We’re really kind of over this whole issue, however, for those playing along at home, here is the latest: The website The Skateboard Industry has scanned and placed the entire ISAC Under Fire: A Special Report On the Skate Hardgoods Market on their website for easy online reading (for a sane overview read Johnny Schillereff’s interview). Also, for those interested in the history of the blank scare, RealSkate.com has directed Sack Forum readers to a 1994 document titled, Gentleman’s Agreement, which shows how this same problem was handled by many of the same players 13 years ago. Talk about living on a treadmill.
[Link: The Skateboard Industry, Realskate.com, and Dansworld.com]
West 49, the “Canadian Zumiez“, which operates 125 stores under seven different names (West 49, Billabong, Off The Wall, Amnesia/Arsenic, D-Tox, Duke’s Northshore, and Boardzone.com) reports that their sales for Q4 climbed 22 percent to CAN$61.9 million. And they have plans to squeeze even more profit out of teens this year:
In December West 49, which markets clothes aimed at skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers, said it is shifting its focus to squeezing the most profit from existing stores by reviewing its pricing and moving some outlets.
[Link: The Hamilton Spectator]
PacSun, that wonder mall store that supports so many of our action sports family members has decided to shut down 74 of it’s 225 demo “urban apparel stores.”
The Anaheim-based retailer has struggled for the past year, seeing business also drop in its signature PacSun stores. But business has been particularly tough at demo, which specializes in hip-hop-style clothing. On Tuesday the company said January same-store sales for demo fell 9.5 percent, while its PacSun chain posted a same-store dip of 7.3 percent.
Remind us to check our stock ticker tomorrow. We’re guessing there’ll be some pain.
[Link: OC Register]
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Dalton Park shopping center in Seaham, UK after two telephone calls were made to a Quiksilver retail store claiming that a bomb had been left in the building:
Up to 200 visitors and 150 staff were moved out on to land surrounding the Murton centre for almost two hours as police officers and sniffer dogs checked the area. . . The centre reopened shortly before 5pm when police confirmed the calls had been a hoax and were satisfied there was no risk.
We wonder if it had anything to do with this bomb?
[Link: Sunderland Today]
Apparently, less expensive surfboards manufactured in China and Thailand are showing up in Australia where they have reportedly taken over 40 to 50 percent of the board sales.
While the trend is bad news for the Australian board-shaping industry, it is good news for bargain hunters. Mr Norris said computerised shaping technology used in Asia was bringing consistency and regularity to boards. He said while hand-shaped boards could be wonderful to ride, hand shapers also had bad days and could turn out poor boards.
[Link: Sydney Morning Herald]
We knew that sooner or later Consolidated’s Birdo Guisinger would drop into the blank arcade and start screaming the truth at the top of his lungs. As usual, he gets directly to the bloody point.
Hey, Shops. . . How about telling the companies you buy from that you’ll stop selling blank and shop decks if they stop selling to corporate mall chains and sporting goods stores.
This ad will reportedly appear in the next issue of Slap Magazine. (Click the image for the large version.)
According to a post on the Slap Magazine Forums, Jamie Thomas has sent a letter to skateboard retailers letting them know that he’s created a new discount pricing structure for shops who support skateboarding. That “support” is based on the following criteria:
Whether you support skateboarding on a grass roots level by sponsoring/hosting local events. IE: contests, demos, skatepark fundraisers. . . Whether you support our brands in their entirety by carrying a balanced offering of all our products. . . Whether you choose to focus on supporting pro-branded products over blank and non-branded products.
If core retailers meet these three requirements they’ll likely get pricing that’s nearly as good as the pricing Black Box gives CCS and Zumiez.
[Link: Slap Forums]
The Associated Press is reporting that Tony Hawk has signed an exclusive deal with Kohl’s Corp. to sell footwear under his brand in all 800 of their really, really big-box stores. Apparently, Tony “provided inspiration” for the shoes, but Kohl’s actually designed them.
“There are a lot of skate shoes out there that kids just can’t afford, and so in doing this, in going online and at Kohl’s, it makes it affordable for those kids and their parents,” Hawk said.
See, it’s all about helping out the poor, disadvantaged kids.
[Link: Chandler News-Dispatch]
It seems the IASC suppliment to the February issue of Transworld Business is making the rounds at retail. One of the best bits we’ve seen so far is from the Sacklunch Forums, written by Mr. Coke and Smoke.
The Core Retailer’s market is continually being attacked, and drawn away, by non-skating “skate shops”. Which are supported by non-skating “skate distributors” that will sell to anyone and everyone. And, they are supplied by these non-skating “skate brands” that are represented by IASC. If IASC really wanted the help of the Core Retailer, then, they’d do the obvious thing. And, they would do it now. Today. That is: Give the exclusives on “branded product” back to the guys that should have had them all along…….. the Independent Skate Shops. . . .Until then, all of this “Under Fire” hubbub is gonna fall on completely unsympathetic ears. That’s guaranteed.
If you read the enitre post you’ll see a retailer’s vision of where the whole “blank future” began. And, according to Mr. Coke and Smoke, it’s been in the hands of the IASC manufacturers all along.
[Link: Sacklunch Forums]
Thanks to a surge in late and post holiday shopping Zumiez finished December 2006 40 percent up over December 2005.
The seller of equipment and clothing related primarily to skateboarding and snowboarding recorded net sales of $62.5 million in December, compared with $44.5 million in the last five weeks of 2005.
The largest reason for the increase was their new stores which now total 236. But even in stores that were open for at least a year they were 11.5 percent up according to The Daily Herald.