Hawaii Regional Report

By Pete Johnson

According to Marketing Director Calvin Maeda, Local Motion buyers go to shows such as ASR, even though the store really doesn’t need them to. “The majority, about 80 to 90 percent of orders, are from reps coming to us,” he says. “We go to the shows mainly to see what’s new.”

At Local Motion, buyers aren’t looking for anything brand specific: “We’re always looking for new lines,” says Maeda. “There’s been a lot of influence pointing us toward alternative brands. I know our buyers have been looking at some skate products. We try to carry whatever the customers are asking for.”

Johnny Moore, owner of Strong Current in Haleiwa, makes a little more use of the shows with his buying. “The trade show probably makes up about 25 to 30 percent of our ordering,” he says. He attends both the Long Beach and San Diego ASR shows. “We’re looking at stuff right now to bring in, but nothing is definite yet. We would like to bring in another clothing line, and add to our gift-item section,” he says.

Jennifer Johnson, manager of North Shore Swimwear in Haleiwa, prefers shows such as ASR. “At the trade shows just like to look¿writing orders takes up too much time,” she says. “I look at as much as I can and then mull it all over when I return to the island.”

Johnson’s buying decisions have different considerations when it comes to new lines. “We’ve had a lot of recent success with a new line called Lucy Love,” she says. “We’re thinking of expanding that collection for the summer. Our boutique has a different clientele base in the summertime¿more mainland families.”

Robin Vye, manager of Surf and Sail in Haleiwa, says they also write a majority of orders in-store using reps. “I would have to say the ratio of ordering is 70/30¿30 percent at trade shows, 70 percent through reps coming in to see us.” The trade shows they attend include both the San Diego and Long Beach ASR shows.

Surf and Sail Owner Kevin Senn says business has been picking up with Japanese tourists. Senn sees locals buying mainland clothing while tourists are buying Hawai’ian clothes. He’s always looking for new lines, but the shop needs more space to put them. Brands doing well for him are the ones kids ask for like Lost.

Kathy Nishimoto, a manager for Hanalei Surf Company on the North Shore of O’ahu, says approximately 90 percent of the shop’s ordering is done in-store, while ten percent is done at the shows. “We only go to shows to find new product,” says Nishimoto.

The store is always looking for new lines. They usually buy on an as-needed basis. Many times they find out about new lines through word of mouth. The shows they attend are the ASR shows as well as MAGIC.