“Now for Some Good Retail News” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

“Now for Some Good Retail News” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

October is typically not a blockbuster month at retail because it falls after the back-to-school rush and before holiday shopping kicks in.

However, this October, cash registers at core stores were ringing like crazy with sales on the ActionWatch Retail Panel jumping 15%, according to ActionWatch’s Patrik Schmidle.

Year-to-date, the panel has recorded a 4% increase.

In October, unit sales jumped 14% despite a slight increase in average selling prices.

The sales increases were broad-based with both men’s and women’s growing 15%.

All geographies also showed growth, led by the Northwest at 23%.

Several categories increased double digits, including a 21% increase in apparel, a 15% jump in footwear, an 11% rise in hardgoods, and a 10% increase in accessories.

Even wetsuits, which have been soft, posted a 1% gain.

Brand Breakdown


  • Sisstr, Vuori, Burton and Patagonia are among the fastest growing apparel brands.
  • Boardriders’ brands combined grew moderately at 3%. However, Dot Dash, DC Shoes, Element, Roxy and RVCA increased double digits. Quiksilver and Billabong also grew, but in the single digits.
  • Rip Curl had a good month in bottoms and wetsuits.
  • Volcom had a good month in T-Shirts and accessories.
  • O’Neill Clothing had a good month in tops, bottoms and hats.
  • Vissla had a good month in jackets, hats and wetsuits.
  • Hurley also had a good month across the board, including bottoms, shirts and accessories.  Hurley long-sleeve T-shirts grew triple digits.


  • Oofos, Flojos, Havaianas and Hey Dude were among the fastest growing footwear brands, but some of the more established players such as Vans, Nike SB and New Balance also showed significant growth.


  • Fjallraven in backpacks, Pura Vida in jewelry, Pant Saggin underwear, and sunglass brands Dot Dash, Maui Jim, Raen, Costa and Otis did really well.

Skate Hardgoods

All things skate continue to sell strongly, which has been the case since the beginning of Q2.  In October, 80% of the skate hardgoods brands experienced growth, including brands such as Baker, Powell Peralta, Element, Landyachtz and Bones.

All of NHS’s brands also had tremendous success, including Bronson, Krux, OJ Wheels, Independent, Mob Griptape and Santa Cruz.

Surf Hardgoods

Growth was harder to come by in surf hardgoods but short boards, mid-sized boards and softboards rebounded in October.

Brands that experienced success included Pyzel, Catch Surf, Doyle, Surftech, Torq, Creatures of Leisure, Softech and Firewire.


Vissla, Roxy, Rip Curl and O’Neill wetsuits sold well in October.

Weak Categories

Only a handful of categories did not fare well – socks, underwear and wallets, which all declined by double digits, which is a continuation from Q3.

Be sure to visit ShopEatSurf .com to check out other interesting and valuable articles.