Less than a year ago, Faith Skate Supply moved into a new 2,000-square-foot space in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and despite a weak economy, owner Peter Karvonen says the shop continues to do “well enough to hold its own.” Karvonen, who has been skating for close to 25 years, founded Faith Skate Supply 15 years ago. “There were no other skate shops in this area back then. We got in during the right time and the right scenario and then skating took off, so it worked out for us.” While Faith is still adjusting to the transition into a new, larger space, Karvonen trusts that he made the right decision for the shop in the longrun. “We still get phone calls everyday from people not knowing we've moved, but the new location has been great – we are in a fast-growing spot and we were able to buy the space, so it's good for us.” Here’s what’s been selling lately at Faith Skate Supply.
TOP SELLING CATEGORIES
“Lately, since summer has hit, it’s been hardgoods,” says Karvonen. “Decks have been number one.”
“Zero has always been our number one. We carry a lot of it [Zero product], but there’s just an Alabama connection with Zero’s owner Jamie Thomas, whose from here, and skater Ben Gilley rides for the shop and for Zero.”
SKU: Bold Series
Generally, the bold series or America series logos are doing well,” says Karvonen. “They’re also doing well with their pricepoint series.”
“We've got a 30 foot wall dedicated to footwear – and about the same for boards – and then apparel is all mixed in,” says Karvonen about new space, where Faith just relocated in October 2008.
“Fallen is probably our best seller, and then Vans would be second best. The two of those are our top two, for sure – they kind of go neck and neck for the most part.”
Karvonen says that for Fallen, the Forte has been performing well, and that a close comparison in style and sales has been Vans Chukka Lo. “Definitely the vulcanized, simple look is what kids are going for with price tag at the $50-to-$60 range,” he says.
“We do a good bit of cut and sew, but we don't get super into it. We do really well with denim,” says Karvonen.
“We go pretty deep with Fallen, emerica apparel and KR3W,” Karvonen explains about the shop’s denim selection. “We have tried some others like RVCA and Fourstar, but we've found our pricepoint for pants is between $54.99 and $58.99 so we try to stay with a brand that can provide that. We actually do really well with vans, too.”
SKU: K Slims
“K Slims – it's probably our best selling jean,” says Karvonen. “We did the Super Slim with them and that was short lived, because it seems people don't want them that tight, but they do like cut and feel of the pant.”