With four solid surf shops within a third of a mile of each other, it’s a challenge to stand out. But Santa Cruz Surf Shop has found a way to distinguish itself on Santa Cruz’ East Side — carry opposite brands.
Just up 41st Avenue the two competing shops (Freeline and O’Neill — Paradise is just around the corner from SC) carry some of the bigger surf brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Hurley, and Volcom. But Manager Ty Zulim and Owner Danny “DK” Keith have enjoyed strong growth by going deeper in smaller brands. Zulim says brands with local flavor seem to do best in his shop, namely the shop’s private label (with the famous “SC” logo) as well as NHS’ Santa Cruz and Independent. Zulim adds that sell-through on Counter Culture and MCD is also strong.
He also notes that Aaron Chang does really well in the shop, especially in the Juniors’ department. Additionally, Hotline wetsuits are big sellers and Xcel has really been gaining steam, Zulim says.
The last shop before The Hook, Zulim says a lot of surfers come in to buy last minute items like wax and leashes. But while Santa Cruz Surf Shop sells a ton of accessories to both local and not-so local surfers (The Hook is a favorite among surfers who drive over the hill i.e. Silicon Valley because it’s easy to get to), it’s the shop’s apparel business that contributes the most dollars to the bottom line.
With the addition of the shop’s Web site (santacruzsurf.com) — which has an e-commerce component, plus surf check cameras and weather reports — Zulim only expects business to grow. Helping the SC crew along the way has been Marcel (sales rep for Electric and Dakine).
**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****
Window Brands: Independent, Aaron Chang, Counter Culture, Lucy Love
Major Display Brands: MCD
Strongest Category: Clothing
Bests Rep: Marcel (Electric, Dakine)
Hottest Brand(s): Private Label, NHS (Santa Cruz, Independent)
On A Scale Of 1 to 10, Rate:
Health of the surf sales: 9
Health of girls sales: 7
Health of men’s apparel sales: 9
Health of wetsuit sales: 8
Health of footwear sales: 2
Health of surfboard sales: 7