Business partners Kent Code and Asif Moola collectively have more than three decades of experience in the action sports industry. Code, who has owned and operated Outtabounds (formerly The Ski & Bike shop and The Ski Shop) since 1968, brought on Moola as a store manager at his new shop Momentum, which focused more the streetwear and skate scene, while he was still in college. Taking note of an expanding snow and skate market, the two began plans to broaden their successful business plan. Moola went on to become sole owner of Momentum, and together in 2006 the two opened Momentum Marketplace, all within the city of Saskatoon.
We caught up with Moola to find out more about the growing market, which product categories are succeeding within the three shops, and ways the retail locations are partnering with action sports brands to grow sales.
Number of locations?
We have three stores, doing business under three different names.
How big is each each location?
Outtabounds is 4,000 square feet, Momentum is 1,640 square feet, and Momentum Marketplace is 1,000 square feet.
How long have your stores been around?
I own Momentum Clothing & Equipment, but Kent [Code] started it in 2000 and I was the manager. I worked for him at Ski & Bike shop while I was in university.
Kent has owned Outtabounds for many years. It started in 1968 as The Ski Shop , then became the Ski & Bike Shop in the 1980s, and it changed names again in 2001 to Outtabounds. As the product mix changed and he kept the store current, the name was adjusted.
Kent owns Outtabounds, while I own Momentum Clothing & Equipment, which was established in 2000, and Kent and I are partners in Momentum Marketplace, established in 2006.
How have you both seen the market evolve since you got started?
The action sports market has grown tremendously since 2000. It went from niche to mainstream. The number of brands offered have exploded and the amount of product available is massive. Our buyers keep on top of the best brands in the business and what our customers desire.
Why did you decide to open a third store in 2006?
We felt the need to grow into the suburbs as the city grew and changed. We also wanted to cover the demand in the skate market. We only carry skate at Marketplace. It’s staffed and stocked accordingly with people who live the lifestyle. Our product mix works well there. Skate and street, but stemming once again from snowboard roots.
Our jacket selections at all three stores started from snowboarding. Our hard goods offering is all in one location, Outtabounds. They stock pants, goggles, and all the snow accessories you need as well as having a full time service shop.
Momentum clothing and equipment came from snow heritage but has taken on both a streetwear vibe as well as stocking a vast selection of sneakers and boots. We have tweaked our offering since opening in 2000, and will continue at all locations to give people what they need with the service to keep them returning.
What was your experience before opening your own shop?
Kent worked part time in a Sports Marine Shop in University, and I worked in retail before getting on board with Kent during University.
Do you have an online store?
No, we are 100% bricks and mortar
Percentage of inventory dedicated to hardgoods?
Percentage of inventory dedicated to men’s apparel?
Percentage of inventory dedicated to junior’s apparel?
Percentage of inventory dedicated to accessories?
Percentage of inventory dedicated to footwear?
What are your top three most profitable product categories?
Outtabounds: Outerwear, Snowboard equipment, bikes
Momentum: Outerwear, Backpacks, Accessories
Marketplace: Outerwear, Backpacks, Accessories
What has been the single best-selling brand over the past six months?
Outtabounds – Burton
Momentum – Jordan
Marketplace – Nike SB
Who are the top three reps that service your store and what makes them special?
Alfred Lai, Dc Shoes – personalized service.
Aaron Corigan, Burton – attention to detail.
Jay Harrison, TNF – product knowledge.
What is your overall impression of the local market over the past six months?
We have had lost of growth in our city, and there’s lot of excitement around this market.
There is a lot of competition both in our city as well as online. There has been physical growth in Saskatoon, but it still is a small population overall. There are both local stores as well as chains to compete with. As chains gain access to “specialty” goods, they are not as special as they once were. We have stand-alone stores with specialty goods.
What stores are your closest competition?
For Momentum, local street and skate shops and Karmaloop. For Outtabounds, Sports Check and other local snow shops.
Is your shop altering the way you buy for 2013?
Yes – tighter, cleaner buys. We are doing less pre booking and more opportunity buys.
Is your shop working closer with any particular brands?
Outtabounds: Burton, Giant, TNF, DC, Supra.
Momentum / Marketplace – Burton, TNF, The Hundreds, Supra, Nike.
What are some things brands are doing to work with your shop?
More graphic images, installations, and ad support. More special purchases, and more in depth product knowledge with staff.
105 Ave B South
SASKATOON, SK, S7M 1M2
P 306 244 7813
MOMENTUM CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
160-2102 8TH ST EAST
SASKATOON, SK, S7H 0V1
P. 306 955 2381
2-960 ATTRIDGE DR
SASKATOON, SK, S7S 1P1
P. 306 384 8411