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For over a decade the skateboard shop Nocturnal has been synonymous with the Philadelphia skate scene, but last Friday, October 19, Nocturnal shut its door. Professional skateboarder and X Games gold medalist Kerry Getz took time to remember the past, explain the present, and discuss the future of the skateshop he founded -- Nocturnal.
When Getz opened Nocturnal in 2000, it was a banner year. He reminisces about that first year, sounding more like a proud parent than a shop owner. He recalled, "My fondest memory is the first year we opened when the X Games brought tons of business to my shop. This helped get the shop get noticed right out of the gate. I won the X Games that year, so I was all over TV and in magazines talking about my win and the opening of my brand new shop 'Nocturnal'. This was huge for NOC!"
A Pennsylvania native, Getz, who skates for Habitat, has been a staple of the Philly skate scene for decades. "I built Nocturnal to be a solid core shop to take care of the Philly skaters and support the scene. I never once made money from Nocturnal," Getz said. "I just wanted it there to support skateboarding and to supply some jobs for friends and fellow skaters."
In any small business there are growing pains, changes to the initial business model and unforeseen pitfalls. Nocturnal was not exempt from those struggles, "When my original partner Tim Quinn left the business back in 2006, I struggled to find good people I could trust to run the store full time while I skated and traveled for the companies I rode for. After a few rough years of the store getting used and abused, it was time for a fresh start." Getz explained, "I knew I had to seek out some good people to step in and help run Nocturnal and give the shop and the customers the attention and respect they deserve."
With the recent outbreak of core shops folding under the pressures of the struggling economy, hopefully Nocturnal closing its' doors serves as an opportunity to refine the business model and celebration when it re-opens. "My future plans are to keep the skater run business going and to help expand it." Getz continued, "I'm actually partnering with the guys from Kinetic, which is one of the best shops on the east coast, to help me with the Nocturnal re-launch this spring. This new partnership will bring their expertise on all of the bill paying, ordering type stuff so I can put all of my focus on my skateboard and not day to day stuff that comes along with owning a business solo. I will be able to travel again and stay focused on my career as a professional skateboarder. I really want to thank all the skaters and customers in Philly that have supported Nocturnal over the years, and just to let everyone know that this closing is just temporary and we will be back harder then ever this coming spring."