By Melissa Cornwell
With holiday shopping days in full affect, SNOWboarding Business called thirteen shops across the nation to see what was really going on with recent sales. Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, November’s economic climate was matching that of our late-blooming winter.
However, when it rains it pours—and this is definitely the case in the Western U.S. With the recent snowfall, shops are waving good-bye to the merchandise and saying hello to happy registers. The folks in the East are little flustered by their 65-degree temperatures.
Overall, sales for the period are not trailing too far behind last season, but fingers are crossed for the approaching winter. Straight from the sources who matter most, here’s what thirteen top snowboard shops had to say about recent sales:
Boarderline Snowboards, Bellevue, Washington
Thanksgiving shopping days offered a kick in sales at Boarderline this season. Prior to the holiday, November was looking fairly dry. But with holiday shopping in full effect, sales did pick up slightly. “Sales are okay, not awesome,” says Manager David Pascoe. “We are down a little at this point, but are right on transition because of the recent snowfall.” He attributes the recent slow downs to the hurting economy, but is keeping his fingers crossed for good weather to pick things back up again.
Though things are slower these past couple of weeks, the die-hards are still making purchases. Burton is a top seller in all areas of equipment this holiday. Option Snowboards are selling fast, too. Outerwear seems to be dominated by Bonfire and 686.
Cal’s Pharmacy, Portland, Oregon
It’s apparent the folks at Cal’s Pharmacy, in Portland, Oregon are feeling the love from all directions. Tracey Veenker, shop manager, says sales have been really good. “The mountain opened up and our sales are up from last season,” says Veenker. He also says it looks like it’s going to be a good season and he is looking forward to the winter.
Cal’s Pharmacy is also opening up a skate facility in shop, so that should be good fun for the winter, too.
Board sales at Cal’s seem to be dominated by Lib Tech, Burton, and Gnu. “DC pre-season blew right out the door,” he says, “but Vans, ThirtyTwo, and Burton have been also doing very well in boot purchases.”
Bonfire, Volcom, Burton, and Foursquare have a lead in outerwear sales during these past couple of weeks.
Boards n’ Motion, Auburn, California
Even though business has been down quite a bit from last season at Boards n’ Motion, the Thanksgiving holiday brought some awesome sales numbers. “The three days after Thanksgiving rocked!” says Jason Dunn, shop manager.
Boards n’ Motion ordered less this year, so it’s been placing a lot of re-orders. Dunn believes the reason for the slow down in their shop sales is due to the general economy. “Families have been spending more on family-oriented items as opposed to luxury items,” says Dunn. He is also stoked on all of the products out this season: “All the companies have a lot to offer.”
Of all the great products on the market, shoppers at Boards n’ Motion tend to be flocking towards Burton, Salomon, K2, and Ride for board purchases. While binding sales for the store are dominated by two Northwest companies. “K2 step-ins are going off this season in sales,” says Dunn, “but Drake bindings are also not too far behind.”
Taking the lead in outerwear sales is 686. Dunn believes this is because, “price wise, it is a good deal.”
Active Ride Boardshop, Temecula, California
Even though Southern California is known for the great surf and nice beaches, snowboarding is definitely something that cannot go unnoticed. Those who are in great anticipation of the season are out buying and getting all geared up for the winter. This branch of Active has seen its sales rise 22 percent from last season and Store Manager Bryan Giguere says all of SoCal’s Active Corporation is up 63 percent from last year. “Everything has been great!” he remarks.
“Forum and Burton have been flying out the door,” says Giguere, “and Forum is especially rocking with the kids.” Women’s snow sales are up fifteen percent with Burton boards and Volcom girls’ clothing as the most popular purchases. M3 and Lib Tech have also been selling very well at Active. Drake and Flux are doing very well in binding sales.
Polar Revolution, Keystone, Colorado
Faced with a slow November, Polar Revolution in Colorado was hoping for high sales over the Thanksgiving holiday and they got it. Thanksgiving picked up quite a bit for the shop, however overall sales are still slightly down from last season. Manager Will Van anticipates with the incoming winter rush of people back into the mountain town, business will pick up again.
“The Southwest part of the state is struggling, and is down ten to twenty percent from last year,” he says, “but we are hoping to make it up.” As for the companies flying out of the store, Never Summer and Burton seem to be doing very well in board sales. Rockin’ in boot sales are the Kevin Jones’ pro model by Northwave and the Burton Ions.
According to Van, 686 Enterprises is the top seller in outerwear because, “you get a good value for the price and features.”
Brother’s Boards, Aurora, Colorado
Recent storms have definitely helped sales out at Brother’s Boards, in Aurora, Colorado. “November sales have been down from last year, but it has been picking up due to the snowfall the past weeks,” says Owner Chris Gallagher.
As of now, things seem back to normal at Brother’s Boards, however, Gallagher is hoping and assuming business will pick up in December. The most popular board companies in the Denver suburb are Lib Tech, Gnu, and Never Summer. “We are moving Lib Tech fast,” says Gallagher.
Drake and Technine are doing very well in binding sales, and the toppers of boot sales are Northwave, ThirtyTwo, and Vans.
Milo Sport, Salt Lake City, Utah
Business at Milo Sport is darn refreshing. The past two weeks have been very good with the opening of local resorts. Manager Josh Roberts comments, “The first two weeks of November were pretty slow, but things are definitely picking up. Sales are good now that the weather is finally agreeing with us.”
As far as boards go, Milo Sport is selling a lot of Option, Forum, Salomon, M3, K2, and Nitro. “We are selling a lot of Forum kid packs,” says Roberts. Northwave, Forum and DC are doing nice in boot sales. As for apparel, Analog, Bonfire, Foursquare, Special Blend, and Sessions are the top choices.
World Boards, Bozeman, Montana
Things started off pretty slow for World Boards, but are starting to pick up with the holiday season. “The past two weeks have been very good,” says Manager Jesse Heilmann. Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, sales were off to a slow start for the shop. “They overall sales were 30 percent of last year’s sales, but these past two weeks they have been up ten to twenty percent,” he says.
Heilmann feels the slow economy will not have too much of an affect on business because, “snowboarders make wages, and they are not effected directly by the economy.”
Top sellers for World Boards seem to be dominated by a selected few. Lib Tech is topping the list in board sales, Northwave in boot sales, and the Burton Missions are “unstoppable” for bindings.
Outwear sales are lead by a newcomer this season, which is doing very well. “Arcteryx is an incredible newcomer this season, and it’s selling like crazy,” says Heilmann. For outerwear Burton is also another popular choice and the brand is selling across the board.
Bad Boyz Toyz, Orland Park, Illinois
Business at Bad Boyz Toyz is doing fairly well according to Owner Derek Miller. “We are up 30 percent from last year,” he says. However, the weather has affected jacket sales in the shop. But be
sides that, things seem to be running quite smoothly.
Forum, Salomon, and Capita are the top board sellers this season. Outwear is being dominated by Special Blend, Bonfire, and 686. DC and Salomon are taking Bad Boyz Toyz boot sales by storm.
Underground, Boston, Massachusetts
Business on the East Coast has been a little slow due to the recent weather or lack there of. “We are not doing worst than last season and sales have been up. The three to four days after the holiday were kick ass,” says Underground Manager Dave Pereira. Because the store is located right across the street from a college, many kids (or customers) go home for the holidays and business slows down. But upon their return it’s evident—by sales these past weeks—they come back ready to spend.
Burton and Ride are doing very well, as Underground is carrying both companies’ entire lines this season. Nitro is also a chart topper, as well as M3 and Chorus. The shop also just picked up Original Sin, which is doing very well. Northwave seems to be the popular choice for boots this season, while 686 and Bonfire are rockin’ in outerwear sales. “The 686 stuff looks good this season. It’s real tech with all the bells and whistles,” says Pereira.
Underground is definitely stoked on the week following the Thanksgiving holiday. And due to the return of the neighboring college kids—sales are definitely picking up.
Eastern Boarder, Nashua, New Hampshire
In the case of Eastern Boarder, preseason sales rocked the house. But during the past couple of weeks, sales are a little down from last year. “We need some snow!” says Manager Chris Rice. “We expected sales to be higher, but the weather isn’t helping out much.”
Even so, Eastern Boarder is seeing a steady flow of Burton product leaving the store. Gnu, Lib Tech, and Ride are also top sellers. The DC Phantoms seem to be a popular choice among boot purchasers. Special Blend and 686 are topping the outerwear category.
Blades Board & Skate, New York, New York
Sales are a little down this season at Blades Board & Skate in New York, New York. “Business has been decent,” says Store Manager Chris Trantides. He says with the temperature at 65 degrees, the weather is not helping sales too much, either. With the combination of a slow economy and a late starting winter, it is hard to tell which element is really affecting sales. However, Blades Board & Skate is hanging in there and awaiting a drop in temperatures.
Burton outerwear and boards are a top seller this season in New York. Ride bindings are also coming up strong in sales. Special Blend seems to be a popular choice for outerwear, but as the case in Illinois at Bad Boyz Toyz, jacket sales are also a little slow this season for Blades Board & Skate.
Cool Runnings, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
With a great sales season last year, Cool Runnings was wondering if it would match up in sales this holiday season. Nevertheless, preseason started off pretty slow this year and the Thanksgiving holiday wasn’t moving either. Jami Godfrey attributes the low sales this year to the rockin’ season the store had last year. “A lot of people bought equipment last season, so we are seeing less of the big purchases this season,” he says.
There has been a major slow down on board sales and outerwear at Cool Runnings, but boot and binding sales are decent. Of the boards being purchased this holiday, Burton, Rossignol, and Salomon are doing fairly well, while Lib Tech is completely sold out. Burton also seems to be fulfilling riders’ needs when it comes to boot and binding sales. Overall, Cool Runnings is feeling overwhelmed due to the combination of specs in the market, the warm weather, and canceled vacation plans due to September 11. “Business is just not consistent, too many factors are against us,” concludes Godfrey.