Moondoggies

Randy Adler, Owner of Moondoggies in San Luis Obispo, had a “good” problem. His business was outgrowing its existing location — which is always good. Unfortunately, finding available real estate with the square footage he needed in the downtown portion of this college town is next to impossible.

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So Adler got a little creative. He kept his existing location and opened up a separate Moondoggies just across the street. One shop, two locations: problem solved. The setup isn’t as awkward as it may sound. The original store carries hardgoods like Aleeda, Billabong, and Hurley wetsuits and the shop’s collection of surfboards. There’s a ton of walkshorts and apparel from brands such as Hurley, Billabong, HIC, and Volcom.

The new location is full of beautiful display racks in maple and framed high-quality POP. Tasteful lighting; hardwood floors. This location has a huge girls’ department — complete with the nicest Roxy accessory display this side of Nordstrom.

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Adler says the store does 70 percent of its business in apparel with the Girls’ Hurley line and Volcom’s men’s and women’s collection leading the charge. Paul Frank accessories are also big sellers — Adler says he can’t keep them is stock. Quiksilver is also strong — primarily in the boardshorts market and Adler says when it comes to P.O.P. and shop support, Quiksilver still rules.

At the back of the new store is a well-stocked skate department with an avalanche of shoe styles. While Adler says the shoe department certainly helps sales, only a small number of styles are the big sellers — including the Osiris D3 and the DVS Maxim.

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According to Adler the zipperless wetsuit market seems a bit played out in San Luis Obispo — unless you’re rail thin Adler says most customers simply don’t like the hassle of getting them on and off.

Business is good, but Adler cautions the manufacturers to keep distribution clean. “If you asked me last Summer, I would have told you the sky was the limit when it comes to the surf industry,” says Adler. “Now I’m thinking we peaked in August. If the market does take a dip, distribution will become even more important.”

**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****

Window Brands: Hurley, HIC, Volcom, Electric

Major Display Brands: Volcom, HIC, Billabong

Strongest Category: Apparel

Weakest Category: Shoes

Bests Rep(s): Matt Spear from Hurley, and Willy Morris from Quiksilver.

Hottest Brand(s): Volcom and Hurley


On A Scale Of 1 to 10, Rate:

Health of the surf sales: 8

Health of girls sales: 8.5

Health of men’s apparel sales: 8

Health of wetsuit sales: 6

Health of footwear sales: 6

Health of surfboard sales: 9