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Tiffany Montgomery
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Zumiez culture on display at 100K party

By Tiffany Montgomery
January 12, 2011 7:40 AM

I’ve always heard great things about the annual Zumiez 100K party, where the company honors store employees who have sold at least $100,000 in a year. Nearly 1,400 employees hit or exceeded that mark.


I attended the event for the first time last night in Keystone, Colorado. I’ll be honest – I’ve never seen anything like it.


The whole event was refreshing on several levels. It was inspiring and heartening to see the young employees so enthusiastic about the company they work for. They cheered, they clapped, they stood on chairs, they hollered – not just for the dozens of star athletes and brand founders that attended, but also for Zumiez Chairman Tom Campion and CEO Rick Brooks. I have never seen employees of any company get that excited about senior executives.


It was also refreshing to see the top management of a company make such an effort to thank, appreciate, reward and incentivize their employees.


“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Tom Campion told the crowd from the stage. “You are all just frickin’ awesome!”


Tom was like a rock star. The employees seemed just as thrilled to meet him as they did some of the top skateboarders and athletes that attended.


Ford Wright, Zumiez Executive Vice President of Stores, led the crowd in a chant at one point.


“I sold $100k and I’ll sell it again,

Cuz we learned from the best,

Tom Campion.”


It was also nice to see company founders and star athletes sincerely thanking the kids who sell their brands everyday.


Shepard Fairey of Obey perhaps said it best. He told the employees that Zumiez supports this culture in a real way, and it shows.


It was also astonishing to hear how much some of the kids sold all over the U.S., in towns big and small. The No. 1 winner was Andrew Scott, who sold $613,000 in a Zumiez store in Anchorage, Alaska.


I’m glad I went to the party, because it helps me understand why Zumiez has outperformed so many mall retailers during the recession. The kids are living what they are selling and Zumiez has found a way to harness and reward all that enthusiasm and passion.


After that party, I’m sure everyone there is pumped up to go sell, sell, sell.



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