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Tiffany Montgomery
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Stefan Kaelin talks snow - and business

By Tiffany Montgomery
December 05, 2007 6:08 AM

The Stefan Kaelin store in Newport Beach will host a "snow dance" from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. The party includes face painting, music and customers dancing with their own skis and snowboards in a bid to bring the first big snow of the season.


I used the opportunity to ask Stefan about this business. Stefan and his wife, Stascha, split their time between Newport and Aspen, where they have had a store more than 30 years.


Any big new initiatives with the store this year?

We made a big push to get rid of all old inventory via different venues.


We are in the process of shifting marketing away from glossy image advertising to a more immediate result marketing effort.


We upgraded the POS system primarily to get better consumer buying/habit data to be used for marketing.


Has the larger macro economic environment impacted sales?

Yes, probably.


How are you feeling about the holiday shopping season?

Specialty snow sports retailing is to a major degree dependent on whether there is good snow or not in the snow sport capitals. At this point since Colorado, Idaho and Utah have good snow conditions, we are optimistic. To make it a great season we also need the California Sierras and local mountains to be active.


Did the store order more conservatively for this winter season?

Yes, we did.


Any strong brands/trends/categories for the winter?

There is a new ladies skiwear line on the market called "aDiamondinthesnow," European type look, at a medium/high price point that has been outselling all other brands.


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