Zumiez Inc. is an American specialty clothing store founded by Tom Campion and Gary Haakenson in 1978, and publicly traded since 2005. "Offering gear and clothing for the skater, snowboarder, and surfer," Zumiez markets clothing for action sports, particularly skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross. Zumiez is based in Lynnwood, Washington. The current president and CEO is Richard Brooks.
Originally named "Above the Belt" when the first store was opened at Seattle's Northgate Mall in 1978, the company grew quickly through the early 80s with the addition of stores at Everett Mall (Everett, Washington), Alderwood Mall (Lynnwood, WA), Tacoma Mall (Tacoma, WA) and Bellevue Square (Bellevue, WA). The mid and late eighties brought new stores online outside of the Puget Sound area, and the corporate name changed to Zumiez pronounced Zoom-eez after popular skateboard game. The corporate office was moved from Everett to Lynnwood, Washington in 2012.
As of January 28, 2017 Zumiez operates 685 stores; 603 in the United States, 48 in Canada, 29 in Europe and 5 in Australia. Zumiez is a leading retailer for lifestyle brands, centering on action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross.
Zumiez stores are designed with an "organized chaos" theme "that is consistent with many teenagers' lifestyles." The stores are stocked with couches and video games to encourage customers "to shop for longer periods of time and to interact with each other and the store associates." Each store is approx. 2,900 sq. feet. The stores generally feature a sales floor, a couch with video games and television, changing rooms, and a "skate shop." However, this plan may be modified based on space restrictions.
For 13 years, Zumiez traveled to 12 "full stops" as part of its annual Couch Tour. Entertainment included live bands, professional skateboarding demos, and a competition featuring local amateurs. The stops usually took place at the mall where local Zumiez stores are located. Entry to the event was always free.
As part of the Couch tour, since Zumiez doesn't sponsor riders themselves, they joined up with major players in the skate industry to offer an opportunity where amateur skaters can enter and compete. 2013 sponsors included Bones Bearings, Adidas, Deathwish, DGK, Neff, Oakley, and Loser Machine providing the "trophies" for each stop of the contest's winners.
Zumiez Best Foot Forward Am contest series started in 2007 to give back to the skateboarding community on a local level, providing the country's biggest amateur skateboard contest and exposure on a global level. Differentiating itself from other contests, Zumiez Best Foot Forward travels to 35+ cities across the country, and is free to enter. Its purpose to scout and build young skateboarding talent.
Previous Zumiez Best Foot Forward winners have gone on to become some of the top names in skateboarding, including Ishod Wair, Tom Asta, Jack Olson, Chris Wimer, and Alec Majerus.
The company purchased the clothing company Fast Forward in 2006, as well as Blue Tomato in 2012.
On January 25, 2014, a gunman, identified as 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar, opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun inside of Zumiez at The Mall in Columbia located in Columbia, Maryland, killing two store employees before taking his own life, according to police. Five other people were injured during the incident. Extra ammunition and crude explosives (all of which were later defused) were found in Aguilar's backpack.