Southern California Report: Industry strong according to retailer survey.

By Casey Von Möcker

The new OAM fin system, Circa shoes, and Smith sunglasses are just a few of the new brands Emerald City Surf Shop Manager/Buyer Jake Wonders has recently made shelf space for.

The shop, which sits adjacent to the the old roller coaster in Mission Beach, California, has found it unnecessary to place orders at trade shows. Although Wonders did attend both fall and spring ASR shows, he says most of the shop’s buying takes place privately with reps who visit the store on a regular basis.

Sometimes his staff gets out a little as well. “Buyers from the shop occasionally visit fashion shows in order to get a feel for what’s going on in the realm of mainstream fashion,” says Wonders.

There’s nowhere to add any lines at the Frog House in Newport Beach, California, “Right now we’re pretty full,” says Manager Bobby Tang. The shop has limited rack space, so the management has to be selective and keep the lines to a minimum.

Tang says they do go to the shows, however the orders are placed 100-percent in-store. Because of its location, the shop is visited by reps all the time¿and there’s no need to order at shows. If there is any room in the store, Tang says they’ll think about bringing in some of The Realm’s line.

Abby Haney, manager of BC Surf Shop in San Clemente, California, says the store recently added The Realm and Hurley to its mix, and in addition to those lines, they are also considering adding the Split line. Haney has found it useful to pre-book at the ASR shows but notes that much of the actual ordering takes place in-shop.

“We use the ASR show to get a feel for what’s out there and pre-book where we can, but for the most part, we spread most of our ordering out over the course of a year,” says Haney.

BC Surf Shop attended both ASR’s fall ’98 show and winter ’99 show.

At Inflight in Seal Beach, Manager John Vertin says recent additions to the shop’s inventory include Robert August Surfboards and OAM. In addition to these, Vertin says the shop is trying to carry Rip Curl products.

Inflight’s buying team attends the ASR show in Long Beach annually and ASR shows in San Diego when they get a chance, but all ordering for Inflight takes place in-shop.

Rincon Designs Manager Ryan Moore says the shop has recently added Hurley, HIC, Solitude, and Local Motion. The shop, which just opened its doors the last week of May, has done all of its initial ordering in-shop.

Moore says Rincon Designs plans to attend ASR’s fall show where they intend to place orders and further expand inventory.