Tsunami Hits Quiksilver

Surf Company Has Major Wipeout

big wave surfer

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Quicksilver – like mercury, volatile and changeable

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Like its namesake, well-known surfwear company Quiksilver is going through a volatile time now. In the past year it lost close to 80% of its value and recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Some of its 800 stores are being closed and workers laid off, including 80 at its headquarters in Huntington Beach.

What happened? How did this surf industry leader reach this point in its 46-year run?

Quiksilver Inc. Stock Price. USD

An innovative company that pioneered new fabrics, designs, Velcro/snap closures and neon colors, Quiksilver was always leading the pack, creating swimwear made by and for surfers.

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quiksilver neon colored boardshhorts

Echo Beach QS boardshorts

Growing beyond anyone’s imagination, it went from a tiny Australian start-up to become a $2 billion-company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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And it moved from its beach roots to encompass skateboarding (Tony Hawk), skiing (Rossignol), shoes (DC Shoes) and even golf (Cleveland Golf).

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Rossignol

Quiksilver golf capWhen SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel first wrote about Quiksilver in 2011 there was a sense of excitement about its possibilities as it was positioning itself to compete in the post-recession environment.

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But, the company had more than the economy to contend with. New competitors and changing consumer tastes were on the horizon. Youth fashion companies like H & M and Forever 21 began selling beachwear at lower prices.

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H and M logo

So did mainstream retailers WalMart and Target. And new surfwear companies came on the scene, ready to paddle out. The playing field got more crowded as everyone wanted to jump on the same wave, making it harder for Quiksilver to stay afloat.

Quiksilver store closing

Inside the company it was crowded, too, with all the different brands and different cultures trying to forge their own identities.

Now, as Quiksilver tries to right itself through restructuring and a deal to receive a $175 million cash infusion from Oaktree Capital Management and Bank of America, it will need to chart a new course that builds on its brand and enables it to connect with the core customers that are loyal to it.

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Instead of getting caught up in a riptide of fashion cycles and trying to compete in the mass market, it’s time for Quiksilver to go back to its surfing roots and original values.

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A common expression in business is to “stick to the knitting.” It means not to lose sight of your key strengths and to do everything possible to improve upon them.

Starbucks understands this from its own experience in the early 2000s when it got sidetracked by all its expanded product offerings and let the quality of its coffee slip. Founder Howard Schultz had to step in and reinvigorate the brand and the troops.

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As any surfer who has ever gotten slammed down by a wave knows, wipeouts are part of the sport. What makes a champion is the ability to paddle out again and get back in the lineup.

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Now it’s up to Quiksilver to position itself to catch the next wave of success!

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

 

Kelly Slater on board at Pottery Barn

Surfer Creates Eco-Friendly Beach Retreats

Kelly-Slater lying on sofa

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

At the U.S. Open of Surfing competition in Huntington Beach this summer SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel spotted a familiar face – Kelly Slater. The iconic surfer wasn’t heading out into the water, but looking back at us in the form of a large photograph at the PBteen booth.

hero KS designs

Slater, an 11-time World Tour Champion who has spent much of his life in the water, wants to bring his love of the ocean into people’s homes with a line of eco-friendly, ocean-inspired bedding, furniture and home accessories designed for teens (and older).

PB Teen KS surfing

Book shelf KS

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Teaming up with PBteen (a division of Pottery Barn), Slater is using renewable and recyclable materials in each item in his collection.

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The goal isn’t just to create a beach aesthetic for people to enjoy, but to build awareness of the need to safeguard the world’s resources. “We only have one planet,” says Slater. “We need to make a better future for all of us.”

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Slater, who was Quiksilver’s surf ambassador for many years and has been involved in several businesses, is especially excited about working with Pottery Barn’s PBteen because it enables him to share his love of nature with the next generation.

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Getting young people to think about how their lifestyle choices affect the environment is one way Slater can share the stoke.

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Functional, casual and comfy, the pieces in Slater’s collection are meant to be used and lived in, whether it’s kicking back with friends, doing homework, or getting a good night’s sleep.

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With a color palette of ocean blues, sea foam, sand and sun these eco-friendly home goods will turn any room into a beach retreat.

Kelly-Slater-PBteen blue bedroom

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.