Sunday, January 15, 2006

Retail Store Success: 17th Street Surf Shop

17th Street Surf Shop has grown from a single small shop in Virginia Beach (on 17th Street naturally) to a prosperous regional chain. Growth in the popularity of surfing explains the company's success somewhat, but strong results from related merchandise is really the driver of this retail store's business.

Actual surfing gear is a tiny niche market. But it also conveys an image that 17th Street and other surf shops use to sell a lot of clothing. Surfing-inspired clothing includes several popular brands that mainstream department stores and discounters don't carry -- leaving a nice market for surf shops. The shops also cater to skateboard fans; a niche closely related to surfing.

Use your core niche and brand image to sell related merchandise to a wider audience. You'll soon be riding a wave of retail store success.