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I called Duke Edukas of Surfside Sports in Costa Mesa and Dave Hollander of Becker Surf to discover what's going with Hurley at the core level.
Duke and Dave essentially cited the same reasons for Hurley's resurgence in their stores.
Dave Hollander (right): "Their product is dang good and their sell throughs are noticeably better ... They've differentiated themselves with their own distinctive look and been true to it" instead of following everybody else.
Duke Edukas: "They are doing a lot better. The men's product is right on point. The last six or seven months they've come on strong. This is the season Hurley shines - walkshorts, T-shirts, wovens and boardshorts."
Dave: Hurley has taken boardshort technology to a new level with its Advantage Phantom boardshort. At $85, it's one of the most expensive boardshorts out there, but it's selling well.
Dave swears by the Advantage, which stretches, is comfortable, and holds up well. He said he got an early release of the Advantage and has worn his pair to play volleyball. "I've worn and washed them every week for two years, and they still look so good I could hang ‘em on a rack and sell them," Dave said. "They are my favorite trunks. They have raised the bar. Nobody else is even close."
Duke (right): The Advantage Phantom is the most expensive in the store, but is one of the top sellers.
Dave: Hurley has gotten more aggressive with its price points without downgrading its product.
Duke: Cited Hurley's lower priced "One and Only" line which has lower prices but is still authentically Hurley. He said the line is selling well.
Both Dave and Duke said the Hurley team has made a big effort to improve its relationships with their stores.
Dave: Hurley is "off its high horse." Every brand at one time or another gets so hot it feels it doesn't need to make any concessions to retailers. Hurley was like that at one point, he said, but now is working hard to be retailer friendly.
"If there's a problem, they will take care of it. If we need to trade out product, they will trade out product. I like that they are approachable, that they feel like a small company."
Hurley also recently took the Becker crew to its headquarters for a fashion show, a tour, and then bowling, which Dave's employees really appreciated.
Duke: Hurley is now listening to suggestions from Surfside and works to resolve problems when they arise. He said Hurley has a good regime currently, and sang the praises of Mark Weber. "I can't say enough good things about the guy," Duke said.
He also cited Hurley's Triple Threat event in March where employees from several stores competed in surfing, skateboarding and karaoke all in one day. "It sounds silly, but that builds support in our stores," said Duke Edukas, co-owner of Surfside Sports in Costa Mesa. "We have 41 employees. If they embrace the brand, they are going to sell more stuff.
"We always felt like we were part of the Volcom and Quiksilver and Billabong families. They listen to our concerns, they work with us in all kinds of ways. Now we feel part of the Hurley family."