Daddies Board Shop President Daron Horwitz On Acquiring CCS
Late last week, we got news that CCS had been acquired. With all the movement in the industry over the past year, it came as no surprise that yet another merging of companies was in the works, but the story behind this particular deal is a bit atypical in that it doesn’t involve a large investor group or multi-million dollar corporation.
Portland, Oregon based Daddies Board Shop, a family-owned retailer that has been around for nearly 20 years, recently announced that it has acquired CCS from Foot Locker. The terms of the deal are undisclosed, but Daddies, headed up by President and co-owner Daron Horwitz, has immediate plans to get the company’s mail-order and e-commerce platform up and running beginning January 2. An attempt to gather feedback from Foot Locker on the deal was declined by the footwear retailer.
“We approached Foot Locker in July, right after they announced that they were going to close CCS,” explains Horwitz, who co-owns the company with wife Melissa Horwitz and partners. “CCS is obviously an iconic brand in skateboarding and if there was even a slim chance of buying it and revitalizing it, we wanted to go after it.”
Nearly 5 months later, that is all becoming a reality for Daddies. We caught up with Daron Horwitz to get his thoughts on what the new business model will look like for CCS and Daddies moving forward.
What are the details behind the deal?
Daddies set up a subsidiary to buy the assets of CCS. That said, Daddies and CCS will run as separate businesses. Our operations will obviously be integrated – but from a customer standpoint, these are two different brands with different needs.
What is your reaction to finally be able to announce the news?
When I announced the purchase to my coworkers, I told them I was excited and nervous. I was excited that we had the chance to rebuild one of the great skateboard companies. And I was nervous that we were going to try to rebuild one of the great skateboard companies. This is a big responsibility and the last thing I want to do is screw it up.
It sounds like the site will be “re-opened” for business on Jan. 2. Will you be carrying all the same brands that CCS has carried in the past? Are you planning the addition of any new brands?
We will be carrying most of the same brands, but not all at first. Foot Locker didn't sell us any inventory. And while we already had relationships with many of the key vendors, we need to develop new relationships, as well. We have already started that process.
Will you be carrying over the same shipping guidelines and terms that CCS had in place under Foot Locker?
We're evaluating that now. Our other business, Daddies Board Shop, was named a Bizrate Circle of Excellence Platinum award winner. This is awarded to the top 1% of e-commerce companies (out of 5,000+) for customer service. So while I don't exactly know what our shipping policies will be, I'm confident that we will provide an exceptional customer experience.
What is Daddies’ strategy moving forward in terms of opening physical CCS store locations?
The skate world needs an excellent mail order/e-commerce company – that is where CCS had its past success and that's where we will focus 100% of our attention.
Will you pick up on the CCS private label apparel collection? Will anything be changing about that in the future?
We will rebuild the CCS private label brand. Unfortunately, this can't happen overnight as supplier relationships need to be established, etc. This is something we'll work very hard on.
What about the actual CCS staff that was in place under Foot Locker ownership – will that be changing at all? Will they be relocating to share a space with Daddies in the Portland area?
Unfortunately, CCS was already effectively shut down so there is no remaining CCS staff to my knowledge. Fortunately, we have a great team in place already that can take on much of the work. That said, we are making several new hires to support our anticipated growth and hopefully we'll hear from some previous CCS employees during this process. Our only office will be in Portland. If anyone reading this is interested, we have job descriptions posted at www.ccsswitch.com
What are you most hyped on about this new business model and what’s your strategy for growth over the next six to twelve months?
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to resuscitate not just a great skateboarding business but a great brand. CCS, with its reach, also has a responsibility to support skateboarding in general. The new CCS won't look to just sell product. We will aspire to create meaningful experiences for our customers and anyone else who loves skating.
As for our strategy, our first order of business is to get the shop back open again ASAP.