August 12, 2009 – San Clemente, CA – Today Swell.com, top online retailer of surf apparel launched CoreShopsDirect.com. CoreShopsDirect.com is a nationwide directory, which showcases the country’s best surf shops and their branded t-shirts and gear. The site also gives each shop the opportunity to tell their history, promote upcoming events, and provide customers with the info they need to contact their favorite new shop. Customers can locate shops through the site’s search functions and enter contests to win swag from featured shops.
CoreShopsDirect.com was created to promote the local surf shops that are an essential part of every town’s surf scene. In the current economy, many local shops struggle with shrinking profit margins and chain-store competition, but the culture of the local surf shops is key to the surf industry’s roots. “Local shops are an essential part of the surf community, acting not only as the ultimate authority on brands and gear, but a gathering place for surfers” said Mike Figueroa, GM of Specialty Channels. “We created CoreShopsDirect.com to provide local surf shops with 3 key elements of support: to help generate more revenue, to reach beyond their local customer base, and to create more of an online presence.”
Selling the local shops’ merchandise online – the e-commerce component – is powered by Swell.com’s current e-commerce platform. The existing infrastructure makes it simple for a surf shop to quickly and easily make their products available to online customers. The shops participate in a revenue-sharing arrangement with Swell.com for all products sold through the CoreShopsDirect.com site. Currently there are 100 surf shops, with a combined total of over 150 different products, represented in the CoreShopsDirect.com directory, with even more on the way each week.
In July (before the actual launch), Core Shops introduced copious amounts of local surf shop tees by incorporating the product into Swell.com’s inventory. The overall response was platinum. Core logo tee sales were already in full affect, which completely stoked the shops that were already part of the program. “I’m not sure what this whole CoreShopsDirect thing is really about, but ever since Billy signed me up for it I have been receiving checks in the mail,” jokingly quoted Daniel Johnston, co-owner at XB (Xtremely Board) in Lynn Haven, FL. “I guess Billy isn’t as much of a narc as I thought he was. Cheers to the program that sends me checks in the mail every month.” Pete Erickson, manager at Whalebone in Nags Head, NC, added, “Core Shops Direct.com is a great source that represents the roots of surf retail.”
To secure the initial 100 shops, Swell.com bought a big white van, slapped some stickers on the side, and sent their own “35 year-old grom” Bill Laity, on a mad cap 2-month road trip from the Gulf Coast of Texas, to the icy waters of Maine. Billy’s mission was to get local shop owners frothing on the CoreShopsDirect.com program. He personally visited every surf shop in sight, interviewed the owners, grabbed their products, and shipped em’ back to the CoreShopsDirect.com headquarters. Billy’s all set to wind his way up the West Coast before we ship him off to Hawaii to do the whole thing all over again. Anyone brave enough to follow Wild Bill on his latest adventures can come along for the ride on Twitter at Twitter.com/CoreShopsDirect. Local surf shops interested in being listed on CoreShopsDirect.com can contact Billy directly at (949) 370-8919.
Swell.com is the premier destination for surf fashion, featuring a wide variety of apparel, accessories and gear from the World’s leading surf brands as well as those that are up and coming. Since 1999, Swell has been committed to offering customers an eclectic assortment paired with great service. Find us online at www.swell.com or call us at 1-800-ALL-SURF (1-800-255-7873).