Where are you seeing growth?
Skateboard hardgoods are getting better all the time. The pro model boards, trucks, wheels and everything else are great. There are a lot of new kids getting into skating here, and it’s been great for us.
How do you make the decision to pick up a new brand?
There are three people who do the buying. Between the three of us we discuss the brand to see if it’ll work, and then from there we take it to our staff and team riders to help make a decision.
What works best to get things out the door?
It’s the staff. We have a great staff, and they know our brands. This is what sets our shop apart from others.
Does your store have a customer database?
Yes, we do. We have a preferred customer card called the “white card.” It entitles preferred customers to 10 per cent off all the time, plus access to special offers. The white card is not easy to get, and we only award them to our loyal and valuable customers. It works very well for us.
What are some of your bigger challenges?
I have to be in the store all the time. I have to touch every part of the business, from the ordering to staffing, to merchandising to the end customer. I trust my staff; it’s just me and the way I am.
What are your big-picture concerns with the industry in Canada?
U.S. online stores concern me a lot. We cannot compete with their prices. I’m going to keep the focus on who we are, and that is a skateboard and snowboard shop. We won’t be getting into music or anything else, we’ll focus on what we know. The only way we would really see a slowdown with the online ordering would be if prices for shipping increased dramatically. But if that happens, it will affect my ordering also. Maybe I can’t win.