IG Boarding Shop
For sixteen years IG Boarding Shop has been one of the San Fernando Valley’s leading surf-skate-snow retailers. As the shop heads into 2002, it’s doing everything it can to stay on top — a more difficult feat than ever, with more outlets taking a stab in the action-sports market.
“With big-box stores like Copeland’s coming in to the action-sports industry, we’re not going to run away,” says Co-Owner Doug Anderson. “We want to be two steps ahead.”
In order to stay in front of the pack, IG is taking a more critical look at its buying. Over the past few seasons it’s cut orders from brands that distribute to non-surf outlets like department stores and is instead buying deeper with start-up surf lines or ones that keep their distribution tight.
“We’re dropping brands that are not supporting the Southern California specialty marketplace,” says Co-Owner Dan Egan, who opened IG when he was nineteen years old. “If we’re to maintain as a specialty shop, we’re going to keep supporting those companies that are into protecting the specialty shops.”
Both Anderson and Egan are concerned that broader distribution will dilute surfing’s image, which could make it passé to the ‘core and the mainstream and make surf shops obsolete.
But right now, surf and skate are hot. At IG the shop’s strongest brand — both in customer demand and sales volume — is Volcom. Hurley, Billabong, and Matix are also big sellers. While skate has had the biggest momentum over the past year, Anderson notes he’s seen a resurgence in popularity of surf brands.
“Surf is starting to become cool again,” Anderson says. “As skate has become more mainstream we are seeing the kids become more interested in surfing.”
Despite the recession, IG is continuing to expand — it wants to meet demand. Anderson and Egan are nailing down the details to move its Agoura shop a few blocks west to a location that’s more than three times the size (6,800 square feet) of its existing shop. In October 2000, IG opened the doors to its new 12,000-square-foot location in Simi Valley, which features an indoor skate park.
Window Brands: none
Major Display Brands: Volcom, Roxy, O’Neill wetsuits
Strongest Categories: “Anything skate, shoes, snowboard softgoods, and hardgoods that big-box stores can’t get,” says Anderson.
Weakest Category: n/a
Strongest Brands: Volcom, Hurley, Billabong, Matix
Best Reps: Darren “Dagwood” Madrigal (Volcom), Ron Gould (Billabong), Matt Bovard (O’Neill), Matt Spurr (Hurley)