Zumiez: What we do Others have only Dreamed of!
June 19, 2021
What is Zumiez?
Zumiez Inc., pronounced Zoomies, is an American multinational specialty clothing store that specializes in footwear, accessories and hardgoods for action sports. Their focus is on everything that young men and women need for skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross.
Zumiez is based in Lynnwood, Washington. The current president and CEO is Richard Brooks.
It was just around the end of the hippie days, in 1978, when Tom Campion and Gary Haakenson founded Zumiez.
But first, a little bit about Tom…
Back in 1978, Tom knew there were people in his neighbourhood who needed help, and he wanted to help them. He started by giving food and clothes to those in need. That’s just the kind of caring person he is. It was during this time that Zumiez was on its way to becoming a national player in action sports retailing.
Tom, and his co-founder, Gary Haakenson, were graduates of Seattle University, Campion in political science and Haakenson in business administration, and both had worked in management positions at J.C. Penney.
In 1993 cofounder Haakenson left the firm and later became the mayor of Edmonds, Washington. Richard Brooks bought part of his stake and became the new CFO of Zumies. Campion retained controlling interest.
Zuies was originally named Above the Belt when the first store was opened in 1978 at Northgate Mall (Seattle). The name was changed to Zumies in 1994.
As the company grew, so did Tom’s charitable donations. In 2002, he purchased jackets, flannel shirts and blankets and sent them to 13 charitable organizations in Snohomish County in Washington.
In 2005, when the Zumiez company entered the public stock market, Tom began to formalize and expand the giving by setting the Zumiez Foundation. It was legally established in the summer of 2005 as a private foundation and a separate company from Zumiez Inc.
Zumiez outlets average 2,500 to 3,000 square feet in size, featuring green-stained cement floors, industrial-looking fixtures, thrift-store sourced furniture, video screens, couches and action sports-oriented video game stations and, of course, changing rooms. If you think that sounds a little funky and eclectic, you’d be right. The look is intended to resemble a teen’s cluttered bedroom. Zumies sales employees are, themselves, actively engaged in the boarding lifestyle. They understand it, are passionate about it and they come to work dressed for the part. They all receive extensive training on customer service techniques.
In 2012 Zumiez donated over 180,000 items to more than 180 organizations in both warm and cold 21 states.
Zumiez’s product mix includes brand names such as Billabong, Burton, DC Shoe, DVS Shoes, Element, Etnies, Hurley, Quiksilver, Roxy, and Volcom, along with its own private brands.
Today, Zumies is leading retailer of clothing and equipment for bicycle motocross racers and snow-, skate-, and surfboarders.
Communications and Marketing
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