Retail Profiles: Cathedral City’s Epidemic Skate Shop

“30 Shops In 30 Days" is our way of keeping a close eye on what's happening with retailers across the country. Over the course of a month, we'll feature a new in-depth shop profile every day. Is your shop interested in being profiled? Contact us at business@transworld.net.

Epidemic Skate Shop
68802 Ramon Road
Cathedral City, Ca 92234
www.epidemicskateboardshop.com
760.770.4177

Owner: Glen Coy
Square-feet: 4,000
Open Since: 2001

What were you up to before you opened your own shop?
I started the shop when I was a senior in high school. The second semester I only had to go to school until 11, so I would just go and open the shop after that everyday.

Do you have an online store?
no

What percentage of your inventory is dedicated to:

Hardgoods?
20% and it’s all in skateboards.

Men’s apparel?
30%

Junior’s apparel?
20%

Accessories?
5%

Footwear?
30%

What are your top three most profitable product categories?
Shoes, men’s apparel and sunglasses.

What has been the single best-selling product category over the past six months?
VANS!

Who are the top three sales reps that service your store, and why?
Everyone from Vans. Hallie and Brian always make sure stuff is stocked, hook the kids up with shoes, and help out with special events whenever we ask them to. That’s why Vans is on top.

Jordan, Lenny, Sandra and Candice from Volcom. Same as Vans; they hook up the kids that work at the shop, make good/sellable product and keep the events fun and consistant.

JC from Cons. Tons of POP and makes sure the product is being noticed in our area even though he lives two hours away.

Gotta mention Scott and Mark from Circa/Obey and Shawn and Peter from Girl. They help us on what to do and whats going on with other shops and give us so much advice that we need to be aware of. They have been a huge help the last couple years.

What’s been your overall impression of the local market over the past six months?
People seem pretty scared to spend a massive amount of money. We still have the same amount of foot traffic coming in everyday, it just seems like people are looking for sale items or buying the shoes and skipping on the $20+ T-shirt.

What stores are your closest competition?
A lot less then there was a year ago… Utility is the closest.

What are your overall expectations for the business over the next six to twelve months?
Keep the product mix tight and make sure we have only the items we know we can sell. We were going through a flyer we made last year with all the brands we carried and noticed we stopped pre-booking from over half of them. We also want to do a lot of signings and video premieres. Keeping the kids stoked on the shop and skateboarding when the weather is 120 degrees isn’t an easy task.

Is your shop altering the way you buy for 2009? If so, how?
Yes, we’re pretty much just cutting back on lines that aren’t selling well and companies that aren’t making sure the brand is represented well in our store.

Is your shop working closer with any particular brands lately?
Volcom, Cons, Vans, Obey, Girl, RVCA, Toy Machine – These are the brands all the kids that work at the shop are stoked on and the brands that have our backs 100%. It’s cool when you can work with people at companies that are on the same page as us with what needs to happen in a tough economic state.

What are some of the things brands are doing to work with your shop right now?
Volcom had us participate in their Battle of the Shops event and flowed a kid that rides for us. Cons has flowed a couple of kids that work for the shop and ride for us, which helps translate into sales when they’re on the sales floor. Circa and DC have both picked up a couple shop kids as well, and are setting up contests at our local parks this summer. We’re trying to line a signing up with RVCA or Toy this summer so hopefully that comes through. Just a lot of special events really. Kids can walk into any store and buy a skateboard these days. You’ve just got to give them a reason to want to come to yours.