Zumiez Evolves Through More Personalized Customer Engagement

Officials at Zumiez, a specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories, maintain a vigilant outlook on changes in consumer behavior and adapting to provide a more personalized customer engagement.

“Our ability to outperform expectations in a retail environment marked by weak mall traffic is a testament to the work our teams are doing executing on key strategies,” Zumiez CEO Richard Brooks said during the company’s recent second-quarter earnings call. “Our intense focus on serving the customer with differentiated assortments and providing them with a great shopping experience is fueling market share gains and strengthening our leadership position in the industry. We continue to adapt to the rapid changes in consumer purchasing behavior by evolving our business to connect with our core consumers more frequently and on a more personalized level. Through investments we've made in several key areas, including people, logistics, planning and allocation, and omnichannel capabilities, we believe we’ve gained even greater competitive advantages that will help benefit us both this year and over the long term.”

Zumiez remains focused on effectively balancing its strategic growth objectives with protecting near-term profitability by remaining disciplined with spending while focusing on the right investments to exceed its customers’ expectations.

Zumiez recorded 4.7 percent increase in comparable sales, its fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales and transaction gains. Comparable sales in August rose 7.4 percent from the prior year and the company’s physical September month-to-date comparable sales through Labor Day increased 11.4 percent year-over-year.

“We’re continuing to roll out our new customer engagement suite across the U.S. store fleet,” Brooks added. “We’re very excited about this system enhancement, which in concert with existing omnichannel capabilities, gives us new ways to learn about our customers and engage with them in a more meaningful way. Through this level of engagement, in conjunction with face-to-face interaction in stores, we’ll be able to keep our finger on the pulse of local trends, allowing us to provide hyper-localized, authentic product assortments, and a superior personalized brand experience for our customers.”

This year Zumiez plans to launch more than 100 new brands.

“These emerging brands, coupled with the growth of more established brands within our portfolio, demonstrate the power of our business model,” Brooks said. “While our company has and will continue to evolve in response to marketplace changes, the pillars of our success to date have been and remain our authentic lifestyle positioning, our unique approach to product, and our commitment to driving world-class customer experiences, all anchored by the deeply ingrained Zumiez’s cultural values. By staying true to these guiding principles, while diligently managing expenses, we’ve been able to navigate through the recent volatility and outperform relative to the industry.”

Evan Magliocca, brand marketing manager for Baesman Insights & Marketing, told Loyalty360 that Zumiez posted consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales in a retail environment riddled with volatility.

“Brands should look to their strategic initiatives as a roadmap for customer experience and lifestyle positioning,” Magliocca said. “What’s more impressive is Zumiez is succeeding on some core components—cultural values, the shopping experience, and service. Most importantly, it’s profiting from wise CapEx investments in profitable initiatives while managing expenses to the retail headwinds. Again, those are fundamentals, but brands often go one direction or the other when times get tough. Zumiez has a great management team that’s keeping its ship on course.” 

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