New owners seek to revive SoCal skate brand
After Gem Cap Lending put whatever was left of Active Ride Shop up for bid, it was Bedford Ventures Inc. who left with the ghost of the lifestyle brand. According to the new press release, the new owners have plans to bring the beloved skate brand back to life.
After complete silence on the Instagram page for almost a month, the brand followed up their farewell post with an announcement of a warehouse sale to clear out whatever was left of the inventory. This would begin the complete overhaul of the company and it’s brand.
Although all of the stores and its employees were let go and most of corporate, Kieth Beckley who worked as Vice President of Retail would be returning to fill his old position.
By Spring of 2020, the company plans to open up 3 stores: Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands and Temecula, which were some of the top performing stores from before the closure. They also have plans to get the online store up and running by March.
Southern California says goodbye to their neighborhood skate shop
Active Ride Shop, a local chain that has been providing kids with their first skate experiences and introducing them to skate culture, has closed all their stores as of Friday, Jan. 10.
Active Employees stand outside the painted black windows before closing (Alexis Despain/Courtesy)
Managers of the over a dozen Active Ride Shop stores hopped onto a conference call Friday morning with their CEO. They were all given the news that the company was filing for bankruptcy and their stores would be closing their doors for the last time on Saturday.
Employees were blindsided by the news. Not only were they losing their jobs, they were losing the relationships and bonds they had formed during their time there. Sachil Bengogullari, assistant store manager at the Santa Ana location and a student at Saddleback College, had been working at Active for what would have been 3 years this February.
“I think it was overall a mix of emotions,” said Bengogullari, speaking on the mood of the store during its last day. “A lot of gratitude though, for the brand and the people. You know how much we’ve all grown together, so it was weird thinking that it was done.”
The scene at the Active Ride Shop in the Irvine Spectrum Saturday night was hectic. Only 2 employees were present to handle the crowd of customers shopping their closing deals. The racks and walls were picked dry. Later that day the Irvine Company sent a maintenance man to paint all the windows black.
Marin Sinsley worked at the Aliso Viejo and Irvine Spectrum locations on and off for about 6 years. She started when she was just in high school and even though she moved away for college, during her breaks she would always come back and lend a hand.
She credits the company and the people she worked with for giving her the ability to meet so many amazing people and learn so much from her time spent there. Towards the end though she did notice something was off.
“Upper level management in corporate always seemed uncertain as to what they wanted the company’s future to be and always relayed different messages to store level employees,” said Sinsley. “The company lost sight of the brand being a lifestyle, not a storefront to pump their own lower quality marked up brand over the popular product that made the company what it was today.”
Some big names in the industry acknowledged the death of the skate chain including Bobby Kim, or Bobby Hundreds, co founder of the Hundreds streetwear brand.
Active’s lender Gem Cap Lending plans on selling all intellectual property, fixtures, and whatever inventory is left.