The Zumiez Generation

Snowboarding is a commodity and that’s the gods honest truth. It can be bought and sold more times than you’ll get powder days with friends. Gone are the days of old when specialty shops ruled the scene and everyone was a friend because we shared that one common interest that is snowboarding. We didn’t sell out, we just let companies with money buy in and that’s where we sit right now with the current generation of retail. Any mall across the urban sprawl that is suburbia has some wanna be “core” shop. The biggest of these is Zumiez with its “organized chaos” theme and mass appeal to youth culture.

When you go to one of these stores you don’t go there for great advice or service you go because chances are their shit is on close out and you’ll get a deal. Unless by some chance you’re a teenager then you’re just mindless and driven by the culture of cool to shop there. It’s true they employ the most mindless employees I’ve ever encountered or worked with. Yes that’s right I whored myself out once again to Corporate America and came out the other side with a better understanding of this company and how their stores operate.

First off throw any rhyme or reason out the window with the hiring process. The most capable of running the store or with a proven track record doesn’t mean shit. It’s a popularity contest, the more you can whore yourself to those that are hiring you the more likely you’ll get a job. They have two types of interviews individual and group, most stores go with the group one to pit potential employees against each other in a bro-down of epic proportions. Think of it as half America’s Got Talent half The Jersey Shore. Somewhere in that mix you end up finding the kids that spend more time telling you how cool they are than proving how cool they actually are. Chances are these kids will end up hired or being a manager. Cause remember it’s not that you can do a good job but that you look good while you’re doing it.

Now if you were awesome enough to be hired you get to go through the worlds largest training manual. Seriously this thing rivals War and Peace with the amount of crap it’s filled with. The one thing you’ll learn from this is how to be a pusher and force sales on people. Now I’m from the generation of, if people want to buy stuff they’ll do it, you just need to steer them and answer their tech questions and above all else make casual suggestions. Their idea is to fill you so full of acronyms and sales pitches you’ll be shitting out what’s left of your soul in no time. Classic example is the acronym B.I.G, Because I Got. They want you to instill in the customer that because they have it you need it. Then after the acronym’s there’s steps about how to deal with customers and the three golden questions. You see the golden questions are “What are you shopping for?”, “what brands or styles do you like?”, and of course “what else are you shopping for?”. Way to smother the people with persistence. There’s plenty more I could go into about this but the basic gist of it is too many shitty sales techniques not enough understanding of products or how to properly address customers.

It’s all a numbers game with them and that is instilled in their staff. Whether it’s dollar amounts or units being sold they keep track of it all and force their employees to push harder to keep these numbers up even if it means pushing the customers to buy more product. Because if your numbers aren’t ideal you’re going to be on the shit list.

Here’s the bullshit with all this snowboarding isn’t a numbers game for those of us that participate in it. We don’t have an average of half pipe hits or backside lipslides performed. We just want to know what we’re getting and to have fun. A shop should be there to provide a service and not hound us into buying gear. I’ve found that the best customers I’ve had were the ones that I never pressured into buying anything but instead gave them a list of products that suits their needs even if we didn’t sell some, and just shot the shit with them.

Now here’s the frightening thing, this company is so big it’s actually producing the next generation of shop kids. With local shops hurting and malls popping up all over this is truly where they can find work. Now ask yourself this would you want a kid helping you that learned in this environment? Or would you rather have one that was brought up under the tutelage of a local shop that has a vested interest in the scene and cares more about you having a good day than adding 3 pairs of socks to your sale?

Having worked in shops for literally half my life I’ve seen the types of kids that come through the doors of the shop looking for a job in the fall. They come from all over, some did work at legit shops, but more than likely half of them worked for a mall shop. They think that alone on an application or a poorly written resume ensures them a job cause they know how to bro-down and push sales on people. It reminds me of this kid that worked with me a few years ago, he came from an art sales background and no matter if the person was looking for entry level or just a jib stick he always pushed the top of the line product to the person and said it was the best without knowing shit about it. This is where I put their mental capacity.

So as I mentioned earlier we didn’t sell out we just let these people buy in. People want to piss and moan about the local shops not knowing fuck all about what’s going on, look at the breeding grounds where a lot of these people come from. If you’re trained to treat it like you’re slinging used cars and push at all times of course the service will be the first to be sacrificed in the name of the almighty dollar.


  1. Roundhouse says:

    Amazingly insightful and horrifically true…

  2. e says:

    Just curious, not sure if you have, but what about shops that are successful by doing the right thing.

  3. Jon K says:

    Where I am from (Israel) there are no mall shops and no core shops. The shops are somewhere in the middle. All in all there are about 5 specialized ski and snowboard shops, that don’t carry camping equipment etc.

    Anyway, my point is, that in the current state of things – week economy, short and warm winters with barely two weeks of riding conditions per season – it is increasingly difficult to get people into the shop. The ones that do come in, usually leave the shop with what they wanted, plus a few more things they didn’t originally intend to purchase.
    At my shop the “sales technique” is be kind, be professional and give the customer what he needs and will enjoy. This includes a boot customer leaving the shop with a pair of socks, thermals and maybe a goggle.

    Keeping the numbers up means the shop gets to keep it’s doors open. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t hurt the customer.

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  6. RideNH says:

    Living in New England, there is an abundance of shops to choose from. Many of them employ riders that know their product and are very low pressure when it comes time to sell. They are always super helpful and wicked knowledgeable. I always buy from my local shops, becuase I have established a good relationship with the employees and I like to give them the business for all of their help.

    Recently, I have seen some of these Zumiez shops poooping up in the Boston area. Knowing nothing about the store I checked one out. Big mistake. I saw firsthand evevrything Angry is describing here. Shitty young kids all decked out in their finest “Ghetto Gowns”, pushing crap DC products on me. When I started asking them some tech questions, I got the deer in the headlights look.

    Not only are these stores staffed by shitheads, they are a poison to the snowboard community as a whole. It makes me sad to know that this is the direction that the industry is headed towards. I look at it like this, the kids who shop their aren’t (in my opinion) real riders. They are a segment of the market that is in love with whatever is trendy, and has their dads credit card to burn up.

    I know that all of the real riders on the east coast will continue to keep it real and avoid these fake ass shops. I mean, when i go into a new spot to check out equipment and get advise, and the place is filled with 15 year old girls, i am in the wrong place. I hope that everyone else here feels the same way. Zumiez, like so many other retailers, dont know or care about riding. Real boarders will see this right away.

  7. Elenchus says:

    Zumiez as a whole, represents everything that is ass backwards about snowboarding. It is the corporate tie and it is stealing our culture and selling it back to us at it’s own profit. Those chumps don’t “get” what riding is all about… they don’t give a shit about you and your “stoke”. They don’t care about you. They care about moving merchandise and meeting profit margins. They are killing the core / local shop, and the worst part is that kids don’t seem to care.

    The type of kid that shops at Zumiez is the type of kid that snowboarding never wanted. A type of sheep that needs to feel “bro cool” and will ultimately kill any substance and integrity left in our sport. The type of kid that has no knowledge of themselves and can’t even see that they are being played like a fool by buying gear from the most fake-ass chain store they can find.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here. And that’s partially why I come here. But snowboarders need to be re-educated about what it’s all about.

  8. […] The Angry Snowboarder » Blog Archive » The Zumiez Generation […]

  9. Spenser says:

    another good post. and agreed.

    you can tell that people dont see a skate/snow shop as a specialty store anymore anyway. i mean, if youre applying at certain other specialty stores like a car audio shop, you definitely assume you need to actually know your shit and be an “expert”…. but if i use the people who apply to my shop alone as an example, not a single one of them has anything to do with skating/snowboarding.. not a single one, as far as i recall. they are all just people looking for a job, like a coffee shop, or department store, or whatever. which is fine, but… in reality, specialty shops NEED people who are actually involved in whatever industry it is. the car audio shop needs people who know their stuff, cause how the hell else would i figure out what to do for my cars “system” or whatever if they were just random people? not that i actually care about that, i always keep everything stock, but im just using an example. same thing for snow/skate shops. how is someone going to truly help a customer if they cant really grip a deck, or fit them for boots, or explain something related to snow/skate that might have nothing to do with selling a product. ive said it before, but you really just cant teach “snowboarding” to someone. its not a textbook thing. you cant really fake carrying on a conversation about the history, or different preferences and products and how certain things effect others, etc etc etc. i mean, you can feed a bunch of stock info to a kid off the street and they will eventually know how to give stock responses, but it wont be an engaging convo. you probably know the feeling of meeting a customer who you really hit it off with, just shooting the shit about gear or riding. so sick! that kind of thing gets me so stoked.

    another thing ive said is that i really dont want snowboarding to become impersonal… meaning i 100% believe in specialty shops run by passionate people who actually know and care about snowboarding, or whatever industry it is. it would suck if it all ended up being run by dudes who just care about dollars, who employs kids that learned what to say from some book.

  10. Chuck says:

    I was a manager at a Zumiez and worked for the company for 3 years. Everything you said is right. We didn’t hire cause we thought you had knowledge, we hired cause we though you could sell. Sell sell sell. The store I got hired at had at the time a good staff of kids that all rode and actually did know what they were talking about. That’s the reason I got hired, I also actually knew what I was talking about. That was the last time I worked at a Zumiez that cared about customer service and product knowledge. It was depressing. I never got shitcanned at any of the other stores I worked at because they knew I was their last cling to being at all respected. Unfortunately for them they became less and less interested in caring and that led to my demise, cause I wasn’t atop the sales pile. it actually hurt me to see my STORE MANAGER, the person who’s supposed to know more than all of us, put a 13 yr old boy in girls boots cause we didn’t have stock of boots small enough for him. None of any of the other assistant managers I worked with even knew how to set-up a board for someone after they bought it. I tried to make it a rule in the store that if you couldn’t prove to me that you could provide the correct knowledge about snow to the customer you weren’t allowed over there, but we just didn’t have enough people for that, and there was no way I was going to keep my oblivious manager from selling the biggest items in the store.

    I’d be working at a real shop if it weren’t for their bad hiring practices. Quite often they don’t hire the kids they think will be better employees, but the kids they know and the ones they hear are great riders.

  11. rachel says:

    I worked for Zumiez for around 3 years between 2001 to 2004. It is nothing like when I used to work there now… but a few things still remain.

    Zumiez until some time in 2002 was Zumiez Boardshops… they changed the name when the company became popular enough that people associated zumiez with riding. It started in the north west and in some instances were considered core shops depending on where they were. The owners had it in them to only carry boarding brands in regards to snowboarding. Therefor you weren’t going to see any rossignol or K2 or anything like that. They also had a tendency to carry a lot more of the endemic brands and a lot more of the “higher” quality gear than the core shops cause the company had money. Also, when I was there, they had never gone corporate. It was owned by 3 guys that really weren’t making that much money.

    They also treated their employees amazingly. First purchase everything was half off. I received $20 gift certificates all the time and half of items and employee buys like any pair of shoes for $25. They kept track of your sales because when you would sell enough stuff, they would give the money back to you. I was making something like $17 an hour after commission my senior year of highschool. I got great discounts on gear I loved. I worked with amazing people. I got sent on snowboarding trips and was able to do things I would have never had the chance to do at the “core” shops.

    And the thing about it was that when you knew your stuff… it was so easy to sell the products. People went in there wanting something, you just had to figure out what it was and help them find it.

    It seems a lot of that is now being lost and I don’t believe that it is the companies fault. I believe that it is the media’s fault and it is the disney channel and mtv that make it trendy and unfortuneately it was Zumiez that became the “cool” thing when the trendieness of pacsun died out.

    Then with the rise of pop punk music and their adaption of brands like Hurley and Volcom, the store then became flooded with little hipsters that loved the clothes and that Fat Mike was wearing a hurley shirt, but didn’t give a shit about surfing or skate.

    Sadly, a lot of these scenester idiots got hired into the company and people seem to think they are the company. This isn’t the case. There are still amazing stores. They do still care about their products and their employees. I think they are starting to realize this as well in that I’ve heard that a lot of changes have been happening with store managers and regional and what not being changed out. I think the decision to move into S. Cal was a bad one and kinda put a stigma on the brand.

    Anyway, this happened with Vans back in 2005 and they have recovered quite well. Hopefully Zumiez can get it taken care of as well.

    The idea is growth while maintaining authenticity. A lot of companies lose the authenticity part and need to refind that. So when you run into an idiot sales person at your local Zumiez, call up the shop and let the manager know. Get those employees fired. Surely they can find their way into a pacsun or hot topic.

  12. Zumiez = only caring about profits, with a 17% growth or whatever this quarter they aren’t changing shit. The regional managers are where the level of stupidity begins and trickles down from there. The company won’t change it’ll just keep expanding from snow to skate to bmx to mma to mx to whatever is cool. The blame lies solely in the leadership of the company and not the media and that’s where it will stay they have the power to change how things are done. Be funny to see them just hire a shop spy and send them around the country to test their people. Fuck that company is great at running good employees out the door anyone with a brain that thinks for themselves is run out. But hey they’re at the top of their game now there’s really no where else to go once they finally peak but down and I can’t wait to see that backlash.

  13. RideNH says:

    I am hoping that Social Darwinism runs its course here. “Shops” (and i use that term loosely here) like Zumiez, are a hangout spot for teens that are caught up in whatever is trendy at the momemt. As more real riders learn that this place is a joke, eventually their customer base will be made up of kids who dont know anything about riding. I dont think that Zumiez will pose any real threats to the real core shops, becuase real riders will continue to get their gear from the places they use and trust. Hopefully, Zumiez will make the move to selling sleeveless Tapout shirts and fade away from ride gear. But we will have to wait and see.

    I also agree with Angry here, about the companies leadership being responsible for their shit staffing. The companies initiatives come from the top. They set the criteria for hiring, and they push the sales goals down to the store level. I dont even really blame the idiots who work in the stores. Its not their fault that corporate Zumiez wants to fill the store with retards. The sales people that I have met at Zumiez are total losers, but they were born that way. They are just being themselves, and you cant blame them for that.

  14. Agree says:

    I currently am an assistant at a zumiez right now. I can agree with everything that is being said here. I joined up because I needed a job really bad and loved skatingmand riding. It was cool in the beginning, but then I started being told I have to sell to get hours and not to spend to much time talking to kids. I still have not changed my approach, I hang out and give people information when ask. I never push product. Long story short I want a new job. Something away from the scene so maybe I can get this sour taste out of my mouth and get back to loving both. They love selling the image.

  15. Eastern Pow says:

    I think the best thing one of these online retailers can do is share profits with some of the smaller guys. I know it sounds silly stupid, but hell, it’d probably be a good selling point. Well said though, it is most definitely a shame. The online retailers are becoming the Next Walmart of this generation.

  16. Eastern Pow says:

    “silly or stupid”.

  17. […] The Angry Snowboarder » Blog Archive » The Zumiez Generation […]

  18. […] them down in a blaze of glory. Then in another horrible career move we shit all over mall retailer Zumiez. Speaking of mall retailers Burton decided to release a letter saying how they were going to help […]

  19. shamcock says:

    I go into zumies every time im at the mall cuz besides a few core shops theres nothing really around my area in chicago. HOLLY SH*T is that place bad. ive never encountered anyone that has any idea how to ride. there was ONE guy who said he rides and he showed me some jackets and picked one out for me cuz he thinks its “LEGIT”. I could spend all day in a shop checking stuff out but zumiez i run it see whats new or on sale and usually see if they have any new LRG sh*t. I did buy a stomp pad there once. but id rather spend my money at the Shred Shop. Those guys are “LEGIT” My gf refuses to go in there with me cuz its always filled with retarded emo hipster girls who are so loud and retarded. Just my take. I have a gift card for there that I cant even use because I cant stand staying in that place long enough to pick something out. Im gonna just order something online. If your in Chicago go to the Shred Shop.

  20. huck says:

    I can tell you from experience that everything said here is true. The vast majority of the people running the company don’t give two shits about skateboarding or snowboarding. The couch tour and all all the other promo stuff isn’t about promoting skate or snow for the love of the sport. It’s to get advertising first and then promote the sport second to further support Zumiez. It’s not for the love of snow/skate, it’s not giving back, it’s not “core.” If heelies or soaps had taken off with more $ potential that’s what Zumiez would sell. They don’t carry a ton of “core” merch anyway, there’s no money in it for them. The only reason they carry hardware (snowboards, bindings, boots) is to maintain the appearance of a core shop. That comes straight from the CEO’s mouth.

  21. […] started to write out a long rant and then I remembered that BA wrote an article about this. The Angry Snowboarder Blog Archive The Zumiez Generation the comments are insightful as […]

  22. Realboarder says:

    Sorry, I just do not agree. I work in the industry and trying to convince the bigger brands to sell to you is damn near impossible if you are a small store trying to set up, the first question they always ask is ‘what other brands you got’ ? The trade shows are full of Aholes acting all cool and are just a grown up version of the kids in the Zumiez stores, they work for the brand so they think they are ‘legit’ and treat small retailers like shit so although Zumiez may not be my store of choice, i prefer them to the naval gazers who work for the big brands who dismiss you out of hand when you have the temerity to ask them to sell their products to you.

    Snowboarding is a business and Zumiez are cheap so they create boarders and once you find you feet and you need better gear you might just head on down to a good store to buy your next board.

    rant over!

  23. Uh huh that’s nice. Oh wait I live in reality.

  24. Jason says:

    Is some of that reality that there is only one “core” shop in your area, that is run by complete assholes, and only carries the brands they personally endorse/approve of? Topped off with the fact they don’t offer the option to order a different brand through their store as to still support the local business?

    That’s where some of us are. I’m from one of the largest cities in the US and in the past 10yrs witnessed all the skate/snow shops close. Not the Zumiez or the Industrial Rideshops, but the local asshole owned and operated. It wasn’t the corporations fault. It was people doing bad business. As an impressionable 13yr old lad, I walked into the shop looking for my favorite World Industries board. After seeing their poor stock of goods on the wall, I asked the manager if they had it in the back or if he could order it for me. He said, “No”, and walked away. He didn’t suggest a different World board, or one he thought would work for me. He didn’t care. That shop went under 6mo later.

    I recently moved to a very small town, and besides the one core shop, the only place to get skate/snow gear is Zumiez. I applied, had a great conversation with the manager, and started working a week later.

    Not all the people that work in these mall shops are commission driven, money hungry sales hounds. Not at my store at least. We sell brands and styles I don’t like, that I think are tacky and don’t approve of. But I’m just one person. Skateboarding and snowboarding have millions of lovers.

    I’ve been skateboarding for 12yrs now. I’ve ridden about 90% of brands when it comes to shoes, boards, trucks, wheels, etc. So when that 10yr old kid comes in with his mom to pick out his first skateboard, I get excited. Not because it adds $100 to my sales total, but because skateboarding is becoming a part of someone’s life. And I understand the joy it will bring them. I get to share stories with them. Encourage them. If the kid wants a Rob Dyrdek board because of his MTV show, I give it to them. Why? Because I can tell them all about the Alien Workshop brand. They want some clunky DVS shoes? I suggest the Daewon Song pro model. Why? Because it’s a better shoe, supports a 20yr pro, and it’s on sale so they save some cash. Hell yeah I tell them the socks are 3 pairs for $10. Why? The DGK low-cut socks are the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn, and Stevie Williams(founder of DGK) deserves the support.

    I don’t know the first thing about snowboarding. So when someone comes in for snow gear, I direct them to any other employee for help because they all do it. One dude was a sponsored am for a big name company. Another is a snowboard instructor at the snow resort. I pass on a huge potential sale so that the customer gets the right gear. And if we don’t have it, we order it. If we can’t order it, we tell them where they can get it.

    It’s all about love. Loving the lifestyle. The thing that we have invested our blood, sweat, and tears into for the past decade+. And helping others in their own pursuit of happiness through something that has done everything for us.

  25. It’s Zumiez there is no right gear. Keep drinking that kool aid.

  26. Jason says:

    I’m pretty sure we carry Burton, Forum, Thirty-Two, Volcom, etc. All of which have professional snowboard teams. So does that mean every other shop that sells those brands is a Zumiez in your book?

    Your two sentence shun, bad grammar, and lack of a real response to any points I made just solidified my reason to believe you’re just an ignorant kid with a bug up his ass and an internet connection.

  27. I have a dislocated elbow the fact I can even type is amazing. I’m in a full arm immobilizer. You also carry pricepoint shit nothing special but how is your dpt and upt doing lil guy?

  28. Jason says:

    Use your other arm. I’m doing it right now. Slower typing than normal, but still proper.

    Every store carries product other deem pointless. But it’s supply and demand. Business.

    As far as my DPT and UPT, I’m actually Top 3 in my store across the board. Not bad for a first time retail guy. But it’s because I believe in the product I sell. Can’t recall a transaction where I was thinking, “Oh dear God, why are you buying this?”. And for the record, I’m far from a “lil guy”. Mid-twenties, 6’3″, grown man.

    All disagreement aside, I hope your recovery goes well.

  29. LCD says:

    I work at a Zumiez now and you are 100% right. If it didn’t pay so well I’d quit today. If I have to go to one more meeting to learn a new sales technique I’ll lose my mind. There’s now 7 selling steps and each one has a skill. And they expect you to do this to everyone. I just got chewed out for missing some secret shopper. You and not allowed to be human and make a mistake. I feel like a fool doing this daily cause I get watched and graded daily. Some customers give me the strangest looks when I keep bothering them. Sigh. I hope the economy gets better and more jobs are available soon

  30. AngrySkier says:

    I just got a job at a Zumiez and i worked one day so far and it is terrible. DPT’s are bullshit and every person who actually likes the store is on welfare and can’t wait to buy for their welfare check to buy another pair of osiris shoes in the gayest colors imaginable and to think that i actually support idiots with my tax dollars like that is fucking nuts. At least those idiots are using my money to support my job. There is a local shop that i go to all the time just down the road from mall and i told the owner i have a job there and how they suck so much and at least he let me know i get a 10% discount at his store for being a mall employee.

    TL/DR: Zumiez sucks i just started working there and still will buy from my local shop only. is my only exception.

  31. rando says:

    i currently work in a Zumiez as a sales associate, and agree with most everything listed… but, our store doesn’t sell snow gear. i never got to see the giant employee manual, from what i recall. at least, not as it relates to anything other than sales tactics. i also have worked with a few people who didn’t try to push crappy (but pricey) product on people, since it made them feel uncomfortable and heartless (as it does me), and would just guide people to what they were looking for. they were held back in promotions time and time again, and most wind up quitting in disgust eventually. they accounted for two out of 12 or so people i’ve worked with (since last summer… rotating staff due to incompetence and poor hiring!).

    of the sales associates, who i figured would expect to have to sell things, and do the less fun jobs (straighten up product, clean the back room, etc.), i’m the only one who has offered to do any of those sorts of tasks, due to 17 year olds refusing to take out the trash at the end of the day. paper towels in the bathroom trash pile up waist high and the can behind the skate case has griptape backing paper overflowing on the floor, because they’re too spoiled or lazy to take it out. cardboard boxes, empty or full of product, routinely block our fire exit. i’ve also had to teach several of the new hires how to grip a board and/or how to set up a complete in less than an hour. they’re usually the ones telling me i should have been trying to sell the 9 year old the titanium Tensor trucks since they’re lighter and will ollie higher than the other ones (which, of course, don’t raise the cost of the board by a few dozen dollars).

    unfortunately, in our area, all but one or two core shops shut down due to poor business, related to kids going to the mall with their parents, not their own business practices (in most cases… i can think of one that was definitely the fault of the people running it). i applied at Zumiez among 20 or so other places with openings last year, and they were the only one to ask me back for an interview. i was excited since the rest were all in fields where i had no interest, like copy makers, coffee shops, and fast food. i was hired because i was laid back, got along with the staff (on a professional level… i’d only count two of them as friends outside of that level), and i did genuinely know about skateboarding, having skated for 13 years.

    i did well in sales when i could work nights, when we actually had customers, not due to overbearing sales tactics, but just talking to kids, or to kids’ dads about skating in the ’80s, and helping them find what they wanted. if they didn’t get anything that day, i’d increase the likelihood of their return by just being cool to them, i figured. and even though that did work, i’d also be told that i should push all manner of products that wouldn’t last, are just trendy, are made by Lil Wayne, or just plain don’t perform as well as others, simply to try and raise my sales numbers. throwing jeans or jackets over the door of the dressing room was encouraged, if it seemed like it’d complete the outfit.

    thankfully, i won’t be there much longer, since i’ll soon be starting a job that i will actually love to do, and will pay more than part time and minimum wage. unfortunately, i do have to keep on for a short period of time… during that time, i’ll continue to do my job well. that’s the actual definition of well, mind you, not the Zumiez definition of well, and i’ll hope that the new sales associates (yay restaffing!) can take that as an example. if only we weren’t a large corporate monster, but a business that had the best interests of what it purports to represent in mind, not just it’s own, a difference could be made. but, in the end, even if everyone in our store were to do their jobs in a way that didn’t drive away customers, proved itself to care about skateboarding and/or snowboarding, and maintained a well deserved positive impression on our local skaters, we’d still just be one blip on the corporate map, and would probably be restaffed again, due to not making enough BTS sales during back to school.

    and i refuse to include a “too long, didn’t read” summary, because there’s no shorter way of saying what i’ve said. sorry it’s over 140 characters.

  32. rando says:

    also, as a slight addendum… i can directly quote our new store manager: “You have to be hungry to succeed in this job. You have to be money hungry to succeed.”

    that gem was in the middle of his making gay jokes at one of my co-workers, and telling a 17 year old to use her cuteness to sell more product.

  33. Sounds about right the mental capacity of lower management is the equivalent of the guy that peaked in high school.

  34. Eddie says:

    Shit this is true.. I currently work at Zumiez and its all push, push, push. For me i like to have customers give in to what they like not what i want them to like. My boss is a funny guy but our vibe in the store with everyone is so serious and i feel like there is no time to relax or feel you did a good job. Thanks this helped me to clear my judgement about myself and my co-workers. I’ll just keep doing what i want to do and maybe ill get seen and not be on the shit list..

  35. Nancy says:

    I couldn’t disagree more, my daughter has being working at this stores for many years. Her jobs experience have being at a different levels up to manager and back. She was a teen when she started. Once the highly(my opinion) was for her to relocate and has her own store . She has grown into a young responsible adult , a power house who often get rewarded for her good work and dedication. My kids love the brands available at this stores and their products are good and with even a better price. Like in others places when a teen or young adults are hire it require for the management to do their best and train them, instill good working manners and teach by example. Some of them stay and others move on. I wish that you don’t put down an honest company who happen to have a great bunch of people as a staff. It can’t be perfect every time but for most of the time it is.

  36. Nancy you’re a fucking moron. Your daughter could make porn and she’d still be the apple of your eye. Zumiez is one of the problems of skateboarding and snowboarding and people like you that facilitate them as well. Go fist yourself.

  37. Shredtoeat says:

    Angrysnowboarder. I wanted to see your point and actually considered my experiences at Zumiez. Some good. Some poor. But after your last comment toward Nancy you have shown your true character for what it is. Just another whiner filled with angst in a lost generation. Respect is given to those who earn it through their words an actions.

  38. Pretty sure naming my site shows my true character. Then again logic usually isn’t the strong suit of someone that still uses an AOL email address.

  39. Taylor says:

    Oh shit, this article and comments are so good. I’ve been in Zumiez one time and one time only, it fucking sucks there. I have to give my parents lectures about this kind of thing and about supporting our local shops like Blindside and Milosport instead of some online bullshit. One problem I have found is at a shop I was in the guy helping me with snowboarding stuff is a skateboarder and was just guessing on prices and didn’t know anything about the product, let alone the brand. Thats one of the very few problems I have had with shops. But another employee was recommending to go to the other boardshop to get the customer exactly what they needed. While at zumiez or tillys the “cool” employees are telling me how awesome and popular the new yellow osiris shoes are. Too many people are being brainwashed into thinking that Zumiez is ok.

    If you dont have a core shop around, buy online from a boardshop and pay a few more bucks to support what we all love.

  40. Jamie says:

    As I am someone who does work for a Zumiez and understands how annoying the ‘basic’ sales techniques they have are stupid; I choose not to use them but use the idea of them. And mainly, not use them on every customer. I am not a mindless drone and do understand and see the difference between people who really do need you to lead them by the hand and others who can do it all on their own. But like I said, I take the Zumiez general idea and go my own direction with it. They do have their reasons behind all of it. Not saying its all perfect and dandy. But they want their employees to be the security of their stores. Thats one reason they want employees to be on their game. I’ve made it 4 years with the company, by not using their guides and look how offended they are? They don’t care. Its just to give you a skeleton so you can form it into what you want to be as a sales person. Some people dont understand that though. Thats where you get your posers and idiots. Everyone at my store that I have had a hand at selecting to hire are exactly how I am. I choose to not have a store that is like most other Zumiez out there.

  41. nate says:

    Fuck the enumiez. This might sound mean but there’s no way I’m letting some fat zit face 17 year old poser girl tell me to get green griptape on my skateboard. Maybe your store is better but in general they suck.

  42. Colby says:

    Dude, this was my most recent job. I ended up during the holiday season outselling everybody at my store, as just a sales kid. So what did I get? No more hours on the schedule, I am unemployed because they got jealous that I outsold everybody without using the 7 steps of becoming a sheep. Fuck that company.

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