It's interesting that my dueling partner Alyce Lomax would mention the Winter Olympics in her opening salvo. Perhaps she remembers the Roots fad from the 2002 Winter Olympics. That one didn't last long. I certainly don't hear much about Roots anymore, though I remember the stir that some of those outfits raised among those from the more establishment-minded set. And being part of a dying fad, as Alyce pointed out, is a risk that Volcom
As for distribution deals with Nordstrom
If there's anything that jaded youth can smell from a mile away, it's hypocrisy. To protect its reputation, Volcom needs to either tread very carefully, attempt to radically change its image, or distribute its wares in those upscale merchants under a different brand. Any one of those strategies has risks involved. A failure to perform with excellence in those establishment retailers could quickly take the wind right out of Volcom's sails. In the short term, the greater exposure from those huge distribution channels just might work wonders. A year or two out, though, and the risk of customer backlash seems huge.
Thanks to its strong balance sheet, a solid grasp on its market, and huge insider ownership, Volcom is certainly worth watching. I wouldn't buy it, though, unless and until a future slip-up again knocks it down into value territory.
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