Top-selling accessories seem to be relatively consistent around the Rocky Mountain region, with Burton and Arnette leading sales at most shops during '98/99.
At Mountain Wave in Breckenridge, Colorado, Manager Carlos Garcia explains why Burton gloves were the only gloves he carried last season: “We know they'll warranty everything, and with Burton, customer service is the call.” Garcia says they can also count on Burton for consistent quality.
Mountain Wave carried only one line of underwear during last season as well, Helly Hansen's Lifa brand. “Helly Hansen has top-notch quality; it's high tech and definitely superior,” says Garcia. Margins for Burton gloves and Lifa underwear were both at 100-percent (keystone), with top-selling Oakley O Frame goggles a little higher at around 110-percent margin.
In Durango, Colorado, Shred Shed Manager Jered Gallegos says his top sellers for gloves, underwear, and goggles were also around keystone margin. Burton led the way for both gloves and long underwear, with Arnette doing the best in goggles.
“Burton has a good quality, good variety, and so many different pricepoints that it reaches everybody,” says Gallegos of Burton's success in his shop. He attributes the top sales of Arnette to increased marketing, noting that brand has been the top seller out of Shred Shed for the past few years.
The most popular lines at Alternative Edge in Aspen, Colorado were identical to its southern neighbor, with margins at keystone as well. Manager Brian Charity singles out the Burton Universe glove or mitten and the first-layer midweight pant as the most sought-after styles in gloves and underwear.
“Pound for pound it's definitely Burton,” says Charity, “and I think it's in the name.”
For Arnette, it was The Goggle Series 1 that sold the best. “They're Italian made and Italians make things a little better,” says Charity about the brand's success.
At Boulder Ski Deals in Boulder, Colorado, Snowboard Manager Mark Stokely says Burton, once again, along with Bonfire are the best sellers.
“Mittens are the most popular,” he says, “and make up about 70 percent of the business.” He sells a bit more Burton than Bonfire at what seems to be the norm of a 50-percent margin.
Helly Hansen's Lifa is his best-selling underwear, and he actually attributes this to the salesperson selling the product. “Lifa fits well, performs well, and holds up,” he adds.
Goggle sales have really been affected by the increasing popularity of helmets, says Stokely. “I can't even sell a beanie anymore,” he says. “Everybody wants a helmet.”
Based on this fact, Arnette goggles with the Goggle Tube were a top seller, but he says the new Dragon might be a good trade off with Arnette.
“We're at an 80-percent margin at least with goggles and definitely accessorizing by always selling at least two different color lenses with each model,” says Stokely.
Bucking the trend in gloves sales is Black Dog Snowboards in Logan, Utah. The Ride Highland Series is its best seller. This line enjoys a 100-percent margin, and Buyer and Assistant Manager Jeremy Jensen commends Ride's performance level and adds that the shop doesn't even carry the otherwise popular Burton line.
“We try to support the smaller companies,” he says, adding there are several larger sporting-goods stores close by where riders can find the bigger brand names.
Black Dog doesn't carry underwear; Jensen says they're an accessory not in high demand in Logan. “It's not extremely cold around here, and in a college town most people don't have the extra money,” he explains.
Iris and Arnette were the best-sellingg goggles at Black Dog, with Iris sales doing just a little bit better.
Jensen says his best seller was the Iris Convex, and attributes it primarily to his own push of the line. “The Convex sold really well,” he says. “The lens sits the closest to the face and has by far the best peripheral vision.”