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Details on Industry Insight.
I finally found a retailer who is optimistic about the holiday shopping season. Tim McKevlin owns McKevlin's Surf Shop in Folly Beach, South Carolina. His father, Dennis, and brother, Ted, opened the shop in 1965.
Tim answered some questions for me about how things are going so far:
If the first few days after Thanksgiving are any indication, we expect sales to be better than 2006. Although the overall retail forecast is not particularly promising, the surf industry (meaning "real" surf shops) has been somewhat immune or at least protected from mainstream economic trends. We've been here for 42 years, and we've seen this oddity repeat itself many times.
About the same. Holiday is never a huge time for us. December is only our 7th best month!
Our most important category is always surfboards. The Channel Islands' Biscuit model and Lost's Round Nose Fish caught fire mid-fall. Both are real floaty, small-wave boards, and we had a super wimpy hurricane season.
For holiday, sales of longboards and smaller mid-ranges typically pick up. The brands that are most affected by this trend, for us, are Bing, Allison, Seasoned, and our own private label. Wetsuits (Rip Curl and O'Neill) and accessories (boots and gloves) are expected to have really healthy sales this time of year.