Damn Am at 3rd Lair Moves Forward as Scheduled Despite Lack of Headline Sponsor

I came across an interesting post from Rob at Skatepark of Tampa regarding the upcoming, and well-known, Damn Am Skate Contest taking place at 3rd Lair in about two weeks. Interestingly enough, there is no headline sponsor for the event and 3rd Lair and Skatepark of Tampa (SPOT) will front the bills themselves to keep the long-standing event tradition alive. We all know how expensive these type of contests can cost and while I don’t claim to know why none of the skate companies are sponsoring this event, it is pretty shocking that no one stepped up to the plate and pretty commendable that a retailer and skate park owner will take over the financial responsibility. I should mention for the sake of being fair, that Rob does thank a couple of companies that provided prizes and “other support” including Transworld, Red Bull, Zumiez, Arnette, Independent, Mob, Dean Guitars and Bones. The Damn Am contest has previously been sponsored by DC and...

Zumiez tinkers with its product mix, plans fewer new stores

According to the Seattle Times in article byAmy Martinez: Still not seeing any letup in the recession, Zumiez CEO Rick Brooks said the Everett-based retailer has been working with its vendors to get more low-priced merchandise into stores for back-to-school shopping. “This is the toughest economic environment I’ve ever worked in,” Brooks said Wednesday during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Everett. He said Zumiez has been opening fewer new stores to reflect its diminished sales outlook, though its overall strategy remains the same. The retailer sells clothing, equipment and shoes inspired by board sports. “We’re staying true to who we are,” he said more than once, noting the company will maintain “strong training programs” for store employees and emphasize products that can’t be found elsewhere at the mall. Outside vendors will continue to account for about 85 percent of its sales, he said, meaning its own private labels will not take up more space in stores even though they generally are seen as a way to boost profits. “We’re going to support the brands in our business,” Brooks said. “We believe in the brands out there.” Zumiez operates about 360 stores aimed at skateboarding and snowboarding enthusiasts in 32 states. For the three months ended May 2, it lost $1.7 million, compared with a profit of $1.4 million a year ago. It expects another loss for the second quarter. After opening 58 new stores last year, Zumiez plans 36 new stores this year and has committed to “only a handful” of additional locations next year, Brooks said. He declined to discuss a possible deal for Active Ride Shop,...

Teen Retailers Struggle in Economy

The teen sector, which has typically been considered immune to economic ups and downs, has been suffering since last year. American Eagle reported weaker than expected same store sales saying that they are working to control discounts. Aeropostale, the big winner of teen retail during the recession, did not meet expectations but still rose 3%. Hot Topic, one of the few retailers on top, posted a 7.1% increase in same-store sales. Buckle was also up. All four retailers are holding the line on expense and margins. Zumiez posted a larger than expected 18% decline, while Abercrombie & Fitch Co saw a 34%...