“Mom and Pop” chain forces skate shop out of mall (?)

planz

A small chain of actions sports clothing shops called Munition was in some way instrumental in forcing a small skateshop, called Plan Z, out of the mall it is currently located, in Kelso, Washington. Depending on who you believe, Munition threatened to leave unless Plan Z was evicted, or The mall owners came up with the idea on their own. Plan Z was on a quarterly lease. The owner of Munition says it’s just a small mom and pop operation (with seven locations…) Hey, Zumiez started out that way too! Anyway, local kids protested, and Plan Z is trying to figure out what to do and where to go. All of this information was poached from TDN.com, as was the photo.

- Thanks to Colin for the tip.

51 Comments

  1. 7 stores is mom & pop? Yeah right. I now officially hate Plan Z because they can’t handle competition.

    Plus, what a hypocritical stance! I mean come on, the same industry that just competed like prized horses for 150,000 dollars is the same industry that has a 7 location skate shop franchise calling themselves mom & pop!

    What irony!

  2. Hi,

    I used to work for Munitions. They are a mom and pop. And they were very key in help Ravage get to where it is headed. Munitions was our very first account. They took a chance on me and my brand when no one else would. Munition is owned by a husband and wife and they have 4 kids. They started the stores solely to put their kids through college. Can’t get much more mom and pop than that. I worked for them for 5 years. They are good and honest people. Yeah I did hear from Plan Z, and no I didn’t sell them. Munitions went WAY out on a limb with me and had success. Plan Z was buying diverted merch, the guy straight up told me he was doing that when he was trying to get my boards (red flag). He was getting shit from a store up further north in WA in trade for stuff they couldn’t get at their store. He had to since half his accounts closed him when he moved into the mall without telling his vendors that he was straight across from Munition. Fuck that. I don’t want to do business with someone who diverts. At least Munition is honest with their business practices. Think what you want but there are right and wrong things to do, and after some of the things Plan Z told their shop kids and customers to say about Munition, even on our MySpace page I think it was long over due. When will a shop just keep its mouth shut and sell skateboards to kids who love skateboarding? No no no, we gotta have drama know everywhere we go. PLan Z should start the Perezhilton.com of the skate industry with all their new free time.

    ~Jordan
    Founder
    Ravage Skatebords, LLC

  3. Just spoke to John from Munition, he had nothing to do with Plan Z’s removal from the mall. They were a temp store and their lease didn’t get renewed. Case closed. :)

  4. Of course they had nothing to do with it, just because he said so. As Kilwag says, “Depending on who you believe…”

    Of course Munition has no real control over who’s in or out of the mall, but there is no doubt in my mind that John ‘mentioned’ his concern about renewing his lease with the mall mgr, and I’m sure several reasons for this were discussed. Of course PlanZ wasn’t mentioned, no… that wouldn’t be prudent, to mention the problem of direct competition… noooo… Doesn’t matter, a long term tenant has no rapport with management anyway… Riiiight.

    It was clearly a business decision. Made by mall management. However, it seems it was a poorly thought out decision, as from the comments on TDN, the mall is shit anyway and now they’ve alienated themselves from even more of the few patrons they had. So PlanZ is probably better off not being in there. Sounds like PlanZ was doing the 3 month lease, trying to get their business rolling the best way they could, I suspect much like Fuel did with their first store.

    Both shops are probably just as good for the skate community in that town. The mall has initiated this divide amongst the skaters, not Munitions, not PlanZ. I’m sure Munitions is fearful of direct competition, particularly right across the hall. Who wouldn’t be in this economy, in a mall with fewer and fewer patrons and stores? Duh. PlanZ is likely milking this for whatever they can as well. Get the customers on your side… Drama? Business? Damn straight. Guerilla marketing, baby… Just like John talking about(certainly not threatening) not renewing his long term lease…

    Munitions should be highly pissed at mall management for recruiting PlanZ to move to the mall in the first place, AND for placing them in that spot! If you had better mall mgt, NONE of this would have ever happened…

    Just sayin’… but wtf do I know…

  5. Mall is dead. We took the team up there for a signing at I think there were 20 people in the whole thing. The the Dairy Queen there is pretty damn tasty! And good points. I like your style Nik.

  6. If I’m ever in Kelso and need a board, I will be shopping a Zumies. They only have somewhere areound 350 stores, which according to polygamist law, is still considered “Mom and Pop”.

  7. I just think you lose the “mom and pop” when you go public ;) But I still like how accessible the Zumiez buyers are and they take phone calls like they are mom and pop!

  8. Well the Muntion store in the Vancouver Mall has all of three decks ,two sets of no name trucks and three sets. wheels . You cant call yourself a Skateshop if all you sell is belts and skater pants .Also the dude they had working knew nothing about Skateboards .

  9. That is the beauty of it. They don’t actually call themselves a skate shop. They just happen to carry boards, much like Zumiez doesn’t say they are a skateshop. But granted when I worked there the kids were a little more thoroughly trained on the skate hardgoods and it seems that it has gotten a little lax in the knowledge of the dept. I was always taught to know all the products I sold whether I was interested or not because when you know your product, you sell your product. However, a lot of kids that shop at mall stores for skateboards typically purchase based on appearance and not based on the functionality of the product for them specifically. There are of course exceptions to this rule but generally this is true. Unless there are no other options in a region but the mall stores, in which case it’s a perfect time for someone to open a core shop there that really services customers and focuses more on maintaining a long lasting relationship with a recurring customer, not a walk-in mall shop clientele. Hopefully that core shop will distance themselves far enough from the “evil” monster that is mall retail…

  10. Malls accross America are dead right now. One of my accounts recently went into Vancouver Mall and signed a lease where their lease rent was based on their monthly receipts. They were not looking to open another store but thought they were entering into something that was a no brainer. Even though their lease rent is next to nothing they are regretting their decission to be in the mall as they can go days where people will not even walk in the door. I guess my point is that Plan Z should shut the fuck up and be thanking the mall for breaking their lease. Did Plan Z have a store in Battle ground for a while?

  11. Yeah they used to have one in BG

  12. bailgun on July 29, 2009 - Reply

    maybe if they hired skateboarders, they wouldn’t have to “train them on hardgoods.”

  13. That would totally be a great idea if they only sold skateboards and skateboard accessories. They also sell that motocross stuff, juniors, and whatever that UFC stuff is too. So for them it’s better to have a diverse sales force since hardgoods are such a small part of their over all business. It would be like McDonalds hiring people just because they know everything about apple pies when the majority of the bidiz is in cheeseburgerrrrssss. “I got these cheeseburgers man…”

  14. bailgun on July 29, 2009 - Reply

    ravage, if they’re gonna be a lifestyle boutique, cool. but please don’t be surprised they’re experiencing some backlash, especially when they’ve clearly shown their commitment to skateboarding in their inventory.

    fuck ‘em.

  15. Prickly Pete on July 29, 2009 - Reply

    We had a skate shop war in our town that started out stupid and got retarded. Both shop owners were too fat to skate, but it was amazing how they were able to brainwash 15 year old boys. Finally one of the shops went out of business and everything went back to normal. Big deal.

  16. When a shop can’t get a certain brand or product, they often order it through another retailer in another territory. Most brands keep a tight rein on distribution for a number reasons. This is a perfect example.
    “diverted merch” sucks on many different levels.
    Just ask a rep…

  17. skp is right. :)

    And Bailgun, Munition has been lacking on the hardgoods for a while, not really sure why maybe it’s cause the margins went to shit, but they have been placing consistent re-orders with us so I’m pretty happy! Z had a great selection, don’t get me wrong, it was awesome. But how they acquired it and the dirty tricks they played just wasn’t cool. Everyone could have coexisted fine but Z got vocal and when push came to shove I guess they lost. But that also means the skateboarders there lost too. It wouldn’t have happened if they just would have kept their mouths shut and sold boards. If your shop has a better selection, cool, sit back and smile every time you collect $$ from it. Don’t be all “LOOK AT HOW COOL WE ARE” about it is all I am saying.

  18. colin on July 30, 2009 - Reply

    What in sweet mother mary of Jesus is going on around here!

  19. It sounds like real skaters don’t have a reason to go Munition anyway… it sounds like a pedestrian shop…

  20. Oh, and I don’t know all the ins and outs of retails buyers and reps, however, I’m sorry, if a shop can’t afford a distributor’s minimums, I don’t see why several can’t band together to get bigger shipments and split the wholesale costs. The distributor gets a bigger order, and makes more money, and a bigger order means a bigger commission check for the rep… Distributor reps should make it easier for ‘core shops to purchase if they find a ‘diversion’ happening…

  21. Jerkins on July 30, 2009 - Reply

    I agree Nik. Distributors create the problem and then
    want everyone to follow the rules. ‘Cause skating is
    ALL about rules right? No?

  22. Washington guys should just go to Portland and buy their skate gear. We have “real” skate shops that coexist, and you don’t have to pay sales tax.

  23. Im in the Cove and my prices include tax . Toxic Skate !!

  24. As a kelso boy growing up, I can assure you that it is sad to see what that mall has turned out to be. The management there feels that it needs to be just as crappy as the city leaders in that town. The dude that owns plan z actually rides his board and has done many things to promote skateboarding in the area. Only to receive little support. From what I know, he gambled by moving his shop to the mall to help promote competition and do his part to bring some life back to that friggin mall. Munition will tell you all day that they had nothing to do with ” threatening to not renew a long term lease if a competitor, ( some young skater kid rooted in the culture) plan z was going to take business from an already struggling mall. So whats the mall management do? force him to sign a lease that they damn well know is not in the best interest in plan z’s plans. If it were me, I would sign the damn lease and force the hand of both the mall and munition. While at the same time taking advantage of the publicity this story has given them. I hope he keeps his shop open. Locally owned shops are important to local business and coring the kids into real skaters. By allowing young skaters to see older skaters be an important part of society.

  25. JORDAN! IF YOU WANT THE FACTS COME ON UP AND GET FROM ME.i had one account closed when i went to the mall. it was dc after they said it was okay to sell the shoes.i checked with everyone of my vendors before the move,unlike your ass buddy john when he went to the vancouver mall.you my friend are a fucking fag!…BTW RAVAGE IS A NORTHWEST JOKE…HAHAHAHA

  26. sir jorge, i think you meant to say you offcially hate munition. they are the ones with 7 stores

  27. J-HO, If you are a Kelso boy, do you know whats happening with the Kelso skatepark? I heard we are going to get funding for the park. I also heard that a local biz is going to pour the mud. I put a lot of time and tools into the Woodland addition. That was also done by a non-skater company. Hopefully the same wont happen here.

  28. pac-tech construction is supposed to start work next week.they are a local company out of longview

  29. J-H, I got the facts from you when you talked with me on the phone. Thanks for your input. Ravage is totally a NW joke.

  30. One more thing, how is calling people a fag, trashing a company that sponsors a lot of unknown ripper kids, flows a lot of boards, and sponsors every event it can find conducive to skateboarding? You may not like me anymore, but we do all we can to help skateboarding in the NW and if you don’t like it, I am sorry for you.

  31. you didnt get the facts from me obviously. ive never backdoored any of my product.if 2 or 3 small shops decides to go in on an order. thats called smart business. and like i said i only lost 1 account when i moved to the mall. and i support skateboarding to the fullest. so we by all means we should stop trashing each other. i have a family to feed just like the next guy. thanks

  32. also as a small shop i flow a ton of product each month to help the kids of my community. because i really do love this industry.i just wish things didnt always have to get so shitty

  33. Please tell us more about the skatepark in Kelso. Did they take the build away from Grindline? Are they sticking to the design plan that has been posted for years or are they moving in a new different direction?
    Has this company built skateparks before. Kelso has a long skate history and definately deserve a rad park or bring back the cherry bowl or whatever that old pool was called.

  34. Jeremy, cool. Let’s start over? Sound good? Need help with the park at all?

  35. THOR.there are new plans about 50/50 street and vert.this local company is the bst comany in town,but they havnt done any parks before.i believe grindline is still involved,but im not sure

  36. yeah jordan sounds great to me. i really dont want to argue over this shit. whatever happens is gonna be what happens. i really feel like theres enough of this indusry to go around. take care

  37. egbert on July 31, 2009 - Reply

    There are no happy endings in skateboarding…

    or are there?

  38. WINNER: J-Ho and Ravage!

  39. Thor, if your talking about the pool above the Zion Christian Center, your Rad. This was a full size concrete pool that looked like it had slid 500 feet down a hill. Therefor leaving one the deep end transition about 30 degrees over vert.

    Hopefully Pac tec has got some help from a skater based concrete crew. I have poured mud for them before. Certainly a skatepark is going to be a new angle that will show to be more challenging than they think.I will put in my time and call the best finishers in from kelso to take part if needed.

  40. Mall Management on August 1, 2009 - Reply

    Please come to our mall. We have alot of cool events planned. Sara Palin will be here in September. We are even trying to contact Tony Hawk for a demo.

    done hate, bring your mate.

  41. sarah palin??? are you kidding. who cares

  42. I think that was a joke.

  43. Sarah Palin just called me. She said that she has to cancel the Kelso stop on the tour. Something about Sheckler and X or XXX/games or something?*! Any way she quit again.

  44. Really though, whats Plan z’s plans for the future?

  45. we arent closing. ive gotten alot of great offers from local building owners,but havent decided yet. im here to stay even if it means risking everything i own. i wont be pushed out. although moving sucks and is expensive.but oh well i guess this is just one of lifes speedbumps

  46. what ever you do dont close down shop. Especially if Kelso is going to get a park of their own. Cowlitz County needs the local shop like yours. So clarify for me. Was your old store the shop in Kelso next to True Value, or the old BoardRoom. I’m guessing the old kelso shop.

  47. the old shop was the what used to be a bank right behind the new red canoe. it the church parking lot

  48. Thats the store I bought my dc shoes at. I think I bullshitted w you about last years Dew tour and an after hours party that followed. I got killer service that is appreciated. You still in the mall then?

  49. were still in the mall till the 21st. ill let everyone know where will go after that

  50. That is the one Stan. It was so wierd skating that thing on the side of the road. I grew up in Ridgefield and drove up almost daily to skate that thing. That was funnest thing to skate around here for a long time

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