SES drove the Irvine Spectrum this week and noticed that Vissla opened a store in the mall.
Spectrum is one of the most respected outdoor lifestyle centers in the country and many customers and brands in the industry have stores there.
We partnered with Paul Naude, CEO of Stokehouse Unlimited, to learn more about the new business and current business trends. Vissla, Amuse Society and Sisstrevolution live in Stokehouse.
Why open in the Irvine Spectrum?
Paul Naude: The opportunity arose for a great location. It’s a busy place with a diverse mix of consumers. Summer is going to be strong, so it’s worth testing the water there.
Is this a temporary location or a multi-year lease?
Paul Naude: It is a temporary lease but if it works well we will try to renew it.
Are you seeing good real estate offers right now?
Paul Naude: We don’t have an active retail store growth strategy, but a certain number of stores that are very specific to our brands’ profiles contribute to the direct-to-consumer part of our business.
We keep our eyes peeled for opportunities in areas where we are underrepresented. Contrary to what we envisioned at the start of the pandemic, however, there aren’t too many offers for the right locations. The rents have held and I don’t see that change anytime soon.
How many deals does the company now have between proprietary and partner doors?
Paul Naude: We have seven stores in the US – three partner stores in Hawaii and four company owned in California. We have two partner stores in Mexico.
In Hossegor, France, we have three company-owned stores and one partner store. In Australia we have two partner stores in Queensland.
Do you have a partner at the Spectrum location?
Paul Naude: No, this is a proprietary business.
What do you see in your company as a whole? How is the demand and what do consumers want nowadays?
Paul Naude: The strong trend that emerged when we got out of California’s lockdown continues. Surfing, along with other board sports, pumps!
We remain very focused on managing supply chain issues that persist. A number of Asian countries and of course India are in a very difficult position with regard to the pandemic. This thing is far from being globally over.
The effects are far-reaching – from raw materials to manufacturing to shipping issues. These problems will therefore continue to create difficulties in meeting the strong consumer demand that we are seeing.
As I said earlier, I see continued product shortages and price increases. However, business is going well and these challenges will have a positive impact.