If you ever go to Lyon, France’s 2nd largest city, and want to check out what’s up with the local snowboard and street art scene, Addicted is definitely the place to go. 686 hooked up with JC, co-owner and founder of the shop, to ask a few questions.
When and how Addicted was born ? Addicted opened its doors on Oct.10th, 2002. My business partner Seb, and myself started developing this project a couple years before, we had this idea of turning our passion & enthousiasm for snowboarding into a reality, but we wanted to bring some innovation to the classic snowboard shop concept : our idea was to offer a wide assortment of products revolving around a rich snowboard selection in order to supply all riders who reside in a big city and look for the stuff that reflect their passion and lifestyle. We also organize art exhibitions and artists collabs on a regular basis, thus our name : ‘Addicted, Snow&Life Shop’.
If my info is correct, you both had a certain experience of snow business prior to start your own show ? True. We both worked at Burton’s European HQ, in Innsbruck. We also had our own distribution company aside from the shop through which we distributed Elevation (2002 to 2004) and Rome (2005 to 2009). We stopped in 2010 because it was becoming impossible to fight on both fronts. But all these experiences gave us an quite extensive knowledge of both French and European markets.
How did the shop evolved ? We were just 4 in the beginning, now 8 people work full time. Our business has grown organically in the early years and we’ve achieved a steady growth over the last 3 years. We’ve been focusing a lot on our website (www.addicted.fr) which has contributed to our general progression, not only in terms of online sales, but image-wise as well. Last but not least, we opened a shop called ‘Addicteen’ which is obviously dedicated to the junior category.
Lyon is one France’s largest cities, yet it’s located a couple hours away from the mountains. Do you consider yourselves advantaged compared to other urban retailers who do not have the same ideal position ? It is a fact that many people living in Lyon practice outdoor and moutain sports on a regular basis, and we are lucky to benefit from a wide selection of resorts within a 2/2.5 hours drive away from the city. This allows people to pick the best spot based on both weather & snow conditions and go out on a one-day trip. We can’t deny Lyon is priviledged geographically speaking.
Does snowboarding help you keep your motivation up, and how many days do you manage to spend on snow each year ? There’s no such thing like a good day of riding to keep the faith and remember why we do what we do. The fact we feel we never have enough is a good sing, means we’re still in love with the sport. We usually score between 20 and 30 days. Our shop staff ride a lot more than we do, also because they don’t have a family yet : )
How long Addicted has carried 686 for ? I believe 2003. Quite a while actually…
What differentiates 686 from other outerwear brands ? Above and beyond the authentic image of a truely technical snowboard outerwear label, I believe it is the impression of holding a solid yet beautiful piece, with elaborated cuts, rigorously selected fabrics, and a multitude of details that turn out to be very valuable as you use the garment : the more you ride it, the more you like it.
Name a 686 product your like in particular That’s an easy one : Smarty Original Cargo Pant, absolute reference in its category.
What is your motto as a retailer ? Offer a good choice and at the same time display each brand correctly, meaning we work each collection in depth as much possible. This is why we only carry 3 snowboard brands for example.
Why did you quit Addicted’s catalog to focus on the website ? Obviously the lack of time : the catalog was entirely made in-house and it ended up taking up too much of our energy.
Addicted is close to street art. Do you still organize art shows and what does that birng to your mix ? Of course, the last show was in Spring in collaboration with Obey. It builds up the image of the shop and fits perfectly with the ‘Snow & Life’ concept we push forward.
Last one : Ferrari or Lamborghini ? Ferrari, but the new models, not the vintage ones that let you down every 200 miles : )
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