Pancho’s Surf Shop

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Panchos, CWC Retail Tour, Pismo

One key to success in retail is the ability to adapt to market changes and captialize on what’s hot. Pancho’s — although still geared toward the surfing community — has jumped on the booming skate juggernaut. The skate section, once just an afterthought, now takes prime real estate just inside the doors of this spacious shop.

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Volcom and Hurley are the dominant brands — at least in men’s apparel. They’re the first two brands you’ll see as you enter the shop. About 200 O’Neill wetsuits are also tucked into the front corner of the shop — giving us the impression that wetsuits (especially 4/3s) are big sellers.

Right behind the mini display of bright Volcom and Hurley T-shirts is Pancho’s growing skateboard section, which employees said has recently taken over counters and racks full of board bags and other surf accessories and memorabilia that used to sit there and take up space. Skate is hot, they say.

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Leashes and board bags are now at the back of the shop, along with a handful of shortboards, hybrids, longboards, and bodyboards.

Surrounding the island of sunglasses and surf-video displays in the center of the shop are boys and men’s apparel. Most of the majors are there: Quiksilver, Volcom, Rip Curl, and Hurley. Billabong is offered, too, but it didn’t seem to have as big of a presence. Tavarua, HIC, Stussy, and Free are other noteworthy brands.

In a separate — and equally big — room is the Juniors’ section. Practically every brand is represented, including Roxy, Volcom, and Hurley (those are the standouts).

Employees say business is steady year-round, but it’s during long weekends and the summer months that keep them busy ringing up Pancho’s T-shirts for tourists.

**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****

Window Brands: Burton, Von Zipper, Rip Curl, Reef.

Major Display Brands: O’Neill (wetsuits) Quiksilver, Reef.

Strongest Category: Men’s apparel; tourist business in the summer.

Hottest Brand(s): Volcom, Hurley.