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Tom Campion

BY CSA STAFF

Tom Campion, 59, is all about having fun. The founder and chairman of Zumiez zooms through each day, enjoying the moment and reveling in the frenetic pace of running a hot retail concept. In fact, he says that to be a successful entrepreneur, the pace and the risk should be part of the draw.

“You’ve got to be able to ask yourself [before launching an entrepreneurial venture], ‘Can I handle the stress of risk?’” said Campion. “It’s not for everybody. That’s why such a small percentage of people do it.”

Campion knew from a young age that he would be part of the percentage who do it. He went to J.C. Penney in 1970, right from college, and worked for the department store chain for nine years before launching Above the Belt in 1978.

He and co-founder Gary Haakenson, (who today is mayor of Edmonds, Wash., and no longer plays an active role in the company), both graduates of Seattle University and both former Penney employees, opened the first Above the Belt store in Northgate Mall in Seattle, selling apparel that catered to young men and women. In the late 1980s, recognizing an opportunity in the extreme sports-apparel category, Campion modified the model and, in 1997, changed the name to Zumiez to reflect the new direction. Although the metamorphosis of the brand occurred no less quickly than many retail concepts, Campion still wishes, looking back, that he’d pushed the envelope a little faster.

Founder and Chairman Zumiez, Inc. Everett,Wash. Annual sales: $298.2 million (2007)Type of business: Retailer of snow, surf and skate products for young menNumber of stores: 280+ storesAreas of operation: 27 states

“If I could have done anything differently along the way, I’d probably have grown a little faster at the beginning,” he said. “There were two of us in it at the start, and interest rates were really high. It was late ‘70s, early ‘80s—a very different time than today—and I would have been more aggressive with the amount of product in stores and I would have been more on trend with younger fashions.”

In May 2005, Campion took Zumiez public, making enough of a splash with the offering to be labeled as one of 2005’s hottest IPOs. The successful public launch, coupled with consistent profitability and rapid sales growth, is allowing Zumiez—still mall-based—to speed its expansion across the country, selling clothing, shoes, accessories and gear to 12-to-24-year-olds who enjoy action sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing.

The acquisition of the 19-store Fast Forward chain in May 2006 gave Campion a desired stronghold in the smaller competitor’s home state of Texas—and all of those Fast Forward stores have since been converted to the Zumiez banner. Today, Campion and his team are focused on continued growth—and the chain’s leader still hasn’t tired of the stress that comes with growing and managing his own business.

“I love the risk,” he said. “I love multi-tasking, I love everything about retail.”

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R.Toter says:
Feb-21-2013 07:20 am

He and co-founder Gary
He and co-founder Gary Haakenson, (who today is mayor of Edmonds, Wash., and no longer plays an http://www.passguides.com/640-864.html active role in the company), both graduates of Seattle University and both former Penney employees, opened the first Above the Belt passguide 640-864 store in Northgate Mall in Seattle, selling apparel that catered to young men and women. In the late 1980s, recognizing an opportunity in the extreme sports-apparel category, passguide 350-030 Campion modified the model and, in 1997, changed the name to Zumiez to reflect the new direction. Although the metamorphosis of the brand occurred no less quickly than many retail concepts, http://www.passguides.com/350-030.html Campion still wishes, looking back, that he’d pushed the envelope a little faster.

R.Toter says:
Feb-21-2013 07:20 am

He and co-founder Gary Haakenson, (who today is mayor of Edmonds, Wash., and no longer plays an http://www.passguides.com/640-864.html active role in the company), both graduates of Seattle University and both former Penney employees, opened the first Above the Belt passguide 640-864 store in Northgate Mall in Seattle, selling apparel that catered to young men and women. In the late 1980s, recognizing an opportunity in the extreme sports-apparel category, passguide 350-030 Campion modified the model and, in 1997, changed the name to Zumiez to reflect the new direction. Although the metamorphosis of the brand occurred no less quickly than many retail concepts, http://www.passguides.com/350-030.html Campion still wishes, looking back, that he’d pushed the envelope a little faster.

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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