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Mark Richards of Val Surf on retail debate

Mark Richards, co-owner of Val
Mark Richards, co-owner of Val Surf, with sons Blake, left, and Brandon, right. Both sons work for Val Surf.
By Tiffany Montgomery
November 21, 2007 7:15 AM

Mark Richards, co-owner of Val Surf, emailed me about the manufacturer retail debate. Val Surf operates five stores in the greater Los Angeles area.


"I agree with Duke that if vendors are going to continue opening retail, as they are undoubtedly going to do, they need to communicate and work with the local retailers to try to soften the impact. Any vendor store should not be overly welcomed by independent retailers, especially in this struggling economy.


"However, a "flagship" store to "showcase" their brand is somewhat understandable and explainable in certain, key retail areas. In contrast, a vendor store fully stocked with not only their brands but also their competitors is inexcusable.


"This would only be done to more effectively compete with those exact retailers that have supported that vendor and pioneered business and established a customer base for them in the area. This lack of business ethics and sensitivity is deplorable."


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