AGENDA: GroupY's Emerge brand-building conference returns on Jan. 6.
SURFRIDER: "Protect What You Love" holiday appeal.
MOSS ADAMS: Plan now for tax season.
Details on Industry Insight.
How to describe the Zumiez 100k party in Keystone Colorado last night?
The annual party rewards the top Zumiez’s store employees who sell more than $100k during the year.
It’s a frenzy of hundreds of young people with energy and enthusiasm mixed with wacky costumes, creative and funny games and videos during the awards ceremony, nearly every action sports star athlete on the planet and nearly every CEO of brands carried by Zumiez.
Spend a few hours at the party and it is so clear why Zumiez has dominated the mall and taken market share from teen competitors.
First of all, it’s so real. The kids aren’t pretending to like the brands carried at Zumiez, or pretending to like action sports, or pretending to like their employer. They are passionate about the brands, the lifestyle, and Zumiez itself.
The room went wild when Zumiez Founder Tom Campion was introduced.
“Thank you for this year we had, you guys are friggin awesome! You are incredible sales kids,” he told the crowd.
They went crazy again when he spoke of the 10% comp gain during the holidays and said Zumiez will comp up 9% for the year.
Tom said it was because of them and their sales prowess that Zumiez was taking market share at the mall from stores like Aeropostale, American Eagle, etc. – and best of all, he said, Zumiez is “putting the pipe” to PacSun. That comment drew lots of wild cheering and yelling from the crowd.
“We are taking market share because of your guys' ability to sell and all the work you do on sales floor!,” Tom told them.
Another reason it becomes clear why Zumiez is leading the pack is the sheer number of brands it carries. As part of the ceremony, Zumiez brings brand founders on stage, and the founders thank the kids for all of their hard work. That made is very clear the depth and range of brands it stocks, from a larger band like Volcom to smaller ones like Diamond Supply Company and Brixton.
The kids hooted and hollered a lot when the brand founders were introduced, and it was interesting to see that younger brands drew just as enthusiastic response as some of the more established players.
I was also struck by the sheer creativity in the room. The kids created imaginative costumes, and whole award ceremony was wacky and funny. Retail-themed games on stage included a race to scan huge, hanging bar codes and a “door buster” game where you try to break through a faux door to a prize on the other side.
The company culture that Campion and Zumiez have created is so strong, there was so much positive energy in the room, and the kids seemed anything but jaded or cynical. You walk away feeling optimistic not only about the industry, but the younger generation as well.