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Today we get an update on Christian action sports brand Truth Soul Armor from President Jeff Ray.
The best answer is probably what hasn't changed. Technically speaking the acquisition is still going through the final stages. However, the physical components to the merger are up and running smoothly. We have added a location with our sales and fulfillment team now based out of C28 corporate headquarters in Corona.
Our San Clemente location will continue to house our design, marketing and new product development departments. Our core design and marketing team has stayed intact. Also, a lot of the team riders are still with us.
Other than that, operationally it's an entirely new group. This was my first merger or whatever and I was clearly not prepared for how complicated these things can be. I see people at tradeshows and they're like “Hey, congratulations on the deal, I thought you'd be off traveling or something.” I try to humbly explain it's not like that and the “payday” is still somewhere out there in the future.
Ha!!! Well I can safely say we didn’t double in ’09. No question about that. But since then, our business has rebounded, and is growing from what was honestly a train wreck of a year. This year has really been a year of finding our feet and getting to know each other.
A lot of accounts have really circled the wagons and are looking to survive by just buying the big brands with deep pockets and big marketing budgets.
Buckle, on the other hand, has continued to support us. They have a great team over there and have performed head and shoulders above their competitors. We recently opened Gliks and are excited to see what we can do there. Also Tilly's is still working with us as well as a lot of mom and pop shops that have been able to survive.
We also have the advantage of having some distribution in Christian retail. Mardel Christian stores have a long-term goal of building their apparel department and we're a key part of that strategy. At the end of the day, every retailer matters though, and relationships are everything.
See Page 2 for more about Truth Soul Armor