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New Kids at the Beach: Tonquin Trading

Hiking gear and apparel store heads downtown

By LUKE WHITTAKER

Coast River Business Journal

Published on June 21, 2018 2:34PM

Operating a small business in a tourist-driven town has been a learning experience over the past 18 months for Tonquin Trading owner Jason Johnson. “Being part of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce is huge for networking,” Johnson said. “I’ve learned how to look at margins and a lot of our merchandise depends on those.”

LUKE WHITTAKER

Operating a small business in a tourist-driven town has been a learning experience over the past 18 months for Tonquin Trading owner Jason Johnson. “Being part of the Seaside Chamber of Commerce is huge for networking,” Johnson said. “I’ve learned how to look at margins and a lot of our merchandise depends on those.”

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Johnson expanded his hiking gear and apparel section to include more casual, beach-friendly footwear.

LUKE WHITTAKER

Johnson expanded his hiking gear and apparel section to include more casual, beach-friendly footwear.

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Salomon shoes have been a strong seller for at Tonquin Trading at 737 Broadway St. in Seaside.

Salomon shoes have been a strong seller for at Tonquin Trading at 737 Broadway St. in Seaside.

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SEASIDE — A hiking gear and outdoor apparel store owner was wondering how to get more foot traffic into his Seaside business. In May, Tonquin Trader owner Jason Johnson remedied the issue by relocating from S. Roosevelt to the more pedestrian-friendly Broadway Street. He’s been getting more foot traffic ever since.

“Now I see four new faces a day,” Johnson said as he adjusted racks of hiking socks Wednesday, May 30, at 737 Broadway, the new home to Tonquin Trading.

“This last weekend (Memorial Day weekend) was really good — we saw a lot of folks,” he said.


Following footwear trends


Johnson keeps a keen eye on footwear trends.

“Over the past year and half, we brought in all the things we thought people would like to see and have been refining it through requests,” he said.

The apparel section, for example, has expanded to include clothing from Rainy State Threads.

“It’s just been a matter of making the selection a little bit better,” Johnson continued. “Salomon has been a really good brand for shoes.”

Hiking boots, shoes and socks have been steady sellers, but demand has soared for more casual, beach-friendly footwear with Oofos Sandals emerging as a top seller.


Emergency kits


Johnson has also expanded his emergency preparedness packs and survival ‘go kits’ to include a trauma kit, which has been adopted by local police personnel. He estimated he’s sold 75 emergency preparedness kits over the past year, but is hoping to get them into more hands.

“We’re working on getting emergency kits in schools for kids,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, at some point, we can get the kids something, too.”



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