Eye On Orange County – Becker Fifty-Fifty

Becker Fifty-Fifty

Mission Viejo

As the only surf shop in town, you would think Becker has a monopoly on surf products. It does — to a certain extent. But by being inland and off the coast, not everyone in Mission Viejo is amped on surfing.

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So a while back Becker updated the name of its Mission Viejo location to a more skate-oriented Becker Fifty-Fifty because skate’s huge. Inside, the store is split in half — literally right up the middle. Even more, the surf side of the shop plays classic surf music à la Dick Dale, while the skate side of the shop bumps hip-hop.

Even though the whole world seems to be riding the skateboarding gravy train, surfboards are Becker’s strongest category — a testament to the strength of the shop’s own label of boards shaped by Phil Becker, who’s been mowing foam for more than 40 years.

Within the surfboard category, Manager Rob Sachse says Becker’s Super Model boards have been going off. The Super Model boards are designed for girls, with softer rails, less volume, and a narrower template. “More girls are surfing these days,” says Sachse.

Girls are also buying lots of clothing and accessories at the shop. Sachse says juniors’ is Becker’s second-strongest category behind surfboards. Roxy and Volcom are the top brands.

Even though skate is hot, Sachse reports footwear sales have softened. “It used to feel like the store was going to capsize, because so many people were in the footwear section,” Sachse says. “But now footwear has been slowing up. It’s the market saturated.”

[IMAGE 2] But business overall is good. With three additional shops scattered in Los Angeles and Orange County, another one on its way in Huntington, and a profitable e-commerce component, Becker is chugging along just fine.

This summer, sandal sales have been strong (as always), with Reef and Rainbow pulling the most weight. In guy’s apparel, Volcom and Hurley have been the heavy hitters, although neither brand gets special treatment because Becker uses custom racks. Looking forward, Sachse predicts denim will be the next big thing.

Window Brands: None
Major Display Brands: Becker surfboards, Reef
Strongest Category: Surfboards, juniors’
Weakest Category: Footwear
Strongest Brands: Volcom, Hurley, Roxy
Best Reps: n/a

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