Zumiez Inc. (/ˈzuːmiz/) is an American multinational specialty clothing store founded by Tom Campion and Gary Haakenson in 1978, and publicly traded since 2005. The company is a specialty retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories and hardgoods for young men and women. Zumiez markets clothing for action sports, particularly skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross. Zumiez is based in Lynnwood, Washington. The current president and CEO is Richard Brooks.
Originally named “Above the Belt” when the first store was opened at Seattle’s Northgate Mall in 1978, the company grew quickly through the early 1980s with the addition of stores at Everett Mall (Everett, Washington), Alderwood Mall (Lynnwood, WA), Tacoma Mall (Tacoma, WA) and Bellevue Square (Bellevue, WA). The mid and late eighties brought new stores online outside of the Puget Sound area, and the corporate name changed to Zumiez. The corporate office was moved from Everett to Lynnwood, Washington in 2012.
As of February 3, 2018, Zumiez operates 698 stores; 607 in the United States, 50 in Canada, 34 in Europe and 7 in Australia. Zumiez is a leading retailer for lifestyle brands, centering on action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross.
Zumiez stores are designed with an “organized chaos” theme “that is consistent with many teenagers’ lifestyles.” The stores are stocked with couches and video games to encourage customers “to shop for longer periods of time and to interact with each other and the store associates.” Each store is approx. 2,900 ft2. The stores generally feature a sales floor, couches and action sports oriented video game stations, changing rooms, and a “skate shop.” However, this plan may be modified based on space restrictions.
Items for sale
Zumiez is targeted toward teens, offering clothing items such as footwear, shirts, pants and sporting equipment. The Sporting equipment they offer is for BMX bikes, skateboards, and surfboards. The clothing offered is for both men and women, with brands sold such as Teddy Fresh, Burton, Obey, Vans, and RipNDip, as well as private-label goods. Selling items in stores and online, Zumiez offers clothing for all seasons including jackets and swimsuits. They also sell items such as bracelets, watches, sunglasses, and stickers. A full list of brands that Zumiez sells in-store and online can be found on there featured brands list.
For 13 years, Zumiez traveled to 12 “full stops” as part of its annual Couch Tour. Entertainment included live bands, professional skateboarding demos, and a competition featuring local amateurs. The stops usually took place at the mall where local Zumiez stores are located. Entry to the event was always free.
As part of the Couch tour, since Zumiez doesn’t sponsor riders themselves, they joined up with major players in the skate industry to offer an opportunity where amateur skaters can enter and compete. 2013 sponsors included Bones Bearings, Paramore, Beyonce, Adidas, Deathwish, DGK, Neff, Oakley, and Loser Machine providing the “trophies” for each stop of the contest’s winners.
Best Foot Forward
Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am contest series started in 2007 to give back to the skateboarding community on a local level, providing the country’s biggest amateur skateboard contest and exposure on a global level. Differentiating itself from other contests, Zumiez Best Foot Forward travels to 35+ cities across the country, and is free to enter. Its purpose to scout and build young skateboarding talent.
Previous Zumiez Best Foot Forward winners have gone on to become some of the top names in skateboarding, including Ishod Wair, Tom Asta, Jack Olson, Chris Wimer, and Alec Majerus.