There’s a new kid in town at Swell-O-Phonic. Clarks shoes have been introduced to the lineup of men’s offerings in the Slavebird guys boutique. The shoe, whose beginnings trace back to 1825 in a village in England, is available in two styles with more on the way. Swell-O-Phonic manager Drew Mellon says the addition is part of an overall plan to bring in more customers. “We’ve never carried a brand that wasn’t in some way associated with skateboarding,” Mellon says. “We wanted something people were familiar with like Clarks to bring them in to see what else we offer.” Store owner Ron Chane echos Mellon. “It’s (Clarks) a recognized name brand that gives us legitimacy in the realm of a guy boutique.” Chane says they’ll see where Clarks take them. “It will hopefully open up our age of shopper and we’ll see how serious people take us.”
Clark shoes typically hit the $120 price point, but Mellon says his store is offering a savings. “We try to keep everything under $100,” he said. “We’re pricing these at $110 and hoping people will come by for a good deal. They’ll also see what else we have now.” He points out other shoe brands like Element Emerald and Vans Off The Wall, both offering a high quality choice at a great price point. Mellon says they have more diversity than ever in their men’s shoes. “Most people will have a pair of Clarks in their lifetime,” he notes, “but we’ve got other choices here that are equally as good. We’ve really stepped it up in our selections for guys.”
As the customer base grows, new lines of merchandise may be introduced. Chane says it’s about changing perceptions. “People still have that mall mindset when buying nicer clothes,” he tells us. “Once we feel we have more minds toward us, we’ll look into new lines.” He says that’s not to be confused with lines that may be available at strip centers or malls. But it will be a shift in merchandise. “We’ll look a bit more grown up in a couple of the lines we want to bring in.”
Another area of change for the store is the addition of bicycles in February. Mellon says the bike biz has been good. “People are still learning that we have bikes and bike supplies,” he says. “It’s a division we’re growing in to.” Swell-O-Phonic orders from Republic and Big Shot and creates custom colored and accessorized versions to make each bike one of a kind. Mellon says they’ll add more bike supplies, too, as time goes on.
Want a deal? All bikes, regularly $499 are $50 off this month. All skate shoes are 25% off through the end of June. At Soma, there’s a $25 or 2 for $40 sale. And all tees normally on the outside racks for $5 or $10 are now $5, including men’s, women’s, burnouts and hoodies.