Adventure 16 Closing After 57 Years

Adventure 16 announced that the 57-year-old company plans to close its remaining two stores in San Diego and West Los Angeles. Both mountain shops will be closed Monday, November 25 through Thanksgiving Day to prepare for their Going Out of Business Sale beginning on Black Friday.

A16, one of the oldest companies in the outdoor industry, was started in a garage in La Mesa, Calif., in 1962 by members of a Boy Scout Explorer Post who were passionate about high adventure. Using state of the art aircraft-grade aluminum alloy tubing and other high-tech materials of the time, they invented and manufactured lightweight, high-quality backpacking equipment that helped revolutionize and vitalize the sport.

Although the company started as a manufacturer, by the mid-2000s the employee owned company operated seven stores, an online store, a wholesale distribution business, a guide service and its own non-profit, Donate-A-Pack Foundation.

“We’re proud to be employee-owned and to have run a Foundation, that with the help of our customers, put tens of thousands of pieces of gear into the hands and onto the backs of adventurous underserved youth throughout Southern California,” said CEO, John D. Mead, who has been with the company since 1970. “So we’ve seen a lot, learned a lot, made a lot of friends, and hopefully we did some good along the trail. It’s certainly been an enjoyable and rewarding journey and a great run in the sun. But times change. It’s no secret that our style of retailing is under intense pressure. Big box and online shopping, including direct selling from manufacturers, is on a steady rise and continues to outpace traditional specialty stores like A16. We’ve fought the good fight and now it’s time for us to strike camp and move on.”

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Mead, who has been with the company since 1970, also attributed the closing to the cost of doing business in Southern California metro areas.
The “Going Out of Business Sale” on Friday, November 29 marks the start of an approximate one-month liquidation that will include the extensive inventory of mid- to high-end outdoor equipment and clothing. Beginning a week later, on Saturday, December 7, the company will begin liquidating its rental gear and its store fixturing, including a large collection of vintage and antique props.

“We’ll throw in the kitchen sink, if someone wants to buy it,” said Mead. “We’re determined to make the best of a sad situation. So expect to see us working hard with our heads held high, serving our customers and still making new friends with smiles on our faces, right up until the end.”