I agree that the North Salem store just has the Bevals name and not much else. I got the vibe when I was there, around the time the store had just opened and trusted the Bevalness to make up for that.
I think the New Canaan Mother Ship is still as good as it ever was in terms of top-notch customer service. Gladstone did a little less well, but in that "test" I wanted a replacement piece of equipment that was little, obscure and unsexy in terms of the money they might make.
The saying "you get what you pay for" is true. Since Bevals tack and stuff is pretty expensive, I just know to patronize the New Canaan store for complicated jobs. But they *can* get it right if you are specific.
The difference between NS and NC Beval is that for one, the North Salem store is more of a "barn's" tack store. They deal more directly with the grooms and trainers while the NC store is more the "customer's" tack store. North Salem often is low on suppliments, bandages, polos, lead ropes etc...why? Because they sell through it so fast. The North Salem store is still trying to be Salem Saddlery and keep its old customers happy and bring its self up to speed with the new Beval clientel.
A few thoughts from Beval.
I want to thank the many posters for the kind comments in advance. And hope to learn from and hopefully help any customers with any problems or concerns. We will have any employees involved in repairs read through the original post and this thread to make certain any confusion like this is avoided in the future. We do try to make sure to be clear and keep the customers informed on any costs on repairs unfortunately sometimes things get overlooked (not an excuse they should not) and we will try to make sure they do not. On the costs of repairs it is very expensive and difficult to have this level of skilled labor available in the United States. The majority of tack being made for the American Market comes from other parts of the world where labor cost are so much lower. This and the fact that skilled labor here costs more is why in so many cases the cost of the repair can be almost as much as the item. Most of the Items we make or sell are made in America England and France we do have some items built in other countries however the majority of our products are made in the above mentioned countries. I also wanted to hopefully have the poster Meupatdoes please PM me or call me directly at 203 966 7828 in regard to the post about the pictures and the flocking of the saddle. I have read other posts from you dating back a number of years that are very similar, And would love to know who this employee is and exactly what she or he said as it goes against the way we generally do things. We do use some photos from time to time (just as one tool) but the majority of our fitting is done at shows or at Farms. I am also a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified saddle fitter (UK) and again would go against their code of ethics. So I would really like to nicely clear this up with you on direct bases. We also do work on most other brands as long as the equipment is safe so I am not sure why the employee asked if it was a Beval Saddle. If any other customers have any comments or concerns please do not hesitate to call me at the above Number. Also as management will consider the comments about Salem and work harder on this location.