SES spent two days at Surf Expo visiting with brand executives and retailers and we have lots of photos of who we saw during the show.
The talk of the show, of course, was Quiksilver’s bankruptcy filing. Chairman Bob Knight, President Greg Healy and the sales staff spent a lot of time with retailers explaining the go-forward plan.
They obviously did a good job, because nearly every major retailer we talked to seemed pretty optimistic that the filing could ultimately be a good thing for Quiksilver, which is still a very large part of many retailers' businesses.
The other talk of the show was about which brands were at the show and which weren’t, and the challenging timing of the September show given seasonal calendars.
Some of the executives of the brands that were there, including both big brands and emerging brands, however, said they were glad to get extra face time with retailers since there weren’t as many brands there.
Brands that did not attend this time included Volcom, Hurley, Vissla, Depactus, Electric and others. Hurley chose to invest in a "mobile experience" and visited core retailers to show them a new technology that will be launching and was also busy at the Hurley Pro in Southern California.
Surf Expo announced during the show that it is addressing the date issue next year by adding a special show called “preview days” on June 23 and 24 in Orlando for spring orders.
We’ll have more about that new development in an upcoming story.
On another note, something that we keep hearing is working for retailers is the fishing/ocean trend, and the brands that have popped up recently in that niche are doing well.