Ryan Hurley and Aaron Pai on new Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport

Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport

The front entrance to Hurley’s new space at Huntington Surf & Sport

Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport gets facelift; Hurley calls upgrades the ‘best expression’ of the brand in the physical world

Images courtesy of Hurley c/o Axis Photography

Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport

Ryan Hurley, Creative Director

The corner of Main Street and PCH in Huntington Beach, California, is a highly coveted zone for those who hold surfing near and dear to their hearts. So is the case for Aaron Pai, owner of Huntington Surf & Sport, and all the loyal brands who have supported the store over its long tenure of 37 years.

The story behind HSS & its history in the surf business

The store—the majority of which has been under construction for the past two years—is poised to unveil several new additions soon, the first being a Hurley space that opened its doors late last month. Hurley worked consistently with Pai and the crew to refresh the iconic store front with a brand build out dedicated to innovative product and technology.

“We are building a one of a kind surf shop at the epicenter of the surfing world: Main and PCH, Huntington Beach,” Pai explains. “Our landlord has been planning for years on pushing out the store fronts to the entire building, and with this in mind, Hurley planned this amazing renovation of their store. It’s been in the works for years.”

Hurley clearly defines its mission for continual innovation, and HSS is making a point to support this type of forward thinking, upping the brand’s floor space from 12% to 17% with the update. Without giving away too much of our talk with Hurley Creative Director Ryan Hurley, we learned that the brand has some interesting tech on display in the store, including digital merchandising that provides real-time reports on the waves at local breaks—a feature that has the potential to drive at-once sales.

“We are so excited and stoked for the Hurley store. They have been a great partner with massive amounts of positive energy,” says Pai, crediting Bob Hurley and the entire brand as bringing a more creative approach to bolster the entire surfing community.

The renovations—which also include a new main entrance and a Volcom store that is still a work in progress—are expected to be complete by May 25, 2016. We caught up with Hurley to hear more about the brand’s contributions and what we can expect from the new space.

Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport

Get a real-time look at the conditions inside Hurley’s new high-tech HSS headquarters.

What spurred the decision for a retail refresh at this time?
Ryan Hurley: This has been a work in progress for quite some time. Hurley tested the concept last summer at a partner door in Hossegor, and saw a tremendous consumer response. This new version at HSS will inform our premium doors globally. Hurley doors will be an extension of our hurley.com experience.

What is the investment Hurley is putting into this project?
RH: We don't comment on specifics.

What do you hope to see in terms of ROI on an initiative like this?
RH: Our goal is to provide consumers with a premium retail experience that allows them to not only customize but have in-depth knowledge of their product needs — ultimately preparing consumers for their best surf yet.

The corner of Main Street and PCH in Huntington Beach is the Times Square of surf, and the consumer demands that brands put their best foot forward here.

In terms of retail partners, why did it make sense for Hurley to roll this refresh out initially with HSS?
RH: The corner of Main Street and PCH in Huntington Beach is the Times Square of surf, and the consumer demands that brands put their best foot forward here. HSS has been an incredible like-minded partner with Hurley since the inception of the brand. Plus: because Brett Simpson.

Part of what’s new is the introduction of a customized product option. Can you give us some additional details on what that in-store experience will look like?
RH: We've edited our product assortment so it feels more curated for our consumers. We now have digital displays that will allow consumers to view current and future product offerings and also access weather conditions so they can determine what they'll need in the water that day. The monochromatic design enhances the product versus being a distraction. This retail expression focuses on our innovation and product benefits giving consumers the opportunity to chose the product that's best for them.

Hurley Store at Huntington Surf & Sport

Clean, minimal merchandising is the future at Hurley’s retail space.

How does this retail refresh fit into Hurley’s overall brand strategy for 2016?

RH: We want to provide the best possible experience for the consumer, whether it's digital or physical. This will be our "best expression" in the physical world.

What is your current take on the state of retail?

RH: Consumers are more demanding than ever. They expect more than what's currently being provided, and we hope to bridge that gap with our best retail partners around the world.

What are some of the biggest opportunities and challenges Hurley faces as a brand? What about the industry as a whole?

RH: Surfing is growing and more popular than ever. Consumers are looking for a brand to help make that surfing experience even more meaningful, both in the water and out. We want be there for them every step of the way.

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