The Austrian click-and-mortar action sports retailer already operates five physical stores in its home country, supplementing its international business over the internet. Last week, Blue Tomato moved across the border into Germany, placing its banner over the three existing Goodstuff stores in Munich and Rosenheim.
It bought them from their owner, Stephan Schächtl, who wanted to retire. One of them is a factory outlet. Another one is located in a high-traffic area of Munich at Isartor. Blue Tomato has yet to redecorate the stores, adapting them to the local flavor.
Blue Tomato is scouting for other locations for additional stores in other cities around Europe, but Switzerland is not a priority because it does not belong to the European Union, company officials said, indicating that they are in no hurry to develop the chain.
Zumiez, the big American sporting goods retailer that took over Blue Tomato a few months ago, is providing some input on the action sports brands that are doing well on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Blue Tomato plans to introduce some of its private-label offerings in the skate and streetwear categories in the course of next year.
Zumiez has reported some weakness in its European operations lately. The weather and competition from other big e-commerce players such as Amazon and Zalando affected Blue Tomato's sales, according to company officials. The months of August and October were unseasonably warm in Europe, they pointed out. Offering discount vouchers and free product returns, Amazon is particularly active in the sector with brands such as Burton, and Zalando with a variety of streetwear offerings.
Zumiez lowered its profit projections a few days ago, citing among other things the “challenging” environment in Europe. For the four-week period ended Oct. 27, its total sales increased by 20.2 percent to $41.9 million. Comparable store sales went up by 0.6 percent, on top of a same-store increase of 3.3 percent in the year-ago period. In the third quarter, its comparable store sales went up by 3.7 percent on top of a 6.0 percent rise in the prior year's quarter.