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Tiffany Montgomery
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O’Neill opens first flagship store in Anaheim

By Tiffany Montgomery
July 15, 2008 7:07 AM

I checked out the new O'Neill store at the GardenWalk shopping center in Anaheim yesterday. I had lucky timing and was able to tour the store with O'Neill Clothing CEO Toby Bost and his team just as the doors opened to the public for the first time.


GardenWalk is a brand new shopping center just down the street from Disneyland and aimed at global tourists. O'Neill has exclusive rights to be the only action sports store at the mall, Toby said. Other tenants include The Cheesecake Factory, Roy's, PF Chang's, Hollister, Ann Taylor Loft and a movie theater.


The mall is also expected to attract business travelers from the nearby Anaheim Convention Center and locals.


The O'Neill store is 3,350 square feet and incorporates lots of reclaimed wood and other natural elements into the design.
O'Neill store wallThere are also nods to O'Neill's heritage, including photos of Santa Cruz and a picture of Jack O'Neill, left, strategically placed to watch over the store.


A giant wave sculpture dominates the back wall and paneling on some seats and in the dressing rooms is made of neoprene.


Toby said O'Neill picked this off-the-beach location to avoid competing with core retailers and to showcase the O'Neill brand for global tourists who stream into the mall from Disneyland. The store mostly carries clothing - something a tourist is more likely to buy - than hard goods. Because the store only carries O'Neill, it showcases the entire breadth of the brand including little girls, boys and toddler lines.


O'Neill wave wallThis is the La Jolla Group's second store. The first was an outlet store in Lake Elsinore called Rider's Outlet that carries all the La Jolla Group brands. Three more outlet stores will open this year, Toby said.


O'Neill Clothing will open a limited number of additional large stores in key cities that also cater to global tourists, Toby said.


The La Jolla Group has made some key hires with lots of retail expertise from stores such as Macy's and PacSun. They don't specifically work in retail jobs at La Jolla but can lend advice.


"There are a lot of ex-retailers in our building," he said.


Toby is looking forward to the data that will come out of the Anaheim store about merchandise sell throughs and other information.


"I can't wait to get my hands on the reports that will come out of this store," he said.

 

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