Flip-flop store in Orland Square foresees hot sales in cold weather
BY MIKE NOLAN firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2012 4:58PM
Rob Weaver, co-owner of the Flip Flop Shops location in Orland Square Mall in Orland Park. Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:36AM
While sandal season might be drawing to a close, don’t tell that to Rob Weaver.
Although he opened the first Chicago location of Flip Flop Shops in July in Orland Square Mall, he said the onset of colder weather doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic drop in business.
The store — on the mall’s upper level near Carson Pirie Scott — carries flip-flops and sandals from brands such as Sanuk, OluKai, Quiksilver and Reef at prices ranging from $20 to more than $100. Weaver, co-owner of the Orland Park store, said some of the sandals have a shoe-like look to them and can fit in in the workplace.
While most people associate flip-flops with summer, Weaver said the winter months can still mean sales, particularly for Southland residents heading somewhere warm and sunny for a vacation. He said that because flip-flops are considered seasonal items, many chain shoe stores stop stocking them once the leaves start falling.
“There’s a niche and a need,” Weaver said. “I think we are the only place you are going to be able to find them come December or January.”
Flip Flop Shops has more than 60 stores, primarily in balmy-weather states such as California, Florida and Hawaii, but has several in Canada and is targeting the Midwest and even Anchorage, Alaska.
Weaver is also co-owner of a store in Calgary, Alberta, and he said the chain’s store in Edmonton, Alberta, is “doing great (sales) in the winter.”
Weaver is a chiropractor and has no prior experience running a franchised business. He researched Flip Flop Shops and saw that “they were young and fresh,” and that their products “fill a need.”