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With the economy softening, Zumiez is planning conservatively and hoping to leverage its "healthy balance sheet" to look for opportunities that may arise as a result of the economic downturn.
Zumiez is still trying to figure out what's wrong with shoes. "We hit a wall in December with the footwear business - and it was a pretty steep wall," Brooks said. "It got very, very tough... We're still assessing what's going on." The company doesn't think it is missing any key trends but consumers may be delaying footwear purchases as they feel an economic pinch, he said.
This was his 14th Christmas with the company, at it was "the toughest, most stressful I've been through," he said. All the sales were backloaded toward the end of the month. As previously reported, Zumiez had weaker than expected sales in December.