Darcy Watson

Manager: Plush, Edmonton, Alta.

 

What brands are you excited about?
I’m always excited to see what HUF is doing and what they are coming out. I’ve always liked Altamont, and they seem back on track.

Where are you seeing growth?
Most of our growth has been coming from our women’s collections. We recently moved, and I think a lot of our new customers didn’t even know we existed before. We’ve moved away from the skate chic to a more fashion-orientated woman, and it seems to be working.

“Most of our growth has been coming from our women’s collections. We’ve moved away from the skate chic to a more fashion-orientated woman, and it seems to be working.”

How do you make the decision to pick up a new brand?
A lot of it has to do with how it looks and if it fits with our store. We also take into consideration customers requesting brands.

What works best to get things out the door?
When we put new products up on social media through Instagram and Facebook, we see results right away. People will come in asking for the item they saw on Instagram. Sending photos out to two to three thousand people is a great way of getting instant feedback.

“I’m concerned about the youth. Kids are picking up scooters because they give instant gratification. I’m not sure the next generation of kids will have the tenacity to stick with skateboarding and become skateboarders.”

Does your store have a customer database?
No.

What are some of your bigger challenges?
The state of retail in 2014 is terrible; that in itself is a challenge. It has a lot to do with online retailers, mall stores and big-box stores carrying a lot of the same things as a specialty store like us. The industry is going to have to take a hit at some point; these big chain stores doing big numbers will eventually get out, and when they do there will be a serious adjustment.

What are your big-picture concerns with our industry in Canada?
I’m concerned about the youth. Kids are picking up scooters because they give instant gratification. I’m not sure the next generation of kids will have the tenacity to stick with skateboarding and become skateboarders. When they quit riding their scooter in two years, will they pick up a skateboard? I don’t know. It’s just one more person who might not be shopping in my store.

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