YETI Reverses Gun Ban in Austin, TX Store

YETI is a huge brand, certainly around these parts. From fishermen to drunken college students, their costly coolers are marketed with a blend of outdoorsy flavor and a hipster twist. Not long ago YETO opened their very first standalone store, complete with 30.06 and 30.07 signs in their window, banning both concealed and open carry.

For a company whose image was so closely intertwined with the outdoors lifestyle it seemed a little counterproductive to alienate those brand loyalists who made their company what it is. The Internet reminded them of this fact.

According to a local Austin talk show YETI has seen the light and has reversed its position.

YETI’s VP of marketing is pleading ignorance. Given that this is their first brick-and-mortar store (and one that serves booze) they didn’t really know what they were doing.

Plausible. But its also possible YETI was catering to the anti-gun hipster demographic prevalent on the streets of Austin — especially during SXSW (which has now conveniently ended). All’s well that ends well?

comments

  1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “Plausible.”

    Nope. You don’t put up signs without knowing why. II mean, if it’s not plain enough to read the sign and know what it means, anyone with a Google could look up the statute because… it’s referenced on the sign.

    This is what happens when your Marketing Department doesn’t understand your customer base.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      In Austin, it is completely plausible. The code system for buildings here is Draconian. They have been going through a public “code review” for over a year now, just because contractors, builders, and developers can’t understand the codes they have to comply with, and enforcement is a nightmare. I have a friend who bought a property on 6th street to develop and turn into a bar. A full year after construction was complete, he had to sell the property, because they were not able to show that they had fully complied with all the separate city ordinances. Their biggest problem? The city would deny them occupancy, then take a month to change their minds, then find something new, take a month, and on and on and on. Eventually, he sold the property.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        I’m telling you, the whole thing has to go. Austin’s infected. Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

        1. avatar -Peter says:

          You can add Seattle, Portland, and Chicago to that list as well, if you’re taking requests.

          Texas, Washington, Oregon, and Illinois. Three good conservative States on their way to utter ruin on account of one bad city.

        2. avatar Kilo says:

          We’ve tried to cut Illinois-istan in half for years

        3. avatar The Pontificator says:

          Except for Magpul

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Nah, Austin is kinky, but it’s fun. And I don’t know what you guys are talking about with 30.06 and 30.07 signs, I have never noticed one.

        5. avatar Bob Jones says:

          Austin will be sunk by it’s unfunded pension liabilities. Same goes for most big blue cities. They will have a choice between Bankruptcy Liquidation or getting the federal government to come in and roll all those pensions into Social Security with payouts comparable to private sector workers instead of retired Mexican Presidents.

      2. avatar JK in TX says:

        jwtaylor- I would say that your friend didn’t pay off the right people if this were in Louisiana but given that it was Austin they were probably just being a holes. I have spent hours upon hours just waiting to get a permit there

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Best bumper sticker I’ve seen in Austin is “make welfare as hard to get as a building permit”.

      3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        City satraps can be a pain anywhere, not just in notoriously liberal cities. I have a friend who owns a Murphy’s Deli franchise (about a 70 store franchise deli company mostly in Houston and Dallas, but some stores in Austin and San Antonio, too) in a Houston suburb city. Health inspector there made him install a vent hood for the little four slice toaster they use for club sandwiches.

        A four slice toaster, just like on your own kitchen countertop! Good grief. The vent hood is so tiny, it looks like a toy, like maybe something by Hasbro or Fisher-Price. It works, though, venting that massive, choking discharge of lightly toasted bread wisps to the roof, sparing sandwich makers the ravages of Brown Lung Disease.

      4. avatar BDub says:

        I’m not buying it. The 30.06/07 are completely voluntary. Anyone putting them up knows exactly why they are putting them up.

        What I do find interesting is the application of the 51% sign. The bar certainly qualifies, but since the premises do not actually belong to the bar and the store itself does not actually sell any alcohol (a 3rd party does), how does the 51% sign apply to Yeti customers, if it even can?

        Any legal eagles have any input?

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Disclaimer: This isn’t my area of practice, but it has come up in my personal life. (Someone with a liquor license probably knows more than me on this one).

          A lot of times, a building will have multiple businesses in it. One will have a liquor license that doesn’t cover the entire premises. Some times, it is hard to tell where one ends and another ends. These have signs that say no alcohol beyond this point. This is often the typical setup when there is a restaurant inside the same building as a store.

          What I don’t get is the signs in the men’s room that say “Drinking any type of alcohol while pregnant can hurt your baby’s brain, heart, kidneys and other organs and can cause birth defects. The safest choice is not to drink at all when you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.” That’s always puzzled me.

  2. avatar kevin says:

    Yes, plausible. Someone told them they needed the signs because they have a bar. They were wrong. If this wasn’t the case, why did they pull the signs?

    The reason that all of these stupid laws exist is to confuse people. Fear and misinformation is the gun grabbers’ bread and butter.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Translation: “We discovered that we could not continue to hose you idiots by charging absurd prices for coolers while treating you like pariahs, so we took down our signs. Please come back to our stores and bring lots of money.”

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      ^This! The old red-n-white Igloo has served well all these years.

      1. avatar PPGMD says:

        I have one of those too, I still use it quite often.

        But the new generation of coolers are decidedly better. I can pull 6 bottles of water out of the fridge and put them in my Bison soft cooler, a competitor to Yeti, with no ice and drive to Atlanta in the summer. At the end of the trip the water will still be pretty cool. I do the same with my Igloo and the water will be nearly room temperature during the exact same conditions.

        At the end of a 12 hour day on the range, with myself opening the cooler many times to pull drinks from it and place them back in. My Bison still has plenty of ice, my Igloo would have the ice completely melted and the drinks starting to warm up.

        And no I didn’t buy an expensive cooler to save money on ice (which is a common misconception about these), but that at the end of the day that my drinks would still be cold because the ice hasn’t all melted hours ago.

    2. avatar BLoving says:

      Yetis are fictional, Grizzlies are real.
      Yeti, made somewhere they don’t speak english, Grizzly – made in America.
      Yeti, limited warranty. Grizzly, lifetime warranty.
      Yeti, expensive.
      Grizzly, still expensive, but cheaper.

      1. avatar -Peter says:

        Almost all Yeti coolers are made in America. Many are manufactured in my home state of Iowa, in fact.

        Yeti has committed to moving all of their manufacturing to the US as soon as reasonably possible, and it has been steadily increasing. They even have a special number you can call, and they’ll make sure you get a US-made cooler.

        But yes, they are overpriced. Orca-brand coolers are just as good, and also 100% made in USA.

        1. avatar Martin says:

          From their website:
          Our Tundra coolers are manufactured in the USA at facilities located in Iowa and Wisconsin as well as at a facility located in the Philippines. Our Hopper coolers and Rambler drinkware are manufactured in China.

          So the low dollar stuff (if there’s such a thing in yeti land) that moves/sells faster, and possibly larger volume, is still made over seas. And not all of their higher priced stuff is made here in the US, some of it is still made over seas in the Philippines. Of the all the tundras, i wonder what % actually made here?

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Please come back to our stores and bring lots of money.”

      That store sure looks like it cost a fair bit of cash. For what they charge for those damn coolers…

      *mutter*

  4. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Suggestion for Nick: put a note in your calendar to check whether the signs go back up for the next SXSW or similar event.

    That will provide an indication of what their thinking really was / is.

  5. avatar TexTed says:

    Yes, entirely plausible. They made no moralistic claims, and they promptly corrected the situation. And seeing as they were in Austin, it’s entirely possible that their legal counsel who advised them on the signs is some MDA-inspired leftist anti-gun advocate.

    But to hell with Austin. It is not Texas. TTAG should move its base to REAL Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, whatever). Austin, and all of Travis County, is a metastasizing cancer. Why you chose to set up shop in what’s essentially Berkely, I will never know…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Psssst!

      TTAG’s publisher has a teenage daughter…

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        All the more reason NOT to move to Austin! Public schools already provide enough Progressive indoctrination … why in the world would you immerse your child in a rabidly Progressive environment outside of public school as well?

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      “Why you chose to set up shop in what’s essentially Berkely, I will never know…”
      Cowards leave. Leaders lead.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        Nice tough talk. Would you say that if you lived on the coast and a Category 5 hurricane was coming?

        There are some people who “ride it out.” They are known, generally, as idiots. Those with intelligence get the hell out of Dodge until the crisis is over.

        So I guess the question is — are you winning over there? How’s the Sheriff? How’s the illegal alien problem? How’s the rape rate at UT-Austin, double of what any other UT school’s rate is, right? How’s the regulations going? How are the schools?

        (And no, I’m not saying ANY of this is your fault! I’m just saying — look at the evidence. Are things improving? Or are they “progressing”?)

        Look — fighting a losing battle might be “noble”, but fighting for a lost cause is just — not sane. If you’re making actual, legitimate, documentable progress then — carry on. But to those of us outside of the loony bin known as Travis County, it sure as hell doesn’t look like you’re winning.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          To be fair, I don’t live in Austin or Travis County, but in nearby Hays county, and then on the Hays/Blanco border. That said, there is a lot of winning in this town. Newcomers forget when Austin was 100% Democrat, and forget that the city has always been a liberal bastion, because of UT.
          Speaking of which, where are you getting your rape statistics for UT? I’m not sure how you can get a lower rate than zero.
          https://police.utexas.edu/reports/statistics/
          Oh, and by the way, yes, I rode out Hurricane Allen.

        2. avatar BLoving says:

          Hey, after all the time and money spent gathering my “hurricane survival supplies”, I feel I need to be that idiot who rides it out. Besides, my block needs at least one armed goon to stay behind after the lights go out to keep an eye on the neighbors houses.

        3. avatar TexTed says:

          Well, if winning is happening, keep on winning then. I didn’t think it was possible, especially with the “Sanctuary Sally” stuff that’s been dominating the news recently.

          As far as the rape statistics, I thought it was an article here on TTAG, where it showed that the UT system in general had about a 7% to 9% rape rate, whereas UT-Austin reported about a 15% rate. I can’t find it on TTAG, but here’s a link to it in The Daily Texan:
          http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2017/03/26/ut-austin-has-highest-percentage-of-rape-among-female-undergraduates-study-finds

          As for riding out the hurricane — to each his own, I guess. Looks like Allen was a Cat 5 in the water, and Cat 3 by the time it hit land. If that’s your thing, well — you go. I’m going to hit the road. But I guess this world needs all types, so — good on you for being you, and for being TTAG’s resident war hero and everything you’ve done. I appear to have been in a bit of a mood when I wrote that first post – sorry.

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          “Would you say that if you lived on the coast and a Category 5 hurricane was coming?”

          Absolutely! I would lead my neighbors inland!

          As for the sheriff, she has just arrived on the scene, let’s see if she survives reelection.

        5. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

          TexTed: The definition of “rape” in that “survey” includes a lot of “I regret my activities last night.”

          For instance, “coercion.” This include “Internal coercion,” or “Nobody told me I HAD to have sex, I just thought I should.” Example: Long day doing yardwork, tired, sore back, sunburn. I just want to sleep. Then my wife taps me on the shoulder. “Honey?”, she says. I love her dearly, so we make love, I feel a little better, she’s happy, everything is good.
          According to the Progressive definition, I succumbed to internal coercion, ergo my wife raped me.

        6. avatar jwtaylor says:

          TexTed, everything you said is accurate, and thanks for providing the link. In digging , it seems that the UT police are being extremely specific as to locations, and convictions, on what they consider rape on campus.
          Success in Austin is extremely slow, and hard to find, but there are occasional bright spots.
          And every time TTAG uses the tag line “resident war hero”, I always attempt to correct it with the editors, so I must do so again with you. It’s war “hero”.
          Button Gwinnett-careful, that’s how I ended up with a basketball team (with a good bench) full of kids. My advice, sleep on the couch and quit showering.

    3. avatar TennTexan says:

      Newsflash: Dallas, while not as bad as Austin, is solidly blue (sadly). Dallas county was 61% in favor of Hillary in the last election… Travis country was 66% blue.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

    My wife has one of their coffee mugs. Personally I find a lot of their stuff to be overpriced for what it is.

    Seriously, nearly $300 for a soft cooler that holds a 12pack when the same basic price gets you one of their big “marine” coolers? WTF?

    Given the way that they price and advertise their smaller stuff I’m guessing that the signs were no accident. It was like REI; playing to the outdoorsy but liberal crowd. (REI gets no hate from me on that though. They sell a lot of useful stuff and they’ve never been shy about playing to the granola muncher crowd. Business is business and it works well for them. Also, I love that I can go in and pitch a tent before buying it online from another vendor for $200 less and their dividend program is pretty nice too.)

  7. avatar Norincojay says:

    Why are people so fearful of law abiding citizens with a gun? No one needs to worry about those people. It seems some anti gunners are paranoid of their fellow Americans. It’s not rational fear to be scared of good law abiding citizens.

    These people don’t seem to mind cops with guns. I think most have come to realize we do need cops, but they are just like the rest of us human. Most beat cops aren’t specially trained or practice more often than many lawful carriers.

  8. avatar Specialist38 says:

    These only thing most companies know about their customer base is that they give them money.

    Companies are not people, they don’t think.

    Unless someone at the helm is aware and active – companies do stupid things.

    Just ask Colt.

  9. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

    I live in New Braunfels. We are contemplating an alligator-infested moat around our fair city. This article is about Austin’s typical douchebaggery.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Plausible? Who knows. What we do know: it was a good thing that Yeti promptly removed BOTH signs.

    My personal opinion: if Yeti were trying to appease the liberal hipster demographic, Yeti would have taken down the .30-06 sign and left up the .30-07 sign.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If you notice them, the signs are purely offensive, I defy a business owner to show me one person who ever refused to enter an establishment because it did NOT post a sign forbidding firearms.

  11. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Oh no, I just finished testing “how many YETI Coolers does it take to stop a 6.5 creedmore round”, culminating in blasting the whole collection with Tannerite and posting it all to YouTube! How can I maintain my brand outrage if you change your mind, YETI? I guess I have to go buy more YETIs again. Sigh.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Sounds like a waste of perfectly good Tannerite.

      Detonate nice big pile of Buffalo Wild Wings. That would be cool to watch.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        I’ve never noticed any 30.06/.07 signs at BWW, and I’ve gone to a lot of them often.

  12. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    I’m curious about the 51% sign. It sounds like it’s on the interior of the store somewhere away from the entrance. How does the law look at that? does it apply to the whole premises? I’m seeing more and more instances of what I believe are abuses of 51% signs. The Kerrville folk festival comes to mind as do some restaurants. I’d like to see the issues surrounding 51% be covered in a detailed article.

    1. avatar oldshooter says:

      The “51 percent sign” needs to be posted at all the entrances. However, it is an inappropriate sign in a store that makes less than 51 percent of its income from sales of alcohol, which is certainly the case at the Yeti place. If there were a separate bar within the Yeti store, that had its own distinct entrances, the sign might be appropriate, but if it is simply a bar area located within the Yeti store, there is no requirement (and therefore no basis) for posting it. In San Antonio, the TABC agents have been going around telling restaurant owners who serve alcohol, that they are responsible for carding anyone who enters openly carrying a sidearm, unless they post a “30.07” sign at the door, and many are falling for this threat (most owners don’t want to have to have their staff card anyone who comes in open carrying). Given this BS in San Antonio, I wouldn’t be surprised if the TABC agents in Austin told these guys they needed a “51 percent sign” but in reality, they almost certainly don’t. Since it sounds like they are basically “gun friendly,” they need to get some competent legal advice about required and appropriate signage.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Texas state law enforcement does a lot of bs like that. TABC also tries to convince everyone that they have to post 51% signs if they sell any alcohol.

        Interesting side note, I can’t seem to find a law that prohibits the open carrying of long guns into 51% establishments, and I have looked. I just have the feeling that there has got to be one.

        Regardless of whether or not it is legal, if you do it, I imagine you are signing up for all sorts of trouble.

  13. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I suspect they took one look at what happened to Under Armor and decided that lots of their sales come through companies that cater to 2A enthusiasts. We tend to take our sports seriously, and we do remember those who disrespects us when it comes time to part with disposable income. For example, Sarah Lee Corporation use to support the Brady bunch, and I haven’t purchased their stuff in decades. Do they still support the anti-gun crowd? I don’t know, they have never bothered to make me aware of any attempt to undo that damage, so I still don’t buy their stuff. Sarah Lee has far less dependence on 2A enthusiasts than Yeti ever will, so taking down that sign was a smart business decision.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I know what you mean. Used to be a restaurant called the Magic Time Machine in Austin (still is, in San Antonio, I think), really great food, insane atmosphere, so popular they were printing money. My wife’s sister and her husband came for a visit, off we went. Got to the restaurant, they informed us we did not conform to their new dress code, here clip on this tie and shit, we’ll let you get away with it this time but don’t let it happen again. Ate dinner, left, never went back. Never checked to see if the dress code had been dropped, just never went back. Place was out of business in a year. Really. A dress code? In AUSTIN? I mean, the waitstaff wore costumes, fer chrissake, one was lil Bo Peep, they want me to wear a tie? NObody went back.

    2. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

      A nice young Brownie at the grocery store, selling Girl Scout cookies, asked me “Why not?” when I said I did not want to buy a box of Thin Mints.
      I looked at her mother and said “Ask your Mommy who Susan Komen is.”

      The look on Mommy’s face was ugly, evil, threatening…and delightful.

  14. avatar jwtaylor says:

    If you followed the whole thing it appears they thought they fell under the TABC’s bar statutes, which would mean they would put up the 06 and 07 signs. When they found out it had to reach 51% of their revenue to trigger that statute they pulled them down. It is telling that they removed the 51% sign, as well as the 06 and 07 signs, and gives some credence to the notion that they thought they were following the law, and corrected themselves as soon as they found out they did not have to limit firearms in their business.
    I went to school with the founders in the tiny town of Dripping Springs, about 40 minutes west of Austin. Like the rest of us, they grew up outdoors, hunting, fishing, and shooting, in a town of about 400 people. K-12 was all in same building for many of those years. I don’t know what role they play in the company now, but they are about as far away from the hipster and frat boy vibe the company seems to pander to as it gets.
    I didn’t know it was their company when I got my Yeti coolers, back in 2010 and 2011. I got them because I went on several white water rafting trips, and every guide and pro swore by them. After a little time, when my Igloos were destroyed or just filled with water and theirs were solid and still icy, I realized why.
    I can’t figure out how coolers became a lifestyle brand, but I’ve never understood marketing.

    1. avatar ATTAGReader says:

      If that is the case, then whoever is to blame, be it the corporate attorney, the contract attorney, or the marketing manager should be gone. When you sell to a sporting goods customer base and you put in a bar, you had better know the law. For me, I don’t get putting a bar in a retail store. I have seen it in other stores, but the last thing I am going to do in a store is order a drink. Maybe OK for others, but a drinking experience in a store that sells mostly coolers that you can buy in any hardware store in the country? As Mr. Spock would say, this does not compute.

    2. avatar scott says:

      Please tell me you enjoyed the vodka there in Dripping Springs. Due to distribution restraints, I have to go into Wisconsin for the magic elixir…

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        The number of distilleries and breweries in Dripping Springs now is absolutely mind boggling to us “old Drippin” folks. When I left for college, the town had ballooned to a population of 600. We even had a stop light! We also had 3 Baptist churches (again, for a town of 600 people, I went to First Baptist, like the decent folks, of course). It was illegal to buy alcohol in the precinct, and it was a 45 minute drive to the county line to get to a gas station that sold beer.
        Now, we have two vodka distilleries, a bourbon distillery, 3 good size brewers and a dance hall. A dance hall! Hell in a hand-basket. Of course, the first time I visited that den of iniquity, I was greeted by my own mother at the door, and a picture of her (because of her regularity there I assume) on the wall.
        Dogs and cats, living together. Mass hysteria.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Sounds like the Catholics took over.

          “[W]hich would mean they would put up the 06 and 07 signs.” I don’t think that is the case (please correct me if I am wrong; restaurants/bars are not my practice area). They would have to put up the 51% sign, which is different.

  15. avatar jester says:

    better check yourself… before you wreck yourself!

  16. The real problem: with the 51% vendor on premises, the whole building is actually off limits for carry anyway.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Given the prices for Yeti coolers, the possibility of liquor being 51% of their sales is beyond remote.

  17. avatar CV76 says:

    Too late hipster crybabies I went with RTIC. GFYO.

  18. avatar kap says:

    they go from assholes to drinking buddies, boycott the for money only guys, when push comes to shove they will bail.

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