The surf style brand is selling more than 500,000 units in the European Union through its Omar Reef subsidiary in France, which also sells surf and snowboard accessories such as wetsuits, helmets and watches through the same sales force, targeting mainly the surf and sports specialists. However Omar Reef wants to increase its presence in the eyewear specialist stores, while looking for new eyewear distributors in markets such as Italy and Portugal.
The company has already succeeded in selling only to eyewear specialists in Sweden, Greece and the Benelux countries. To help score better in this market, Quiksilver is beginning to specialize its sales force in the UK, where it has so far had six sales representatives selling surf accessories as well as eyewear in their own territories. Changing strategy, it will add three sales reps for the UK that will specialize on the optical retail circuit.
The UK is the only European market where Quiksilver will adopt such a strategy, at least for the moment. Quiksilver has 15 or 16 representatives for surf accessories and eyewear combined in France and nine in Spain. Omar Reef as whole claims to have been growing at annual rate of 30 percent over the past three years, but sales of its optical Quiksilver line, which was launched four years ago, are up by 35 percent in the UK and by 45 percent throughout Europe.