Speculation that Billabong International would be continuing its expansion in the retail sector started back on March 13, when the company said it had identified "significant opportunities" for further retail expansion at an investor update on Australia's Gold Coast. Then in mid May it announced it had acquired Kirra Surf, a retail store on the Gold Coast. Now Billabong is making a move on the East Coast of the United States by acquiring Quite Flight’s 14 store chain. The company is also converting Coast 2 Coast’s Long Island, New York location into a company store.
Here’s The Press Release:
Billabong International Limited today announced an agreement to acquire the retail operations of Quiet Flight, one of Billabong Group’s key retail partners in the USA.
Quiet Flight is a key US east coast retailer and the operator of 14 stores, including the flagship Billabong retail stores in New York.
Billabong International Limited Chief Executive Officer Derek O’Neill said the acquisition includes Quiet Flight¹s experienced retail management team.
“Quiet Flight’s founder, Ed Leasure, opened his first surf shop at Cocoa Beach in Florida in 1972 and he has been doing business with Billabong over several decades,” said Mr. O’Neill.
“Ed has been a great support to our US east coast business and we cemented our relationship with him in 2005 when he opened a licensed Billabong store and a neighboring Element store in the middle of Times Square.
“Through that partnership we have strengthened our business relationship and gained a shared understanding of the value in working together.”
Paul Naude, President of Billabong North American business said, “We’re pleased to add the Quiet Flight group to our retail division. Ed Leasure’s history and knowledge of surf retailing will be a strong addition to Billabong’s business, particularly on the East Coast.”
Ed Leasure, Quiet Flight’s president, said the sale allowed him to formalize a growing relationship with the Billabong group.
“I’ve been working so closely with Billabong in recent years, particularly through the New York flagship stores, and this really just formalizes the association,” said Mr. Leasure.
“I’ve been involved in surf retailing for a very long time and seen the industry grow. But I feel there are tremendous opportunities still to be realized.”
Quiet Flight operates under a number of multi-branded retail banners in Florida, including Quiet Flight stores in Universal Studios, New Smyrna, Tampa and Cocoa Beach, and Surf Warehouse stores in Orlando.
It also operates the Billabong and Element stores in Times Square, as well as a recently opened Billabong store in nearby Herald Square.