TransWorld SNOWboarding Business hit the road this winter to visit shops and get a real sense of what’s going on in the marketplace. Utah was the first stop in mid March.
Salt Lake City has been a snowboarding hub for years, and there are many shops addressing the market. Some have been there for years, others are relative newcomers. Most this year cited the lack of early snow, the opening of new shops, and the Olympics as problems in the market. Despite these downfalls, there are also some bright spots.
Here’s what one had to say:
Stop 1: Bottom Line Snowboard Shop, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
What was the overall vibe of sales this season?
“People have been loving the new products, but even so it hasn’t been the best year,” says Manager Brandon Johnson. He points to November as a big month for the store, but sales have dwindled since then. “The Olympics kind of killed things for us,” he says.
Even so the shop has been doing well in its women’s department and as always¿its accessories business. “We always sell tons of gloves, goggles, and beanies,” says Johnson. “Any glove at the 40-dollar pricepoint just flies out the door for us. This year we sold through a ton of Burton Tactics.”
The bulk of these sales can be attributed to the store’s location¿just minutes from both Brighton and Solitude in Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon. It primarily caters to local resort employees, but accessory items are often sold to resort visitors searching for that last-minute or forgotten item.
The women’s department, however, is one area the Bottom Line had the most improvement.
“Surprisingly, all of the women’s-specific stuff is selling great,” says Johnson. He points to Velvet, Chorus, and the F-60 Lady binding from Drake as great examples. “I think women just really want equipment that is tailored specific these days,” he continues.
The Bottom Line plans to add four new board lines this year from Rossignol, Elevation, Rome, and Never Summer.
In other areas the shop will be sticking with the brands that have done well during the harder economic year. These include 686, Bonfire, Volcom, and Burton for outerwear; Northwave, Salomon, and Burton for boots; and Johnson cites Technine as a great binding holdover for next year. “They are really simple, solid bindings with great customer service to back them up. Any warranties we’ve had to deal with have been outstanding,” he says.