Puerto Rico’s Kokomo Surf Shop Makes a Strong Comeback After Hurricane Maria
After months of delays and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Kokomo Surf Shop reopened their store in Plaza las Américas Mall and it is exceeding sales expectations.
Before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last September, Kokomo Surf Shop had plans to expand their business and had signed a new lease with the mall that doubled their space from 2,000 square feet to 4,100 square feet.
“After months without being able to start construction due to Hurricane Maria, our patience had been depleted,” Owner Nanette Gordillo said. “We got cold feet and had mixed feelings about what we had committed to. But the rains, winds, and destruction are gone and Puerto Rico, as well as our stores, are walking tall again.”
The lack of electricity, materials and labor made it impossible for contractors to work and pushed the renovation back by several months.
The store reopened in Puerto Rico’s largest mall on May 4 and features a diverse shop-in-shop experience as well as a video wall at the store’s entrance, a Bose music system, gypsum ceilings that look like ocean waves and fitting rooms with unique tiling.
“Quiksilver, Roxy, Volcom, Billabong, O’Neill, and Costa del Mar outdid themselves with custom-made sections specifically designed for our store,” Nanette said. “Since branding was key to the original plan, wall units, furniture, hardware, lighting and decor were delivered and assembled by our vendors, making each designed space a true representation of the brand.”
The store also features a Corkcicle display with an integrated sensor water cooler designed by local architects Sebastian and Kathia Garcia.
The total investment in the store was approximately $800,000.
“Our sales force at the store has doubled, contributing to the local economy,” Nanette said. “The outcome has been overwhelming. Customers’ reactions, as well as the sales forecast, have been beyond our expectations.”