Every year the who’s who of the entire skateboard and snowboard industry ends up in CO for the Zumiez 100k. This is just one look at how much money flushes through the retail chain and the power they have to make or break brands. But is it good for the industry? Some core brands say yes, some no. Jenkem looked into it…

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When we talk about the business of skateboarding, there’s a huge orange elephant in the room. It’s Zumiez, and with 698 locations spread across all 50 states and three continents, they’re one of the world’s biggest retailers (if not the biggest) of both skate soft and hard goods. Last year alone Zumiez sold $927 million worth of merchandise. With that kind of financial success, Zumiez undoubtably affects the way the skate industry works.

In the past decade or so, Zumiez has become somewhat of a venture capitalist in the skate world. They do this by investing in brands (small and large) by buying and selling lots of their products, and aiming to turn higher profits as the awareness and profiles of those brands rise.

But how does that involvement impact the skateboarding ecosystem? Are they fucking things up or making things better? Should you defecate on the floor of your local Zumiez? Before we can answer these questions, it helps to take a look at Zumiez’s origins and understand how they became the giant skate retail chain they are today.

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Click to JENKEM for the feature on Zumiez the skateboard snowboard industry behemoth

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