Another Tactic in Integrating Online and Brick and Mortar

July 23rd, 2014

A reader pointed out to me that Zumiez has started (don’t know exactly when) a program they call “Order Online Pay in Store.” You order it online, selecting “pay in store” when you check out, go to the store within 48 hours and pay for the item, and it’s shipped to either your home or the store. Per normal procedure, there’s no shipping charge if you pick it up at the […]

The Sport Chalet Acquisition and Their 10K; Some Perspective

July 18th, 2014

Sometimes we just get lucky. I guess that’s you get lucky, and I get to review something like 650 pages of small print- the estimated total (so far) of documents filed by Sport Chalet between their 10K and the deal.  I’m not going to do quite the typical review of a public company’s financials that I usually undertake. I’ll do a brief review of the 10K with the goal of explaining where […]

What This Industry Needs is More Sunglass Brands!

July 15th, 2014

Well, you have to admit I got your attention, and that title is way more intriguing than “What I Learned at Agenda.” I never thought I’d say this about any category, but I think there may have been more sunglass than shoe brands. And if case anybody is actually confused, that title is written in the full bloom of major sarcasm.   If you are in the sunglass business, I hope your price […]

What Does the Data on Our Target Market Say About Your Business Strategy?

May 23rd, 2014

It was a lot of years ago when I first started reminding you not to focus just on your gross margin percentage, but your gross margin dollars as well. Then, in 2009, with the recession in full swing, I got all excited about Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment (GMRII) after Cary Allington at Action Watch pointed me to the concept.  I discussed it in some presentations and wrote about it. Here’s […]

The Economy, Value of Brands, and Relationship between Brick and Mortar and Online

April 18th, 2014

I went to the Snowboard Industry Conference. I had fun. I learned stuff. I talked to people. I drank beer. I made a speech. Uh, I made the speech before I drank the beer just to be clear. During that speech there were three pieces of information I want to pass on to you. It’s not that the rest of the speech wasn’t worthy of your consideration, but these are the three things from it that I […]

Sport Chalet and Ideas on the Retail Environment

March 3rd, 2014

I don’t follow Sport Chalet closely. But they said something in their 10Q for the December 29th quarter that related to some other ideas I’d seen on how the retail market is changing. I thought they might be worth talking about together. Sport Chalet’s Dilemma   Sport Chalet operates 52 stores, 34 of which are in Southern California. “These stores,” we’re told, “average approximately 41,000 square feet in size. Our stores offer over […]

Billabong and Quiksilver; Two Peas in a Pod

February 14th, 2014

Billabong’s announcement last week that it was, among other things, conducting a strategic review of SurfStitch and Swell caused me to focus on the similarities of its situation to Quiksilver’s. It also made me realize that most of what has been discussed publically by both companies is what I’ll call mechanical issues. I want to remind you what those are and then move on to the way more important and difficult to […]

Thoughts from the SIA Show

February 6th, 2014

So I confess. I’m from Seattle and there was no way in hell I was going to be on a plane Sunday while the Super Bowl was on. I left Saturday. But in my two days wandering the show, I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you.  There was a bit more of a somber attitude at the show then I’ve ever noticed. Everybody I talked to seemed to feel the same […]

Intrawest Officially Trading as a Public Company. What’s the Impact?

February 3rd, 2014

As many of you know, Intrawest, the owner of Steamboat, Winter Park, Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe, Mammoth, and half of Blue Mountain, started trading as a public company on January 31. The initial offering price for the stock was supposed to be $15 to $17, but it ended up going public at $12 in a soft stock market where fear of the Fed tapering and its impact on certain developing countries is […]

What Happens If (When?) Apparel Prices Rise?

January 21st, 2014

We sell a lot of apparel. It’s where we, as an industry, make somewhere between a lot to most of our money. We’ve benefited over many years from apparel prices that have risen slowly if at all, and certainly more slowly than inflation. This article demonstrates that. It further tells us that apparel prices have started to rise and that they may rise more in the future.  The increase is due to rising labor […]