Action-Sports Store to Watch: Active

As reported by Andrew Asch, Retail Editor, California Apparel News

Skate fashions might glorify carefree and irresponsible youth, but their recent sales detail a well-prepared performance. According to New York–based market-research firm NPD Group, sales of skate footwear increased 6.5 percent in the weeks between March and April 2008, while the entire category of athletic footwear declined 5.7 percent.

Mira Loma, Calif.–based Active is riding the crest of skate success by offering a mix of skate and streetwear brands. The 19-year-old company has 25 stores spread across Southern California, and its growth spurt continues. By the end of 2008, it will open 7,000-square-foot flagship stores in downtown San Diego and in downtown Huntington Beach, Calif. With the nickname Surf City, Huntington has traditionally been considered one of the most important locations for surf and skate fashion.

Active President Shane Wallace said the Huntington Beach flagship will complement, not compete with, surfwear’s most high-profile specialty emporiums, Jack’s Surf and Huntington Surf & Sport. The Surf City Active will be built on Pacific Coast Highway, a few blocks away from Jack’s and HSS. “Active does not carry surf-related products, and we don’t intend on stocking surf-related products in Huntington Beach,” he said.

Active also is scheduled to open perhaps four more stores in Southern California by the end of the year. By 2009, it might open its first store outside of California.