Ah, those last hours of summer … warm days, late sunsets, and skaters galore. But don’t grieve summer’s end, because one of retailers’ favorite seasons follows close on its heels–back to school. So even if the school-age contingent is buying fewer wheels than in summer due to mandatory desk time, they’ll be in for shoes and clothes in droves. Besides, with skateboarding in a record high-cycle stretch, nearly every season is a good season.

Last issue we had to say thank you and goodbye to a stellar crew of shops. Here’s the good news: the new Ten Shops gang for Volume Twelve promises to be just as golden. This volume we have chosen seven shops from the contiguous U.S., one from U.S. Commonwealth Puerto Rico, and one shop each from Canada and Germany. The variety of responses promises to be very interesting!

Throughout the coming “volume year,” these successful shops will answer questions relating to the issue’s theme, as well as to skateboarding business in general.

So here’s a big ol’ welcome to the new shops on the block.

If you have any questions or comments for our ten shops, please address them to: Ten Shops, One Question, 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, California 92054; FAX: (760) 722-0653.

This issue’s question: How do you choose which shoe lines to carry in your shop?

Jose Luis Melendez Martinez at Lokomalik Surf Skate Shop in Cidra, Puerto Rico

“I go a lot by the ads in the magazines, and by what the boys shop clerks want. I see what’s selling good on the street. I work carry DC, Globe, and Reef. In Puerto Rico, I sometimes try to order direct, but the companies usually give me their distributors’ numbers. But the demand is so high, the distributors don’t always have the amount that we need!

“I order carefully with what I bring in the store–I don’t experiment too much, so I haven’t had to stop carrying any brand. I try to keep it narrow with the color that’s selling best. If another color is selling, I’ll try a few in that. And we sell black shoes more for back to school, because the kids here have a uniform that requires black shoes.

“I train my boys to bring out two other shoes of the same size if a kid asks for a particular shoe size and model. Then the clerk can say, ‘Hey, try this on–it just came in.’ And sure enough, a lot of the time customers take the one they didn’t even ask for–good technique, huh?”

Jerry Davis at Triple A Skate ’n’ Snow in Florence, Kentucky

“I go to TransWorldSKATEboarding magazine to see what’s new and what looks good to me. Then my youngest son Alex, who’s sixteen, helps me with my order, ’cause he’s familiar with what’s popular in this area.

“We carry Osiris, Adio, Vision, Etnies, Emerica, éS, Globe, DC, and Circa. We’re getting ready to carry Vans–we shied away from it before because they expected a lot, like a 2,000-dollar first order. They’ve adjusted that a little bit. I just heard so many people asking for Vans.

“In spring we sell light colors and more colorful shoes. In fall we sell a lot of navy and black–tromping to school in the snow, the black looks new longer. In each model, I usually do ten shoes between size eight and a half and thirteen. I zig-zag size and color so I’ll have at least the right shoe in the right size, if not their first-choice color.”

Rod Smith at White Chocolate Experience in Hays, Kansas

“When we first started, it was more what was available to us. For a small shop like ours, there are a few shoes that are still out of our range–like Vans. We get some older guys who’d be really interested in buying those.

&quot quarter of the time we only have one clerk here, but most of the time it’s all right. Shoes have been good for us–we do sell to our team riders, and we give them a good discount. We sponsor about six guys. Most are here in Hays.

“We started with Globes and have had good luck with them, then we added Osiris, and then DC, Emerica, and éS. We generally don’t back up a lot of sizes; we try to prebook and get in new shoes every month. One thing we do is order a different color the next time–this month white, the next month’s order might be for blue in the same model.”

Mark Loebe at Boardroom of Jackson Hole in Jackson, Wyoming

“There’re a couple different ways: we go to the trade shows, and also the kids ask for stuff–so you try to pick up on the hype. First chance is the show–say everyone’s talking about the Muska shoe, you go ahead and order what the hype is. Then you take the books home from the show and show a couple people who really like shoes, see what they think. When a new shoe comes out, I’ll try like two of them the line and see how the kids like them–kids! Listen to me! I mean kids age twelve to 29.

“If the shoe’s really hot, I’ll decide which colors to order shoe by shoe. Like in some shoes, the gray is great. Most of the time I’ll try one color in a shoe, once in a while I’ll order two colors. The Osiris D3 was hot last fall, and it worked in like three colors. In a mall, a store can sell a million black shoes, but we have a small local crowd and tourists, so it doesn’t work for me.”

Jonathan D. Maland at Dusty’s Board Shop in Kennewick, Washington

“We buy for all three stores, so it’s kind of centrally decided. I try to attend the ASR Long Beach, then there’s always the regional rep shows. We focus on certain brands: right now éS, Etnies, Emerica, DC, Globe, DVS–Vans is one of those recognition brands.

“We’ve gone through a lot of brands–we’ll give a shoe line a try, but less and less as time goes on. We go for value for the dollar–our customers are making a decision between a department-store shoe and ours. And the styling is important. There’s also demand–if the kids want it, we get it.”

Beth Folk at Brave New World in Little Silver, New Jersey

“It’s kinda whatever’s hot at the time, and what season it is–what the kids think is cool, what’s in the magazine. We’ll try out almost any line–if there’s a real demand for it, we’ll order it.

“Brave New World has three locations, and I work here Point Pleasant, New Jersey out of the warehouse/distribution center, so the stores report to me what it is the kids are requesting. Little Silver gets the higher-end customer; the town is more families and beach clubs, as opposed to here where there’re a lot of day visitors. All the companies have their pro models–the more technical, more expensive shoe. So where the Point Pleasant store would order level-one, -two, and -three shoes, Little Silver would get only the two more expensive-

level shoes.”

Dylan at Tazmahal Skatepark in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

“I can answer quickly–we have a very big partnership with Airwalk. We carry only Airwalk shoes; we’re not getting other brands.

“They’re helping out the skatepark and the shop–it’s a global partnership. The only products we carry at the shop are from companies committed to the sport, and to the skatepark. The shop is not our main business–we want to service our clientele. It’s a give-and-take type of relationship, and it’s been working quite well. Skateboarding is doing unreal right now in Canada.

“We carry everything in the Airwalk skate line–colors, sizes. Their two big models are the Andy Mac and the Bucky Lasek, but they have a new skatepark model–that’s my favorite.”

Christoph Rahmann at Titus Roll Sport in Münster, Germany

“At first, the style and price are the most important things we look at before ordering.

“Of the brands we carry, Emerica/BUILTBYTITUS is an exclusive brand you can only get through Titus mail order and Titus franchise shops. We also carry Duffs, Globe, éS, Osiris, Etnies, Circa, Converse, and DVS. We order between two and five models of each brand, and of course in different colors that our customers may be interested in.

“Because we are ordering skate shoes through distributors, due to the strong U.S. dollar, the price for each shoe is higher than in the U.S.A. I’d like to see a change in this.”

Mike Pooley at Bill’s Wheels Skate Shop in Santa Cruz, California

“We just kind of go through the entire line–that’s all the employees and even our customers, who are after all the ones buying them. We try to see what styles are changing. We go through the magazines and take note, like how shoes are getting wide and fat–running-shoe style. We carry half and half–Osiris, éS, DC, and we try to balance that with old school like Vans, and Emerica with its more solid line, mellow colors, not a lot of flash.

“There are so many different types of skaters up here. We have Osiris/nylon-pants style, and the Eric Koston/everything-matches style, and the Jason Adams/Dickies and truckers’ hats style.

“I just looked at the Osiris line, so this question is kind of good timing. I try ’em on, see what they look like. We always order at least two colorways. If it’s a shoe we’re not sure of, we order really low numbers of it. If it’s a shoe we think will go well for women–it’s a cute white shoe or something–we’ll order heavy in the sixes and light on the big sizes because we don’t think men will want them.”

Sandie at Scottsdale Sidewalk Surfer in Scottsdale, Arizona

“We go to the trade shows, and quite a few of the shoe reps do come into the store. We carry all the Sole Technology shoes, Osiris, Adio, DC, Circa, and Vans. I do basically the pro-model shoes, and depending on the season, that’s the colors I do. Black is always good, and we do very well on white, as well as white for girls in the smaller sizes. Greens and grays depending on the shoe–some shoes look better in one color than another. I go real deep in the shoes I feel the customers will buy. And I do a lot of Vans for the old-school skaters; they still want the old-school lowtop and the regular skate high, and they also ask for the Rowley.

“In the Circa shoes we sell the Muska shoe because it has his name on it! And it’s my highest-priced shoe. We also have all these little kids who think Tony Hawk is the king–you’d think they’d relate more to someone who’s younger, but they see him on TV and think he’s a god!

“I order heavy from size nine through thirteen–fourteen if they have it. We cater to a pretty wide range of ages. I do really good on the shoes I do sell–my intuition has been good. The only models I’ve gotten stuck on are the non-pro models, so I just stopped carrying them. I even tried to carry pricepoint for the kids who don’t have much money, but they don’t sell in my shop. I also pick companies that will stand behind their shoes.”

;We carry everything in the Airwalk skate line–colors, sizes. Their two big models are the Andy Mac and the Bucky Lasek, but they have a new skatepark model–that’s my favorite.”

Christoph Rahmann at Titus Roll Sport in Münster, Germany

“At first, the style and price are the most important things we look at before ordering.

“Of the brands we carry, Emerica/BUILTBYTITUS is an exclusive brand you can only get through Titus mail order and Titus franchise shops. We also carry Duffs, Globe, éS, Osiris, Etnies, Circa, Converse, and DVS. We order between two and five models of each brand, and of course in different colors that our customers may be interested in.

“Because we are ordering skate shoes through distributors, due to the strong U.S. dollar, the price for each shoe is higher than in the U.S.A. I’d like to see a change in this.”

Mike Pooley at Bill’s Wheels Skate Shop in Santa Cruz, California

“We just kind of go through the entire line–that’s all the employees and even our customers, who are after all the ones buying them. We try to see what styles are changing. We go through the magazines and take note, like how shoes are getting wide and fat–running-shoe style. We carry half and half–Osiris, éS, DC, and we try to balance that with old school like Vans, and Emerica with its more solid line, mellow colors, not a lot of flash.

“There are so many different types of skaters up here. We have Osiris/nylon-pants style, and the Eric Koston/everything-matches style, and the Jason Adams/Dickies and truckers’ hats style.

“I just looked at the Osiris line, so this question is kind of good timing. I try ’em on, see what they look like. We always order at least two colorways. If it’s a shoe we’re not sure of, we order really low numbers of it. If it’s a shoe we think will go well for women–it’s a cute white shoe or something–we’ll order heavy in the sixes and light on the big sizes because we don’t think men will want them.”

Sandie at Scottsdale Sidewalk Surfer in Scottsdale, Arizona

“We go to the trade shows, and quite a few of the shoe reps do come into the store. We carry all the Sole Technology shoes, Osiris, Adio, DC, Circa, and Vans. I do basically the pro-model shoes, and depending on the season, that’s the colors I do. Black is always good, and we do very well on white, as well as white for girls in the smaller sizes. Greens and grays depending on the shoe–some shoes look better in one color than another. I go real deep in the shoes I feel the customers will buy. And I do a lot of Vans for the old-school skaters; they still want the old-school lowtop and the regular skate high, and they also ask for the Rowley.

“In the Circa shoes we sell the Muska shoe because it has his name on it! And it’s my highest-priced shoe. We also have all these little kids who think Tony Hawk is the king–you’d think they’d relate more to someone who’s younger, but they see him on TV and think he’s a god!

“I order heavy from size nine through thirteen–fourteen if they have it. We cater to a pretty wide range of ages. I do really good on the shoes I do sell–my intuition has been good. The only models I’ve gotten stuck on are the non-pro models, so I just stopped carrying them. I even tried to carry pricepoint for the kids who don’t have much money, but they don’t sell in my shop. I also pick companies that will stand behind their shoes.”