Amazon skates into action-sports business
In opening a new sports merchandise site, the online retail giant would compete with Everett-based Zumiez.
Seattle Times business reporter
Amazon.com is stepping on the turf of Everett-based skate and snowboard retailer Zumiez.
The Seattle online retail giant announced Wednesday the launch of an "action sports" merchandise site, which will sell skateboards, extreme racing bicycles, surfboards and snowboards.
As part of the move, Amazon is sponsoring professional skateboarder Andy Macdonald, who holds the most X Games medals and has won the World Cup Skateboarding competition eight times.
Amazon officials declined further comment on the store.
Zumiez, a retail leader in the skateboarding and snowboarding industry, has done well in recent years. But this latest move by Amazon may detract from its efforts.
It has had increases in same-store sales for the previous nine quarters. Its first-quarter profit more than doubled to $4.5 million, and online sales have increased to 7.3 percent of total sales in 2011, up from 4.7 percent in 2010.
Zumiez has also had its eye on expansion. This month it announced it was buying Austria-based Blue Tomato, a snowboarding and surfing merchandise company, for 59.5 million euros ($75 million).
It plans to expand Blue Tomato in Europe, and Zumiez in the U.S. and Canada.
Zumiez declined comment on Amazon's move.
Johanna Somers: 206-464-3714 or firstname.lastname@example.org