At Ski Chalet in Niles, Ohio, Owner Gary Hoff says that he does most of his ordering at the Las Vegas SIA show. “We get 90 percent of our ordering done within a week of the show,” he adds.
The local rep show is six hours away, so he skipped it this year.
Hoff said that the new lines from Burton and K2 looked good and he also carries Sims and a few other brands.
With the closing of Continental Ski Shop in Duluth, Minnesota, Andrew Pettis was faced with a tough situation because he worked in the shop’s snowboard store called The Underground. He and his girlfriend Carrie Rodberg decided to buy the snowboard side and plan on reopening it on September 1.
To stock the store, he went to the local Madison show and booked most of his major brands–including Burton, Salomon, and Nitro–before he went to Vegas, where he finished some things up. He said the Nitro stuff in particular looked really good this year, as did the M3 boards and clothing from Special Blend, Foursquare, and Roxy.
“We had a demo board from M3 in the shop and all the guys rode it and loved it; so we went with them,” says Pettis.
According to Manager/Buyer Cory Christener of Surf Skate and Wheel in Bay City, Michigan, Forum and Dub looked really good this year and the shop is going big with those lines, as well as Morrow, which it has an exclusive on. “Dub had a really good preseason discount, so we had to go with that,” he said.
The shop also carries K2 and will be adding Alphanumeric this year. “It looks really good, but is a little pricey,” Christener adds.
He did most of his ordering at the Boyne on-snow and the MRA in Lansing. The store usually skips the Vegas show.
Dennis Lovick, the general manager for the Viking Ski Shop in Chicago, Illinois stays busy during the trade-show season. His shop sends people to the Stratton, Boyne, and Aspen on-snow demos, as well as the Madison and Vegas indoor shows. They usually have all their buying done by the end of March, sometimes waiting to see what the other area stores buy just to make sure they’re not carrying the same products.
He says that Burton, Flow, and Salomon all looked good this season, while he also thought Rossignol had some nice additions to the line. The shop spends a lot of time testing the different products and feels like it has to know what works in order to service its customers, who are a little older and want the best technical product for a good value.
The Torque Center’s Snowboard Buyer Micah Depner attended the ASR, Madison, and SIA Vegas shows to do his buying this year. He had all the ordering done by Vegas. For the store located in New Berlin, Wisconsin, he has cut the total number of brands carried from 35 to seventeen, but will be stocking close to the same number of boards as last year
He said that Burton looked good, but that was a given. Salomon, Forum, Lib Tech, and Ride’s bindings also looked strong. The shop will also be picking up M3. One of the big issues he’s watching is which brands will end up in the local Sportmart/Gart store. His store is a high-end shop and he doesn’t want to carry anything the other shops do.