The Star-News


Ready for the off season

Sat, Oct 05 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Robert Moreno

Isle Surf and SUP opened its retail doors in National City in May, since then the store has been successful for owners Marc Miller and Doug Pate.

However, Miller said he expects his business to take a plunge these next few months.

“It’s a rough seasonal business, so it’s up and down,” Miller said. “It is up during the summer and then it slows to a snail’s pace during the fall season.”

Like any retail business, the surf and paddle board company is going to ride the swell of fall, and catch the high tide of the holiday sales, where sales start picking up again.

Isle Surf and SUP is combating the fall months with an end of summer sale, seasonal promotions and gearing up for Cyber Monday – the busiest online shopping day of the year for retailers.

The retail shop is a success for the owners, but online sales is where the money is made.

“Eighty percent of the revenue comes from online, shipping across America,” he said.

Online is its main source of income because people all over the world can buy Isle products, whereas the store at 340 West 26th St. gets the local visitors and the occasional tourist.

The retail store is in the same business park as the store. It is at the warehouse where the company conducts all business shipping for online orders.

This summer the hottest selling item was The Glider, a standup paddle board. Miller said the inflatable standup paddle board was also a big hit.

To give customers a break, the store offers a certain amount off an item bought in-store and not online. Take for instance The Glider, which starts at $885, but at the store it’s $75 off.

Customers can buy paddle boards and surfboards at the store ranging from $300 to $1,000.

With the rise of paddle boarding, the sales of surfboards are declining.

“On the paddle board side, it is one of the fastest growing water sports,” Miller said. “And it is still in its infancy.”

Because paddle boarding is surpassing surfing, Miller said, Isle Surf and SUP decided to position itself in the market by selling more paddle boards than surfboards.

Miller said the surfing industry is an accurate reflection of the nation’s economy.

“Of course when the economy picks up slightly, which it has, then people are going to spend a little more,” he said.

Miller admits that National City is not a surf town, but he said it surrounds and serves the surfing communities of Imperial Beach and Coronado.


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