Atascadero is a bit of a strange town for a surf shop. After all, you’re more likely to see a pickup truck with a “Barrel Racers Turn And Burn” bumper sticker on it than the typical SUV with surf racks. But with Morro Bay only seventeen miles away — albeit on a windy two-lane road — Atascadero does support a surfing population and the shop Pacific Coast Surf and Street.
It’s been just about a year since Larry Parks purchased the store and began a continuing process of bringing in newer brands. He admits his customers aren’t as tuned in to the rapid-fire trend-setting of So Cal, but he has had success in bringing in the new brands — most recently Fox.
The mainstays of his business are Billabong, Rip Curl, O’Neill, Roxy, Rusty, Split, World Industries, Counter Culture, and HIC, but he says he’s close to bringing in Volcom and Hurley as well.
Pacific Coast isn’t a huge store, but there seems to be something for everyone. Roxy — and the scads of Roxy accessories — get a good chunk of space. Snowboards are just past the Juniors’ section, with Burton, DC boots, and Heelside the prominent brands. Up against the back wall is the skate shoe section — the foundation of Parks’ business.
“We’re getting a reputation for having a fairly deep and broad selection of the brands we carry,” he says. “I’ve heard that some customers are even driving up from San Luis Obispo because they hear we have styles that aren’t available elsewhere.” Featured brands include DVS, DC, Lakai, Osiris, and Gallaz. “We just can’t keep the Osiris D3 stocked — it’s flying out of here.”
Pacific Coast has a ton of sunglasses — although they are spread across the store. Arnette, DSO, Von Zipper, Dragon, Electric, Roxy, and Spy are all carried. Parks has been rapidly expanding this area as well (when he took ownership the store carried only Dragon). “I discovered this past summer that a lot of kids will come in of Friday to buy a pair of sunglasses to take to the lake, and then would be back in on Monday to buy another pair because they fell off into the water,” says Parks.
With the anniversary of his purchase approaching, Parks says he’s looking forward to comparing his sales to last year’s figures. “I think things are going really well, but when I’m able to compare sales from last year I’ll really know.”
**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****
Window Brands: Billabong, Split
Major Display Brands: Billabong, Rusty, Split, Fox
Strongest Category: Skate Shoes, plus Arnette is “still killing it.”
Hottest Brand(s): Osiris, O’Neill, Rip Curl