222 Fifth Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
P. 714-960 7611
Tripletwo clothing store opened its doors about six months ago in Huntington Beach, in an effort to provide a more diverse selection of brands in the area. Owned by industry veterans Samuli Hepola and Jari Lasko, both of Finland, and with additional support from ex pro boarder Paavo Tikkanen, the small, 1,000-square-foot shop boasts a collection of Scandinavian brands, many of which are being marketed in the US for the first time by the shop, according to shop manager Heidi Pena. Here’s what else Pena had to say about the store when we caught up with her recently:
What were the owners up to before opening their own shop?
The owners of the shop, Samuli Hepola and Jari Laakso, have been in the snow, surf, and skate industry since 1989. Mr. Jari Laakso is also the sole owner of Jari Laakso Oy which distributes and imports brands like Billabong, Oakley, DaKine, Sanuk and Flow in Finland. The brands involved with the shop are all founded and owned by Scandinavian professional snowboarders and skateboarders.
Do you have an online store?
Yes, we just launched an online store and a new Web site: www.triple-two.com
If yes, what percentage of your business is online vs. brick and mortar?
It’s estimated at 30 percent versus 70 percent.
What percentage of your inventory is dedicated to:
Men’s apparel? 60%
Junior’s Apparel? 10%
What are your top three most profitable product categories?
Men’s and women’s T-shirts, as well as wovens and denim.
What has been the single best-selling brand over the past six months?
Who are the top three reps that service your store and what makes them special?
Ninety percent of our inventory is directly distributed and imported by our company directly from Finland.
What is your overall impression of the local market over the past six months?
The market in Huntington Beach is pretty much filled with surf clothing. Our shop is bringing some fresh breeze to the HB market, concentrating only to Scandinavian indie street wear brands which are only carried by us locally.
What store (or multiple stores) is your closest competition?
As mentioned the market in HB is very monotonic, so we actually are not competing with any of the local shops. The store is more like a showroom in So Cal to several brands which we are distributing nationwide.
Is Tripletwo partnering with any brands for 2010?
We are going to promote the brands we import and exclusively distribute from Finland, as well as sponsoring events and riders. The brands we are mainly working with are Makia and CTRL. Our core business is to launch and build the distribution network in the US for the brands mentioned earlier.
Overall expectations for your business over the next 6-12 months?
Our first goal is to set up a decent distribution network to the brands we are importing from Finland.
Is your shop working closer with any particular brands?
Yes, our company is taking care of nationwide distribution in the US of Makia Clothing, CTRL Clothing, WhtMoment, Napapiiri Jeans, Costo hats and Asenne Surf. We also have great expectations for Moods of Norway in the future.