B.
I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for the speediness of your service. I placed an order only yesterday and my new gear arrived by midday today, all this with free postage. There are hundreds of companies out there who could obviously learn from you. Thank you again and be sure that I shall use you in future. Yours gratefully, R.R.
Dear Needle Sports, I recently found your website after searching for 'Mammut Rope'. I was only browsing for a 30 metre rope for indoor lead climbing. I found your website easy to use and the information about the products left me knowing everything I needed to about the products I looked at. In the end I ordered a Beal Edlinger II 35 metre rope and an Outdoor Designs ropebag, and as I'm one of those people that wants something straight after I ordered it, I paid the £3.50 Priority Postage (already impressed with the pricing and free postage and packing).
My order was placed at 23:00 hours on Tuesday 7th June and requested delivery to my place of work, personally I was thinking that I might get it Friday if I was VERY lucky but Monday was the day I expected it to show. I can only say that I was seriously impressed when I arrived at work on Thursday 9th about 13:30 hours to find a large parcel sat on my desk!! I can only say that I have been massively impressed with Needle Sports. I strongly believe in 'first impressions last' and my impression of Needle Sports is very good and I have already recommended you to a fellow climber at work! Thanks again and I look forward to ordering from you again in the future Regards MS
Needle Sports, Not an order I'm afraid, but I thought it would be worth dropping you a line. I've just received my latest order (some climbing slings), which arrived intact and on time, as always. I just wanted to congratulate you on your excellent service whenever I've used your website and placed an order. I'm currently thinking about a POD rucksack… Your site stands alone in my opinion, because it doesn't appear to be attempting to sell me the product. The site advises on the best product, and that's pretty rare. Your text and descriptions aren't just lifted from the manufacturer's websites. It's the next best thing to talking to someone in the shop (and I do come in when I'm in Keswick, but it's a bit of a trog from Weston Super Mare). I noticed the section in your order form, asking how the website can be improved, and I had nothing to write. However, I can say that the above is the reason that I keep coming back. Keep up the good work, GC
What the press says about us:
Cumbria "Business Gazette" November 2005
In "World Wide Winners" by Terry Kirton Needle SportsAddress: www.needlesports.com
This specialist climbing shop in Keswick is tiny, but the website is vast. The on-line catalogue is extensive and ordering is straightforward. The images on this multi-layered site are excellent. Links to all of the local climbing clubs and regular updates on books on outdoor pursuit subjects make it a must for anyone interested in fell-based activities. Design: 5 out of 5 Content: 5 Usability: 5
"(Nationally) the stores which consistantly please include George Fishers and Needle Sports in Keswick, and Wild Trak in Newcastle. All three shops offer good retailing standards, a good meet and greet process, and a level of product knowledge that is definitely of the highest quality.
When it comes to specialist retailers operating in the climbing world, I reckon that Needle Sports and Wild Track can't be beaten at this moment in time. They offer a good selection of specialist stock which is well displayed, a wealth of user knowledge courtesy of the shop staff, and a store you can easily walk around without bumping into things which aren't other customers!
Needle Sports does get busy at times, but that in itself is a good sign as it shows that others are of the opinion that the store is getting it right. It appears to be first port of call for quite a few people when they head into the Lakes and there are times when some legends of the mountaineering world can be seen parting with their cash or handing over their plastic."...
The Phantom Shopper
(Outdoor Review is a trade magazine for the Outdoor Industry. The Phantom Shopper regularly checks out gear and clothing shops incognito and reports on their staff, service and other ascpects. The quote above was from an article published in 2002 entitled "Ten Years of the Phantom Shopper".)
In an article in the April 2004 issue of Trail, entitled Live Here! which rated various places in the UK for their attractiveness to hill-goers, Ambleside and Keswick tied in first place for gear shops. Trail noted: The Battle for Gear Central:
"Keswick and Ambleside boast a cracking 18 gear shops each, but we reckon Keswick pips Ambleside to top spot in this category. Why? Two reasons: 1. George Fisher This is what every gear shop should be: huge and beautiful, housed in the famous Abraham photographic shop. These days it's full of kit, has a great bookshop and is one of Lakeland's best places for a cuppa. 2. Needle Sports Not a big shop, but every item in it is chosen with love. When you walk in, you can tell it's owned by experts: so, if you want advice, this is the place to come."
Keswick also ranked 2nd overall in the UK as a place to live. We should point out that, at the time, we had never advertised in the magazine, and didn't even stock it!
OUTDOORSmagic Readers Awards 2005/6
BEST SPECIALIST OUTDOORS SHOP Winner - Needle Sports, Keswick; Runner-Up - Gaynors, Ambleside
"Interestingly our best regarded bricks and mortar shops both come from the Lakes, suggesting that for spot-on service, Cumbria's the place to go. Keswick's Needle Sports took the crown over Gaynors though, well done."
CLIMB MAGAZINE Feb 06
Although primarily a climbing gear portal there's also lots of excellent free back-ground stuff on this site. Proprietor, Stephen Reid studied art once and his graphic design flair marks this site out as more than just a shop window Highlights include a beautifully illustrated photo-guide to the esoteric climbing of Galloway, a useful section advising how to get back down off Napes Needle (should you ever suffer the misfortune of finding yourself up there) and an interesting exposition on Ken Wilson's contribution to climbing literature. Plus the site hosts the wacky Nuts Museum, there's a quirky section on rocks that look like faces and one of the most thorough lists of links to useful climbing-related sites; there's at least a trillion. Defining phrase: ‘Entertaining and educational'. Personality: Lord Reith (except a jollier and nicer version).
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