The guys in the suits (SurfStitch’s new CEO Mike Sonand and chairman Sam Weiss) are running Australian retailer Surfstitch and they’re cleaning up the board of directors including kicking off executive directors (and company founders) Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone, according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald.
None of the board members who signed off on last year’s acquisition binge, which has since been written off, survived the blood-letting announced on Tuesday by new chairman Sam Weiss. . . To help make up the numbers, Weiss has had to collar Quiksilver veteran Harry Hodge, who joins the board this week. . . Surfstitch’s new boss Michael Sonand scored the remaining board seat.
Will be interesting to see if these changes make any kind of difference when it comes to the company’s performance.
[Link: Sydney Morning Herald]
It appears that PacSun will live to sell another Volcom T-shirt after a court ruling approved its reorganization plan, according to a story in the Orange County Register.
Under the reorganization plan approved Tuesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein in Delaware, PacSun will give all its stock to affiliates of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, its senior lender. . . In exchange, Golden Gate will reduce the amount it’s owed by PacSun to about $30 million initially from $88 million, Gary Schoenfeld, the retailer’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. Golden Gate has also agreed to invest $20 million in the company, most likely in form of new debt, he said.
And presto, $58 million in debt is gone. Wonder how long it will take Mr. Schoenfeld to blow through this new $20 million? We’re guessing not long. PacSun may have worked wonders on their business, but we doubt any of that is going to bring the kids back to their mall stores (even though some research suggests teen mall traffic is actually increasing).
[Link: OC Register]
Christopher Romero, 26, a manager at the Zumiez store in Atlantic City, New Jersey’s The Walk mall, was shot and killed by an acquaintance in his store Thursday, September 1, 2016, according to a story in the Press of Atlantic City.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said Lewis Maisonet, 55, of Somers Point, fatally shot Christopher Romero, 26, of Absecon, at the store where Romero worked and later shot himself at White House Black Market, officials said. . . . “This was an unfortunate domestic violence … two individuals were involved … I think since this is an active investigation it would be inappropriate for me to release any additional information,” Guardian said.
The shooter has reportedly survived his self-inflicted gunshot wound. Our thoughts are with Romero’s friends and family.
[Link: Press of Atlantic City]
SurfStitch the Australian online surf retailer who was formerly owned (partially) by Billabong (and then took over Billabong’s North American online business including Swell.com) had a pretty rough go in fiscal 2016. According to a story on the Orange County Business Journal, the company (which went public in 2014) lost $116.4 million on $176.9 million in revenue for 2016.
The loss accounts for “strategic review adjustments,” including impairment, administrative, selling and distribution expenses. Its revenue total includes $157.5 million in retail revenue, $16.82 million from Surf Hardware, and $2.55 million from its media properties (Stab Magazine and Magicseaweed.com).
They were reportedly planning on “rebranding” the entire business under the Swell.com name, but things at Swell.com didn’t go much better in 2016 so they’re going to put those changes off for a bit.
Swell in Irvine, which will shrink to 14 employees after 65% staff reduction is complete in October, contributed $18.92 million to retail total. That’s down 12 % from $21.6 million the brand posted in fiscal 2015. Swell’s gross earnings were down 44% to $5.4 million.
Apparently, the kids just aren’t blowing all their money on expensive, branded, logo’d surf togs anymore. What a surprise.
Oh, and if you know anyone who wants to buy San Diego, California’s Surf Hardware International (parent company of FCS Fins), please let SurfStitch know. They bought the company in November 2015 for $16.6 million, but have now decided that it’s not such a good fit.
As proof that authentic surf retail still exists, Huntington Surf & Sport will be holding a grand reopening of their HB Pier location on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
“We have physically built out and remodeled the majority of our PCH and Main Street location and, most importantly, the next generation of Pai’s—Trevor, Taylor and Ashlyn—have been taking the helm,” said Aaron Pai. “So with the Pai kids taking the helm and leading…this is a major remodel of both ‘physical structure and positive energy’ that I am stoked on!”
For the official word from the Pai family, please follow the jump.
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We can think of a lot of reasons to visit Miami, Florida in July, but the 2016 Agenda Show scheduled for July 18-19, 2016 is probably one of the best. For all the official details, please click the link.
Billabong’s retails stores have apparently gotten so far removed from being actual surf shops that they’ve been forced to hire a company called Mood Media (formerly known as Musak) to “develop a sound and scent” strategy to help their retails stores smell more authentic, according to a story on SportsOneSource.
The Mood team, in partnership with ScentAir, created a tailored scent solution for the Billabong stores as part of the new strategy. A fragrance called “Sex Wax,” based on the well-known surfboard wax brand, was developed to help customers experience the essence of the Billabong brand. . . “We are delighted to help Billabong create a bespoke in-store experience for its customers. By developing a new sound design and fragrance with Mood, Billabong can now plunge guests into an immersive experience based on our unique technology and creative solutions,” said Linda Ralph, International VP of Business Development at Mood.
It should be mentioned that this is a story we would have made up for April Fools Day had we cared enough about Billabong retail stores to make fun of them. Seriously, can action retail get any sadder than this?
Sport Chalet, SoCal moms’ favorite action sporting, big box chain store, is calling it quits after 57 years in business. But they’re not going to try and restructure like PacSun, or Quiksilver. No, they’ve turned off their online store and are shutting down each and every one of their 47 locations, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.
The chain has 40 stores in California, mainly in the Southland, according to the website. It also operates five stores in Arizona and two in Las Vegas. The company didn’t say how many people would be losing their jobs, but as of March 30, 2014, the chain employed 1,200 full-time workers and 1,600 part-timers. . . At the Sport Chalet in downtown Los Angeles, the signs in windows of the black-and-white facade told of the chain’s fate. “Everything must go,” they stated. “All Sales are Final No Returns.”
The chain reportedly hadn’t made a profit since 2007 and was apparently $52 million in debt when it was sold in 2014 for $17 million. Blame Target and those dastardly online discounters.
Surprisingly, if you’re looking for cheap camping gear for a summer road trip, you should definitely look elsewhere. There are no deals at Sport Chalet. According to one store employee, “The liquidation company came in and took over the pricing,” he said. “We have no control over anything” Meaning, most everything in the store is now more expensive than it was before the closing announcement.
[Link: LA Times]
After nearly a decade of losing money Pacific Sunwear of California has finally filed for bankruptcy protection according to a story on Reuters.com.
Citing “significant and unusual trading,” lawyers for the retailer asked a judge to restrict trading on Thursday due to concerns that a significant change in ownership could impair its ability to use tax benefits on operating losses down the road. . . Founded in 1982 as a surf shop, PacSun has posted an annual net loss since the financial crisis hit in 2008.
In what has become standard practice, the company is hoping to hand off all its debt then go private with Golden Gate Capital where the new owners can run the whole game over again in a portfolio that includes Eddie Bauer, California Pizza Kitchen, Red Lobster, and J.Jill.
For a more informed discussion of the topic click here for Jeff Harbaugh’s take.
Twenty-year-old Jonathan Douglin is dead after being stabbed during an altercation during a party at the EightSixty Custom skateboard shop in Hartford, Connecticut, according to a story in the Hartford Courant.
Two witnesses told Hartford detectives that they were at a New Year’s party at EightSixty Custom, a skateboard shop and indoor skateboard park at 41 Francis Ave., when Douglin accidentally bumped into Tequile Walwyn, 19, according to the warrant for Walwyn’s arrest. It was during the shoving match that followed that Walwyn thrust a knife into Douglin’s chest, puncturing his heart, according to the warrant. . . A friend of Walwyn told police that after the confrontation, Walwyn had a green folding knife and said to him, “I had no choice. I had to poke him.”
Gotta wonder about a kid who brings a knife to a New Year’s Eve party.