At Java Summit Sports in Soda Springs, Internet access within the shop is mostly used for communication between the staff and shop regulars. Other than that, the Internet may be used to check out manufacturer's Web sites, but it still doesn't play a big role with the day-to-day activities of the staff.
Java Summit Sports does have its own Web site (www.javasummitsports.com), but it's basically reserved for the “where and what of the shop,” says Manager Jeffery Philpott. There is no retail selling done through the site. However, Philpott points out, “The bulk of our clientele are the local people who know us. The Internet doesn't play much of a part–we're real family style.”
At Ocean Snow Sports in Escondido, e-mail is used for communication between the shop, companies, and vendors. They do use the Internet to check out products, says Manager Pete Campbell, however their Web site isn't up and running yet.
Even though they hope to have the site available before winter, Campbell is skeptical about the 'Net: “I hope the mail-order retail side of the Internet doesn't hurt the shops.”
John Saunders, owner of Demozine Board and Ski in Big Bear Lake, says that he's in a five-months-a-year business, and with limited time and money, the Internet hasn't been priority.
Saunders does plan on being online in time for winter. “Until recently, the Internet hasn't been a big deal for us, but now if you're not on it, you're missing the boat.”
Laguna Surf & Sport in Laguna Beach doesn't have Internet access in the shop–the computers are only used for the retail system. Although the shop office does have e-mail and the Internet, they'd prefer to keep it separate. “We don't want the scrubs who work there on the Internet,” says Manager Steve Hurst.
Laguna Surf and Sport has a Web site (www.lagunasurfandsport.com) and retail business can be made there. Hurst believes in the validity of the Internet and e-commerce: “The Internet is going to be essential in some way, shape, or form–not in the stores–but for retailing online.”
At the Powder House in South Lake Tahoe, Marketing Director Bob Spees answers “No, but yes,” in response to whether the Internet has a presence in the shop. Spees books groups and tours via the Internet and answers all the e-mail. So, yes, the Powder House does have e-mail and Internet access, but, no, they don't have it in the shop for use by the employees (with the exception of the marketing director). The shop also has a Web site, but there's no retail buying available through the site. And Spees' response to the effectiveness of the recent connection between the Internet and the shops: “Seems to work.”