Pacific Beach, California
The building Edge Coastal Outfitters occupies has been a revolving door of sorts. Countless businesses have come and gone, changing so quickly that failure seems inevitable.
But Edge is unique. It’s the first business in a while to take a stab at success in that location as a retail outlet. All recent endeavors have been restaurants, most recently a Cajun eatery. “Everyone always looked at the building as a restaurant,” says Edge Manager Rachel Suzick. “No one ever thought it could be a retail shop.”
Edge has proven the skeptics wrong. In two years the shop has established a solid foundation in Pacific Beach; Suzick says business is a “ten out of ten.”
The clean and wide-open 5,000-square-foot shop is well merchandised with good sight lines — almost at chain-store status. Skate is the strongest category at Edge, and that’s reflected by the shop’s most popular brands: Zero, Enjoi, Dark Star, Planet Earth, Obey, and Stüssy. Gravis footwear also does well.
One key ingredient to the shop’s success is its ability to appeal to a variety of people. “Business is spread by word of mouth,” says Suzick. “A lot of girls come in with their boyfriends for the first time and end up finding things they like. And sometimes it’s the other way around.”
For juniors’ brands, Edge has a lot of Paul Frank and Lost. There’s also a large swimwear collection. The shop has a big display of Hawk clothes for boys and other small-sized skate apparel to appeal to the grade-schoolers. On the men’s side, Stüssy has the most prominent display and there’s also a fair amount of Planet Earth and ZZYZX.
But it’s not all about apparel. At the back of the shop is a large skate-hardgoods section and a legit surfboard room where there are more than 30 boards for sale, including Edge’s private-label sticks that are sold for an almost margin-less 275 dollars (new!). “Surfboards fly out of here,” says Suzick. Edge’s accessories business — most notably sunglasses, leashes, traction pads, and watches — is also strong.
Window Brands: Planet Earth, Stüssy, Obey, ZZYZX, Radio Fiji
Major Display Brands: Stüssy, Sanük, Planet Earth, ZZYZX, Paul Frank, Clive
Strongest Category: Skate
Weakest Category: n/a
Strongest Brands: Zero, Enjoi, Darkstar
Best Reps: “Out of all the lines we carry, they’re all good reps. We have really good customer service.”