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Tiffany Montgomery
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Zumiez studying ecommerce opportunity

By Tiffany Montgomery
June 13, 2008 5:30 AM

During a question and answer session after his presentation at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference in New York this week, Zumiez CEO Rick Brooks commented on the company's e-commerce strategy.


In 2007, Zumiez e-commerce business was approximately 1 percent of its annual sales of $381 million.


Last year, e-commerce comp sales grew at a much faster pace than comp sales for brick-and-mortar stores, he said.

Zumiez believes there is no dominant e-commerce player in action sports and thinks there is a significant opportunity to grow Zumiez e-commerce business over time. He acknowledged the company has a long way to go, however.


Other interesting information from the presentation:


Landlord's stance softening

Zumiez is growing at a 20 percent rate even in the downturn. This year, Zumiez will add 57 stores to its 309 existing locations. Rick said Zumiez wants to give its employees a career path. Also, he believes for the first time in 10 years, Zumiez will have a tactical advantage with landlords because of the rocky economy.


"Landlords have had the power for the last 10 years," he said. With greater vacancies in the specialty store sector, Rick believes Zumiez can reset the bar with mall operators.


Zumiez has seen the first signs of this with a major landlord that is asking for lower rent costs than it has in the past.


With 20 percent annual growth, Zumiez is in a good negotiating position, he said.

 

 


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