Mountain Equipment Co-op unveils new logo and name with a nod to the urban consumer -

Mountain Equipment Co-op unveils new logo and name with a nod to the urban consumer


National outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Co-Op is shedding its image of being a store just for the granola-eating, sandal-wearing, mountaineering-type.

The Vancouver-based retailer unveiled a new logo Tuesday in its first major rebranding since the co-operative was founded more than 40 years ago.

The redesigned logo refers to the retailer simply as MEC and does away with the iconic image of a mountain.

MEC’s chief marketing officer Anne Donohoe said the original logo was designed in 1974, and it was time for a facelift.

“The rebrand reflects the reality of the new MEC,” she said from Vancouver. “We’ve grown from six members to 3.5 million members over the last 40 years, many of whom live in urban centres.”

Donohoe said originally, the sporting goods retailer was formed in Vancouver to sell hard to find rock-climbing equipment to the outdoor enthusiast. Today, 71 per cent of its members live in urban centres.

Although MEC is still focused on providing equipment for backcountry hiking, skiing and paddling, it also has diversified into other areas including cycling, running and yoga.

“MEC has stayed true to its values yet is able to broaden its offering to more Canadians,” she said. “Truly, our mission is to inspire Canadians to be active outdoors.”

The new logo will begin appearing on products beginning in July, and stores will be completely rebranded sometime in September.

MEC sells more than 28,000 products at 17 stores across the country. In 2012, it reported sales of $302 million.

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Mountain Equipment Co-op unveils new logo and name with a nod to the urban consumer

  1. umm this new logo is TERRIBLE. if you can even call it a logo, a square green box with 3 letters? no creativity at all… the story says the grew from 6 to 3.5 million members and its time for a refresh, well you grew to that based on your old logo!

    • They grew based on selling high quality products and supporting customers with knowledgeable staff. The logo is merely a representation of a brand, not the brand itself. If this was a retailer of cheap crap from Bangladesh sweat shops with nothing to distinguish itself from competitors other than its name, it might matter.

      Since Mountain Equipment Co-op (known already by its customers as MEC, pronounced MEKK) actually stands for something, this logo will make very little difference.

      • Sensible analysis but would not pick the new logo.

        • Can’t really defend the logo on it’s own. I agree with John the mountain logo was better, but I understand why they’d ditch the longish word mark, too.

      • yea well i was being concise i didnt mean that the logo was the reason they grew, i meant they grew in spite of it representing a mountain, i just meant it didnt stop their growth…

  2. I’m tired of MEC corporate referring to it’s SHAREHOLDERS as members. In my opinion this practice is deceptive and misinforms people as to their rights to be active participants of the cooperative process.

    • MEC is a cooperative, so it does not have shareholders, it has members. The legislation under which companies, societies and cooperatives is unique to each one and the legislation that governs cooperatives uses the term “members”, not “shareholders.”

      • Direct quote from the MEC rules of Co-Operation; “The co-operative is permitted to issue an unlimited number of membership SHARES with a par value of five dollars each”. If you own a “membership” you own SHARES.

        • The difference is you cannot buy more than one share (your initial membership “fee” if you will). Any additional shares are earned based on your purchases, and is thus returning part of the profits not to all shareholders equally, but based on how much you contributed to those profits. MEC members cannot buy and sell their shares (other than the single share).

        • You’re right PB, every member has a share, so every member is a shareholder. But as DonnyB2 excellent points out, each member can only have one share.
          That is a critical point and a critical difference between a company and a co-operative. There is not a majority shareholder and never will be. There can never be a single person who can fully control decisions made by the organization.

          Each member has a signle voting sharing to participate in annual general meetings and to vote for board members.

          A second equally critical point is that no one person or minority group of shareholders is benefiting from any profits earned by the co-op. The majority of net income is re-invested into future operations, which includes managing supply costs, being a leader in the community and paying good staff wages and benefits.

          These are the benefits of a co-op. As far as I’m concerned, it sure beats knowing that my dollars are making someone else rich.
          (also a proud credit union member)

          • I should clarify that I am not an MEC staff member. Just a supporter of co-ops.

  3. Not a great re-brand. It looks like the GAP clothing store logo, just in green. They paid money to be presented with this “design” concept??

    • They must be smoking the green stuff! Pointless rebrand. My perception.

  4. My friends and I have always referred to these stores as ‘M. E. C.’ for ease of conversation. Or is the new branding pronounced ‘mek’?

  5. hey I am also member and my vote counts as much as ms. donohoe’s. why was this not bought up to the membership? MEC is not GMC, besides i have not yet tired of eating granola.