The Zumiez 100K event was a pep rally on steroids. Management of the mall-based skate and snowboard chain flew in approximately 300 of its top-selling shop kids (anyone who had sold at least 100,000-dollars’ worth of merchandise from a store in 2002) to Utah for a day of snowboarding, two nights of parties, and a big awards presentation. With a “Bling, Bling” theme, the awards ceremony was patterned after an MTV Music Awards show, complete with prerecorded “Behind The Music” video clips shown on the big screen, celebrity guest appearances, and musical artists.
Two of the Zumiez sales managers MCed, presented the awards, and conducted the interviews with industry executives and pro riders who came in just for the event. With free food and flowing beverages, things heated up through the evening, as the pumped-up shop employees enjoyed the evening.
Pros snowboarders who came along for the ride including Tina Basich, Tara Dakides, Andrew Crawford, Travis Rice, and Luke Egan.
Snowboard company owners such as Session’s Joel Gomez, Volcom’s Rich Woolcott, Nixon’s Chad DiNenna, and others got up and praised the Zumiez staff for supporting their brands and the industry in general. “Keep in mind we all started by working in shops,” says DiNenna. “Without you guys, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Other companies supporting the event included Billabong, Burton, DC, Four Star Distribution, M3, Option, Smith, Sole Tech, TransWorld.
Other company representatives also praised the Zumiez staff: “I got to ride with a lot of you guys the last couple days, and it’s been the best riding I’ve done all year,” said Volcom’s Rich Woolcott. “You guys work for a great company. You’re guy’s energy is why we go to work every day.
Chris Miller of Planet Earth, added this: I just wanted to say thanks to everyone. We’ve all told you how great you are. But you do it for our companies and we appreciate it. This is a great company and good event.
Carter from Electric pumped up the room as well. “There’s more mojo in this room than I’ve seen in a year. Thanks to Tom Campion for giving Electric a chance.”
Early in the evening, Zumiez President Rich Brooks and Founder Tom Campion addressed the entire crowd: “We appreciate what you all do,” says Brooks. “We’re going to open more stores in the future, and this will provide more opportunities for all of us. We want to see you all here next year.”
A short interview with Brett Myhre, the number-one salesperson in Zumiez:
For Brett Myhre, who works at Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the evening was a momentous occasion. He was presented an award for being the top salesperson in the entire Zumiez chain of 100 stores and 1,500 employees (he sold 481,278 dollars’ worth of merchandise in 2002). “This is probably one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve ever had,” he says. “I’m 21 and worked for Zumiez for four years. This is my third 100K. and last year I saw the number-one table and said, ‘That’s where I want to be next year.’ I couldn’t be more stoked.”
What was the secret to your sales?
Basically, we’ve got an awesome crew at Mall of America. We have good teamwork. But more or less, we give the customers what they want, help them out, be there for them, and that’s about it.
How many T-shirts did you sell to get this?
More than I could imagine. Big numbers.
What’s the ridiculous thing that’s ever happened to you?
Having some irate customer and trying to deal with them. It gets kind of ridiculous some times.
What do you think about Zumiez?
I’ve been working for them for a long time, and it’s been nothing but fun times, especially this whole 100K event. It’s a cool way to bring everyone together and good teamwork and have fun.
How much sales training have you gone through and how much has it benefitted you?
Pretty much all of it.
So are you ready to teach everyone else about sales?
Yeah, I guess so.
An interview with some New York state staff members:
What doo you guys thing about Zumiez?
Paul Pennington: It’s the best job ever. All you do is talk to people about stuff. You can talk to them about anything. You can talk to them about guitars, music, skateboards, surfboards, anything. I talked to a lady about the movie Trading Spaces, about anything, and it’s just the coolest job in the whole world to talk to people and meet people. I actually got a free dog out of it.
Pennington: I talked to this lady. She was looking for a Christmas present for her son and couldn’t find anything. I said I had the same problem, I couldn’t find anything for my wife. I told her I was looking for a dog. And she was like: I know someone who has a dog. It’s a jack Russell Terrier. It’s name is Mags, and I got him.
Have you guys been to this even before?
Kale Gustafson: This is the first time I’ve been to this. I spent the first half of the year at school and I was really worried about being able to make it, but I sold 111,000 dollars, so I just made it. Me and the rest of my team out in Wilton busted our asses and really pulled through. In the shop, four out of fifteen made it here. They’re all sitting there jealous. And I told them while they’re working, I’m out here in Utah riding powder and getting paid for it! We get one travel day which isn’t paid for, but the rest is.
What’s the secret to selling 100k of merchandise?
Pennington: The secret to selling 100k is being the most energetic person out there, push every single product, and be so excited and so stoked on what we do and the kids love it. That’s what sells. It’s all about the personality.
Kale: You’ve got to come in everyday and be on. There’re no days when you come in and can mope around or slack off. You’ve got to be on.
Is it hard?Kale: Yeah, because some days you roll out of bed and you don’t want to go to work, but then when you get there, the people you’re working with are just as stoked about the job as you are and then you get into it.
A short interview with Matt Euteneier from Alaska:
What’s it like working with Zumiez?
Matt Euteneier from Alaska: Starting out, I was a little sketchy on Zumiez, now it’s probably one of the best companies I’ve ever seen. They take care of you so well. And keep you together. They’re all about employees.
What do you think about this event?
Euteneier: This is my first time being here. I’m number seven in the company. It could not be any better.
A quick interview with Noelle Lewis from Colorado:
What’s it like working for Zumiez?
Noelle Lewis from Colorado: Working for Zumiez is the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s the first job I can honestly say that I love. I’ve worked retail before, but not in this industry.
How is this different?
Lewis: We have freedom. They appreciate the employees. We attract a similar sort of person so everybody works really well together. We have a really good time.
How do sell 100k?
Lewis: You do a lot of training. It’s fun. Everybody who works for
Zumiez is interested in the kind of things that we sell, whether it be skateboards, snowboards, wakeboards, or whatever.
What do you think of this event?
Lewis: This event is phenomenal. This is my first time here. I started in March. It’s not that hard to get to the 100k level. If you enjoy what you do, and you know what you sell, you’ll get there easy. Six months. It doesn’t even take that long. It’s just good times. We’re people selling what we love to do. You just tell people that this is what I like and try this out.