This story comes from an unlikely yet exciting source trade magazine Transworld Business. The magazine is owned by TransWorld Media the leader in the action sports publishing market since 1983. They own numerous titles including Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, Transworld Surf, Transworld RideBMX and Transworld Motocross. The story looks at the 50th anniversary of the family owned; California based Val Surf and the introduction of their new Private Brand. This is an excerpt from the story.
Val Surf is celebrating 50 years in the game this month, and we caught up with Store, Marketing, and Team Manager Brandon Richards to discuss the family-owned and-operated retail space, which has five locations throughout Woodland Hills, Valley Village. and Vallencia, California area. The retailer is celebrating 49th birthday and 50th year in business, and we talked with Richards to find out the secrets to the shops’ success, plus got the scoop on the retailer’s new private label collection, 1962.
Not too many retailers in the action sports industry can say they have been in business for 50 years. What’s the secret to Val Surf’s success?
I’m not sure that there is any secret to our madness other than the basic focus on excellent customer service and providing our customers with a great and unique product offering. Pioneering brands have always been something we have taken great pride in as well as supporting a very healthy team of athletes who have grown up in and around our store(s). We are also heavily involved within our local community and throw all sorts of events to keep things pulsing, fun, and fresh.
What have been some of the most notable milestones and accomplishments for Val Surf?
Val Surf was the first dealer of Quiksilver, Hobie, O’Neill (So. Cal), Channel Islands Surfboards, Hang Ten, Burton (So. Cal), and Freedom Artists.
We were also was awarded “U.S.A retailer of the year” by the Action Sports industry and voted “Best Snowboard Shop In The Western U.S.A” by the Snow Industry of America (SIA).
Some other things we are proud of include the shop being inducted into the “Skateboard Hall Of Fame” as the very first skateboard shop and mail order service. Val Surf co-hosts The Malibu Invitational Benefit (a shortboard invitational surf contest @ first point Malibu), which is five years strong. The shop also invented the “Valendar” (a summer events calendar filled with contests, events, and demo’s for the kids), and has maintained that for the past three years. To the best of our knowledge, Val Surf, is the oldest Surf/Skate/Snowboard shop in the world that’s still owned and operated by the same family.
How long has your private label collection 1962 been in the works and when can we expect to see it hit retail?
We are pretty late to the game here. We have always done well with our Val Surf Branded T’s and Hats but that was more to brand our store(s) and teams more so than to compete as a collection. Being our 50th year in business we wanted to highlight our birthdate the best we could. We decided to call our collection “1962″ and to brand it separately from Val Surf but align it subtly. It will be in our stores for Holiday aligned with our 50th Anniversary Campaign.