Shaun White to Add Footwear to his Target Collaboration
Target couldn’t have a more popular sporting figure for youth culture than Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder and X Games Gold Medalist skateboarder Shaun White. With the debut of the Shaun White for Target apparel collection last year it was inevitable that the mass retail chain would forge ahead with shoes this year. Target announced today March 8 2010 that is will launch an exclusive Shaun White Shoes collection for release early this fall. Shaun White shoes for Target will be appropriately skate-inspired and designed in collaboration with this brother Jesse.

“It’s been a lot of fun working with Target for the past few years on my clothing line ” said Shaun. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring some authentic skate shoes into the mix.”

Shaun’s shoes will come out at the same time as his next apparel collection for Target and an exclusive version of his video game Shaun White Snowboarding which will be one sale only at Target stores and

For skate footwear brands the Shaun X Target initiative is making some a little nervous as more large chains move into the action sports realm further solidifying the fact that action sports isn’t niche any longer (and hasn’t been for years).

Billabong Licenses Plan B
Core California skateboard brand Plan B whose roster includes Paul Rodriguez (P-rod) and Ryan Sheckler not to mention co-owned by pro Danny Way has agreed to a licensing deal with Billabong International Limited on March 5 2010. Billabong which also owns other skateboard brands Element and Sector 9 will continue under current management but now have the backend of the Billabong group to help with many things including distribution.

According to Paul Naude President of Billabong “Plan B is an authentic progressive brand and this arrangement will allow its management to focus on its core capabilities while leveraging the global infrastructure of the Billabong group.

“Billabong already has a shared commitment to the development of skateboarding through the Element and Sector 9 brands and we view Plan B’s high quality products as a tremendously complementary.”

Agenda Introduces a Winter Section to their Fashion Trade Show
It makes sense that with SIA moving to Denver there’s an open hole on the West coast for a winter sports trade show. Who better to help out than the every-evolving Agenda Fashion Trade Show which has shown that it can seriously shake-up the action sports industry by crossing over from skate to street to contemporary and now snow.

According to Aaron Levant the co-founder of Agenda this new winter category for Agenda was a much needed addition for winter brands and retailers. He plans on bringing in some 40 brands similar to the separate sections currently at Agenda including The Berrics for core skate brands and Primer. The winter section name TBD will be along side the rest of Agenda in January 2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach CA.

Of course we can’t help but think things have come full circle as we’re reminded of the days when ASR included a large number of core snowboarding brands. This move also gives SIA just another pin-prick as the ripple effects of the Denver show continue to surface across the industry.

Zumiez Up 19.6%
Zumiez the specialty retailer for action sports apparel footwear and accessories announced sales for the 4-week period ending February 27 increased 19.6% or $27.6 million compared with the same 4 weeks last year. Comparable store sales increased 11.2%. This is great news for the retailer and especially pleasing to the brands carried at Zumiez.

This news came just a couple of weeks after the announcement that they were relocating their Everett Washington distribution center to Corona CA. Corporate offices will remain in Everett however the relocation does impact a number of employees.

According to Trevor Lang Zumiez Chief Financial Officer “The Company continually evaluates opportunities to reduce its supply chain complexity lower costs and increase the speed to get inventory in its stores. Since the majority of our vendors are located in California this move makes sense. It will trim transportation time increase the speed of getting inventory to our customers and reduce freight and distribution costs.”