Nearly six years after purchasing CCS.com for the skateboard industry-rattling price of $103.2 million, Foot Locker, Inc., announced a new shakeup Thursday: It will be phasing out the online-catalog site entirely and directing customers instead to its Eastbay brand.
CCS.com, billed as "The World's Largest Skateboard Store," was started in 1985 as the California Cheap Skates catalog, and helped spread skateboard equipment and skateboard culture around the world through its mail order business. CCS also sponsored more than a dozen top skaters at any given time, including X Games stars Nyjah Huston and Ryan Sheckler. Pro skater Mike Mo Capaldi was welcomed to the team earlier this month. CCS employees were reportedly let go Thursday morning, according to one employee who asked not to be named.
"Over the next several months, the CCS digital sites will continue to service the skate customer who recognizes the exceptional range of skate-inspired footwear, apparel, hard goods and accessories available at CCS.com; however, over time those board inspired lifestyle enthusiasts will be directed to find their favorite skate assortments at Eastbay.com," said John Maurer, Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations for Foot Locker, in a statement Thursday. "Meanwhile, the Company will take advantage of the strong organization at Eastbay to consolidate the purchasing, marketing, and distribution of skate product from premier vendor partners such as Nike, adidas, Vans, and others to its loyal, passionate skate customers. The Company remains highly committed to maintaining and growing a competitive skate business."
Foot Locker paid $103.2 million in November 2008 to acquire CCS from dELiA*s, Inc., touting it at the time as "an important step for our Company, as we look to expand our offerings in the rapidly growing action and extreme sports categories." CCS.com was a catalog and online-only business at the time, but Foot Locker opened its first brick-and-mortar CCS retail stores in 2009 and eventually opened a total of 22 stores. Foot Locker then shuttered them all in March 2013 and had been operating as a digital-only business for the last year.
Thursday's news may not have come as much of a shock to industry insiders: CCS was not even mentioned in Foot Locker, Inc.'s 2014 first quarter results report, released in May.
It's been a rough couple of months for the skateboard industry: In May, Pacific Vector Holdings shuttered DNA Distribution and its Alien Workshop, Habitat and Reflex skateboard brands. And on Tuesday, skateboarder Jamie Thomas announced he's moving his Zero skateboards and Fallen footwear brands to Dwindle Distribution, leaving his own creation, Black Box Distribution, and scaling back on his existing brands, which include Slave, Mystery and Threat.