Vissla Opens at Irvine Spectrum
SES was driving by the Irvine Spectrum this week and noticed Vissla has opened a store at the shopping center.
The Spectrum is one of the most highly regarded, outdoor lifestyle centers in the country, and many industry customers and brands have stores there.
We followed up with Stokehouse Unlimited CEO Paul Naude to find out more about the new store and about current business trends. Stokehouse is home to Vissla, Amuse Society and Sisstrevolution.
Why open at the Irvine Spectrum?
Paul Naude: An opportunity came up for a great location. It’s a busy venue with a diverse mix of consumers. The summer is going to be strong, so it’s worth testing the waters there.
Is this a temporary location or a multi-year lease?
Paul Naude: It’s a temporary lease, but if it works out well we will look to extend.
Are you seeing good real estate deals out there right now?
Paul Naude: We’re not actively pursuing a retail store growth strategy but a certain number of stores very specific to our brands’ profiles add to the Direct to Consumer part of our business.
We’re keeping our eyes open for opportunities in areas where we’re underrepresented. However, contrary to what we envisaged happening when the pandemic started, there aren’t too many deals for the right locations. Rents have held and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
How many stores does the company have now between company owned and partner doors?
Paul Naude: We have seven stores in the U.S. – 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 in the Spectrum location?
Paul Naude: No, this is a company owned store.
In your business overall, what are you seeing? What is demand like, and what do consumers want these days?
Paul Naude: The strong trend that emerged as we came out of the California lockdown continues. Surf, along with other board sports, is pumping!
We remain very focused on managing supply chain issues which continue. A number of Asian countries and of course, India, are in a very tough spot regarding the pandemic. This thing is far from being over globally.
The effects are far reaching – from raw materials, to manufacturing, to shipping issues. So these problems will continue to create difficulties in satisfying the strong consumer demand we’re seeing.
As I’ve said previously, I see product shortages continuing and price increases emerging. But business is strong and there will be positives coming out of these challenges.