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I met with two Quiksilver executives last week at the newly opened Quiksilver Waterman Collection store at Fashion Island.
Steve Wilson, SVP and General Manager of the Quiksilver Brand, and Guy Stagman, VP Merchandising and Design of the Waterman Collection, showed me the remodeled store and talked with me about the strategy behind the collection.
It was previously a Quiksilver Kids store run by a licensee. The store is now under Quiksilver’s management and looks quite different after a remodel.
It has opened up and lightened up, with the walls and ceilings painted white, the number of fixtures reduced, and the cash wrap moved from the middle of the store to the back. The floors are covered in a warm Tigerwood, and the dressing rooms upgraded with hip floral fabric seats and large, inspiring images of Waterman athletes such as Mark Healey.
Quiksilver’s line for older man has taken a few iterations over the years, with the Waterman Collection debuting in Spring 2010.
The sweet spot for the collection is a 30 to 40 year old professional who is a surfer rather than a professional surfer, Guy said.
Or as Steve put it, “Older than Quiksilver young men but not that old.”
The brand also expanded is sporting influence to include other water sports such as endurance paddling, SUP, body surfing and diving.
Since Quiksilver took this new path, Steve said the business has been growing nicely.
“It has found its spot,” Steve said.
Compared with Quiksilver Young Men’s, the Waterman Collection uses more upscale fabrics and more detailing on garments giving the line “a more refined and classic feel,” Steve Wilson said.
Wholesale customers are noticing the difference, with the Waterman Collection showing marked year-over-year increases in sales at stores, Steve said, and is getting a stronger reaction retail buyers.
While the spring and summer seasons are the key seasons for Waterman, Steve said the company sees an opportunity to expand its fall and holiday offering.
“We’ve had a lot of success with jackets and fleece and we think there is room to grow,” Guy added.
The new Waterman store, at approximately 1,600-square-feet, carries a full range of goods, from boardshorts and wetsuits to footwear and even a few paddle boards. The No. 1 category overall for the Waterman Collection is wovens, Guy said.
Quiksilver plans to open at least five Quiksilver Waterman Collection stores in the next three or four years, in areas where they feel the brand is underpentrated and where there is growth opportunity. Currently, they are looking in Waikiki for a location.
Quiksilver would like to use the look and interpretation of the new Waterman store at Fashion Island in other locations, Steve said.
The Fashion Island store was designed by Steve Jones, a former long time Quiksilver employee who was VP of Visual Arts at Quiksilver and now owns a real estate development company.
See our slide show above for lots of photos of the store.