Retail Profiles: Concrete Wave

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Concrete Wave Manager Nick Ciovacco and Owner Brian Hansen.

Worcester, Franklin, & Shrewsbury (Inside Subliminal Skatepark), Massachusetts

How many locations do you have?

What’s the average square footage?

When did you launch?

What did you do before launching Concrete Wave?
[I was a] shift closer for a restaurant, [did] retail sales for the biggest Levi’s dealer in New England, and other than that started at the ripe age of 19 years old.

Do you have an online store?

What are your top three most profitable product categories?
Footwear #1  Thanks to Nike
Skateboards #2
Snowboards #3

What has been the single best-selling brand over the past six months?

Who are your top three reps?
Rob  Pontes – Always down to support our contests, and put products under out feet.
Tyler Tufty (Nike SB)
Justen Maxhem (Salomon)

What is your overall impression of the local market over the past six months?
I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still far out.  [There are] too many kooks getting into the business for a hobby. We’ve had two [open] within the past year and my biggest complaint is three Zumiez opened up within less than a year close to one of my shops.  Plain and simple, [there are] TOO MANY SHOPS.

What store (or multiple stores) are your closest competition?
Eastern Boarder- 100 feet away. They have been trying to compete for 18 years in Worcester, and both shops are doing just fine.
Gorilla- Opened and closed in less than 2 years.
Zumiez- We just had a few open near one of my stores, sucks.
Ruckus-Moms and Pops shop just opened, wont make it.

What are your overall expectations for your business over the next 6-12 months?
First quarter we’ve had growth, due to a lot of new customers seeing the light and shopping at our store.  We also are involved in a new skatepark – WWW.SUBLIMINALSKATEPARK.COM –  this has helped out greatly as we have a retail store within the park.  We have a few ideas for Christmas time, one involves a new location but we don’t want to say where.

Subliminal Skatepark

Is your shop altering the way you buy for 2009?
Yes. You have to survive, we have cut snow orders, clothing orders, and slimmed down the shoe SKU's.  [We're] just getting a little too much from vendors and some reps within past few years. Even when we saw the sales starting to decline reps pushed for more.  Sorry, no Holiday orders period.

Is your shop working more closely with any particular brands?
Yes we are trying to do more Collab work with reps and vendors. Dgk is our next project

What are some things brands are doing to work with your shop?
Nike, DC, and Lakai, have all put forward a lot of promos supporting all our contests at our skatepark.  Jeff Pang (DC core) came up with the best one so far, DC will be sending us a certain amount of shoes to cover our expense to let kids skate the park for free on Tuesdays all summer long.  It's a win-Win for us and the kids.  We still are having a really hard time getting skate demos up this way. 'No budgets' is what I keep hearing, but with times so tough we need them even more to get more kids into skateboarding.