I was at the Arbor shopping center in Lake Forest on Sunday, and went to check out the Killer Dana store there. I discovered it was closed. The store was empty and a handwritten note with a drawing of a sad face was on the window saying the store was closed.
I contacted Steve Price, a Killer Dana partner, this morning to find out when it closed and why.
Here's what he had to say:
"Yep, never could really get the store to perform. Sad because it was a really nice store and we sank a lot of money into opening and operating it. We implemented a lot of strategies that are successful in our other locations but we just could not get the consumer to respond the same way. There is a lot of traffic into that center, but we were unable to convert it. We closed it at the end of October. Closing the non-performing Lake Forest store will allow us to focus 100 percent of our efforts on the growth components of our other businesses.
"The good news is that our other stores in Dana Point and San Clemente are faring quite well. We were able to use the custom fixturing from Lake Forest in our other locations. We have totally redone San Clemente. That store is looking really good and our selection there has really increased. We also are opening a sick little skate den in the alley behind the Dana Point store. This is a core skate shop and becomes the only one of its type in our area. It is a garage that we converted. Moving skate into its own location opens up Dana Point so we can increase our stock of boards and wetsuits. Board sales have actually been doing pretty well lately - guess that's what happens when we get waves.
"Web has also been cranking for us. It is going to be a very interesting holiday, but I think that we are very well prepared right now for almost anything. Our inventory positions are tight. We've taken a hard look at our business the past couple of months and made the adjustments that we believe are neccessary to be successful in this environment. I'm feeling particularly good about online business going into this holiday as we have an incredible selection of goods and are adding hundreds of new items every week. Spring 2009 goods will be posting in the next few days. I'm very optimistic right now which I think makes us different from the majority of retailers. Hopefully, if people are going to shop online, they will be doing it with Killer Dana."