The Market Common

The new fly guy: Orvis manager Chris Wait

Chris Wait is the new manager at The Market Common’s cornerstone store Orvis, but he’s in no way new to retail, with a career in the industry that tracks back to age 16, working at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Galyan’s Trading Company.

Hailing from Buffalo, N.Y., Wait moved to Myrtle Beach in 2016 post-Hurricane Matthew, after a 15-year career change as a legal assistant, to come full circle in retail once again here with Orvis. Over the past few years, he’s grown with the company, starting as a seasonal employee and continuing into a full-time position and now store manager as of Feb. 1.

“I’ve always been an avid hiker, enjoy camping, and really all outdoor pursuits,” says Wait. “I learned fly-fishing as an Orvis associate with the help and patience of our amazing assistant manager Michael Matthews. 

Orvis, one of the oldest retailers in the United States founded in 1856, is, of course, synonymous with the sporting traditions of fly-fishing and wingshooting,

“But I’d like this market to know that we offer so much more,” says Wait. 

For instance, he says, Orvis is also known for its diverse, high-quality selection of men’s and women’s clothing, from outdoor techwear to classic chinos and wrinkle-free shirts to wear at the office. And there’s also their dog department, stocked with everything from toys to treats, beds to harnesses, and much more. 

“I make sure we always have free treats, so I encourage all of our customers to bring their dogs inside to shop with them,” says Wait. 

Something else you can expect at Orvis is its tradition of hosting adoption events at the store. We occasionally host catered events featuring food and beer from Orvis partners Tupelo Honey and Gordon Biersch.

“It keeps with our core value of giving back within the community, and it’s tremendously rewarding for my team,” says Wait. “As an associate, I spearheaded our efforts with local animal rescues, organizing and hosting events several times a month. … We’ve undertaken some really awesome fundraising efforts on behalf of our partners at All4Paws and Kind Keeper Animal Rescue in the past year.”

Orvis, in fact, states that it commits 5% of pre-tax profits to protecting nature, supporting communities and advancing canine health and well-being.

It’s all part of what Wait calls the highlight of every Orvis shopping trip: the experience. 

“We believe, as a company, that our customers remain loyal because we provide them with an unrivaled shopping experience with the absolute best in customer service, greeting you with a smiling face, and truly listening to our customer’s needs to assure that they are getting exactly what they need,” he says. “And that’s what our goal is. I want our customers to leave our store not only with a quality product that fits their needs, but with the intention of coming back, again and again.”

When Wait isn’t on the job, ensuring that customers have the Orvis Experience, he says he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Elizabeth, her soon-to-be 8-year-old son, Keith, his parents, Chuck and Paula, and his sweet dog, Bailey. You’ll also catch him doing yoga, reading, listening to music, or throwing a fly, when time allows.

Orvis is located at 1150 Farrow Parkway, Myrtle Beach. For more information, visit www.orvis.com or call 843-839-6000.