May 30, 2014
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Zumiez believes that there are few opportunities for European action sports brands in the US

May 30, 2014

The American company Zumiez has reported sales up nearly 10% for its first quarter ending on May 3, with net sales of 119 million euros. Its sales in Europe, where two years ago the group bought the Austrian retailer Blue Tomato, are up 34.6 %.

The new Blue Tomato shop in Bremen, Germany.

The action sports retailer now has a fleet of 558 stores, compared to 503 last year, and store sales are up 1.8%. Operating profit has remained stable at 2.7 million euros compared with 2.9 million a year earlier.
In Europe, the company opened two new stores in the first quarter, bringing its network to 17 in Austria and Germany. It confirmed ambitions for five more openings over the coming year.

During the presentation of quarterly results to investors, management led by CEO Rick Brooks, said that the company was just starting out in Europe and that it would not accelerate development for several years so that it would have time to find its legs.

Asked by analysts about the potential of European brands in America, Rick Brooks said that “a lot of styles come from the US, especially in terms of streetwear and sports action. So even if there are some major European brands, we don’t see many that could make the transition to the American market, and none are really that important as regards footwear, besides some major brands like Adidas, which already has a big presence here. Small European brands are not on the radar of American consumers."
At the same time, the company, which has seen strong competition in terms of performance running and basketball shoes, is giving more and more opportunities to small American brands, which are taking up a bigger and bigger share market.

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