At Hogtown in Toronto, Ontario, Peter Wheldrake (owner and head hog) says Burton provides the best margins for boards, boots, and clothing along with Westbeach. It’s Wheldrake’s belief that the customer dictates price by what they’re willing to pay, which in turn influences Hogtown’s decision on what they’ll reorder for the next season.
Located in the picturesque town of Banff, Alberta, ten-year-old-shop Rude Boys has been a mainstay for the town since its genesis. The co-owner of the store, Greg Patychuk, consistently has great success with Option and Burton snowboards in terms of margins and sell-through. Type A, Atlantis, and Silence brands are exclusive to the shop in that region and provide for profitable sales. Best-selling boots were the Flexible line with Switch bindings. Both NFA and Swag do well in clothing sales.
“As far as considering what products to order for the upcoming year, the margins are certainly one of the considerations-along with sell-through and who else is carrying the products, ” says Patychuck.
Manager Phil Gris of Illusion in St. Bruno, Quebec, has worked in the store for seven of its nine years. Burton, Ride, and Salomon all offer a 40-percent margin. Clothing provides 50 percent, except Dub, which is a little pricey. Gris points out: “With so much competition in the St. Bruno area, margin is definitely a deciding factor for choosing next year’s lines.” There are twelve shops within a 45-minute radius, so the sales staff at Illusion definitely have their work cut out for them.
Vert, a skaters’ and snowboarders’ hangout in Vancouver, British Columbia, has been attracting riders for the past nine and a half years. One of the three co-owners of the store, James Bond (really!) also says there are a lot of competing shops in the area: “We can only mark up our snowboards 100 dollars on our 400-dollar cost. With only 50 to 75 boards in the store, we’re thinking of dropping snowboards next year and concentrating on clothing.”
The clothing is marked up 35 percent, and with Vert’s selection, there is rarely a need for an end-of-season sale like they usually have for boards. Bond is also considering just carrying smaller companies or the local favorite-Option-next year.
Darin Bavis, owner and manager of Off the Street in Moncton, New Brunswick, says he gets good margins on Ride and Sims boards and boots, and Ride clothing. “The margins on the clothing are better than the boards and boots,” he adds, “but of course we sell more clothing in terms of quantity. And the margins make a difference in the size of next year’s order.”