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So I asked asked a few industry retailers how they are feeling at this crucial time of the year.
First up: Cliff Haddadin, president and CEO of Beach Bums Boardshops, which has 14 stores in Southern California and Nevada.
One note: he mentions Beach Bums has started a private label program. I'm following up to find out a little bit more about that.
Sales will be lower but our margins will be a lot better than last year due to better buys - purchasing products from vendors were we can take volume discounts - and IMUs (Initial Mark Ups). When we first receive the goods we price it in line with the vendor's suggested retail and sometimes we might go a couple of percentage points higher depending on the item. In addition, our margins will be higher with the introduction of our private label program.
Much less than last year.
Not in our industry - it is getting more and more competitive. Sales will definitely be less than last year. Customers are looking for bargains and price points.
Specialty fleece and T-shirts with treatments, darker denim washes. Strong brands include Obey, Volcom, LRG in men's and Billabong, Roxy, Volcom in juniors.
Custom T-shirts, speciality fleece and dresses for juniors.