In its latest pull for surf world dominance, industry giant Surfstitch has just acquired Surf Holdings International (SHI), an umbrella manufacturer that makes FCS Fins, Gorilla Grip, Hydro bodyboard supplies, and Softech softboards. This acquisition is one in a string of many in Surfstitch’s transformation from humble e-commerce site to an industry octopus, spreading its arms in an array of varying markets.
Just last week, Surfstitch shelled out $15 million for Garage Entertainment and Production, a purveyor of action sports films and videos. And before that, they bought Aussie Stab magazine and Magicseaweed for $21 million in May. Now Surfstitch has holdings in nearly all areas of the surf industry – media, manufacturing, and retail (online). But there’s one key element they seem to be missing: the local surf shop. That’s the next project.
In the next 24 months, Surfstitch co-founders Justin Cameron and Lex Pederson are planning to open three flagship stores where consumers can view all the products under their umbrella corporation in one brick-and-mortar location.
“By leveraging relevant content across all these platforms, SurfStitch Group can attract and retain a rapidly evolving and increasingly sophisticated customer base among all types of action sports consumers,” Cameron told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Or in other words, they’re quickly and quietly ascending the ladder of surf industry supremacy. What started seven years ago as a backyard brand in Sydney has come to own a huge slice of the pie. After the large surf industry crash of 2013, Surfstitch is one of the few companies to come out on top. For instance, Billabong, which was valued at $6 billion five years ago, used to own Surfstitch. Now Billabong is worth a mere $510 million. In an almost too-good-to-be-true testament of their domination, Surfstitch is now worth $511 million. And growth is expected.