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New Sailing Apparel Retailer to Drop Anchor at Liberty Station

Last fall, Tom and Katie Carruthers sold their 12-year-old sailing school, but didn’t stray far from water for their next venture.

They are preparing to open Point Loma Outfitting, a marina industry apparel store, in Liberty Station. It will be the second apparel store in the shopping center. It opens next month.

The other store, Point Loma Boardroom, is a surf shop.

“I think we’re going to have an edge being one of the only apparel stores in the area, and our marketing emphasis has focused on nautically influenced clothing for sailing,” said Tom Carruthers, former owner of JWorld Sailing.

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A frequent participant in the America’s Cup and Canada Cup, Carruthers worked sailing apparel connections he had with Patagonia Inc. and began selling an outdoor clothing line at JWorld.

Early in 2006, Carruthers was asked to be the California retailer for Slam, an Italian company that makes technologically advanced sailing gear.

Carruthers says his interests shifted, and his enthusiasm for retail sales began outweighing that of sailing. By 2007, he was selling apparel.

“Our broker found the Liberty Station space, and now we’re the only outlet in the U.S. for Slam sportswear and the largest retailer of Patagonia in San Diego,” said Carruthers.

He says the couple invested about $500,000, $250,000 to build the space and $100,000 for such items as lighting fixtures.

Carruthers says he hopes to do more than $1 million in sales in 2008.

“Marine industry apparel is such a small trade, so this year we’re way over last year in sales,” said Carruthers. “I’m also relieved to see that our Internet sales are getting to be where I wanted them.”


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A Larger Galaxy:
The owners of Minnesota-based Golf Galaxy Inc. are set to open a second local location June 6 in Encinitas.

The stores sell equipment, apparel and accessories, including such well-known brands as Callaway Golf Co., TaylorMade-adidas Golf Co., Cobra and Titleist.

Features of the 14,000-square-foot store, located on North El Camino Real, include an electronic simulator that allows customers to test equipment before purchase, an indoor driving bay and synthetic putting green.

In June, Golf Galaxy opened its first local store, on Carmel Mountain Road in San Diego, one of 80-plus stores in 30 states.


Send retail news to Liz Wiedemann at lwiedemann@sdbj.com.

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