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"I think that both Mikke and Bob make great points.
"The single most important thing in vendor/retail relationships is trust. I've been in meetings with Tom Holbrook as described by Bob in his article, and, he does in fact (with Bob and Quiksilver's backing) make situations that initially might seem detrimental to specialty retail more palatable.
"I do agree with Mikke when he makes the statement, ‘speciality retailers will never embrace the thought of manufacturers opening their own stores.' Throughout the years the surf, skate, snowboard industry has grown in leaps and bounds. Everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon. Manufactures opening their own stores upsetting retailers, retailers making their own private label brands trying to go around the vendors, thus creating a higher margin.
"I can see both sides, and to tell you the truth, if handled correctly, no one's the ‘bad guy,' but, I must stress the term ‘HANDLED CORRECTLY.' I think that the common denominator for both speciality retailers, and manufacturers co-existing in a retail environment is trust, communication, and compassion for any negative effect either has on the other.
"I think that ‘band wagon' retailers like Abercrombie's Hollister pose a much larger threat to both specialty retailers, and surf, skate, snow manufacturers than they do to each other."