Swell retail space for Firewire
Written on the 5 March 2009
SURFBOARD technology company Firewire has downsized its operations and relocated to Currumbin from Burleigh Heads to better showcase and manage its retail presence.
The move comes as the surf hardware specialist signs a deal to supply its composite technology to US surfboard manufacturer Lost. Firewire chairman Nev Hyman says the Lost deal will add around 20 per cent annual growth to the company’s balance sheet. Talks are progressing for a similar arrangement with a leading longboard brand in Australia. While Hyman would not disclose any further details of the prospective partnership, he says it’s an ‘exciting’ time for the brand in a competitive market.
“We now sell Firewire to 100 outlets in the US but we are a new brand in an established market,” says Hyman.
“We are collaborating with another major brand so that we can spread ourselves a little more but in a high performance space. We don’t want to just sell the technology to anyone.”
Hyman says the company’s new 300sqm showroom on Currumbin Creek Road has made the brand more retail friendly with a showroom and parking for 10 cars.
Firewire last year shifted its manufacturing plant offshore to Thailand. Employing 120 people globally it has taken the US market by storm which now drives 70 per cent of the company’s revenue. Australian sales equate to around 20 per cent and the remainder is split between Japan and Europe.
Firewire surfboards are now sold in 400 international retail outlets throughout the US, Europe and Japan. The company won the rising star category at the Premier of Queensland’s Smart Awards in 2007 after starting as a small surfboard shaping and retail store in early 2006, with 17 staff making 10 boards a week. Australian professional surfer Taj Burrow is the Firewire team rider on the WCT international surfing tour while local surfer and world renowned former pro Michael ‘Munga’ Barry is one of the company’s board shapers and test riders.