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Specialty Retailers and the Board Sports Lifestyle
Surf | Skate | Snow | SUP | Wake

“World Surf League Releases 2023 Schedule: Surf Ranch, Trestles Return” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

Will Filipe defend his title? The schedule would seem to support a repeat run for the Brazilian. Photo: Pat Nolan//World Surf League With the 2022 season freshly minted, the World Surf League wasted little time in releasing its 2023 schedule. Highlights? The Surf Ranch returns, as does Trestles as the WSL Finals location. But judging by the recent fan reaction to Lowers as an end-of-year-championship venue, there’s sure to be blowback. Last season’s end-all party to 2021 was an anomaly at Lowers: big swell and offshore Santa Ana winds made for dreamy conditions for the Finals – the ideal scenario. The League bet on Lowers again in 2022, hoping for similar conditions within its early September window. But those dream conditions failed to return and normal Lower Trestles ensued: good size, glassy in the morning followed by an afternoon wind that shut the waves down with less-than-stellar championship conditions. The fan furor was swift on the WSL social pages, as well as on this site and its social outlets. I reached out to WSL CEO Erik Logan and am waiting to hear back. The League has of course kept its premier locales in play. Pipeline kicks the season off January 29 (the WSL will not start its season in 2022, keeping everything in a single-year package). Margaret River will be the final event before the mid-year cut, and Teahupo’o returns August 11-20. “Following the incredible momentum and milestones we’ve hit in 2022, we will continue to build our global platform to progress and elevate professional surfing,” read Logan’s statement in a release. “We experienced the redesign in its entirety for the first time this year, and... read more

“Rebound for Retail: How Mobile Can Achieve Memorability for Retailers” by Paul Coggins via Total Retail

Credit: iStock.com by Anita Kot Over the past few years, there’s been an increasing shift towards online retail, particularly with many of the attitudes adopted over the course of the pandemic now a part of everyday life. And many of these transactions are being carried out on mobile devices through different channels, such as “traditional” e-commerce platforms and social platforms. Indeed, the growing interest in mobile commerce has helped contribute to the mobile advertising industry now representing 60 percent of all digital ad spend, with it set to be worth a little under $400 billion by 2024. However, in this crowded space where consumer attention is at a premium, the majority of mobile ads are uninspiring, forgettable and unengaging. As a result, consumers aren’t engaging meaningfully with the ads they see. Retailers need to take note of the fact that ads that are remembered are more likely to be acted upon. Reusing assets and creating static ads won’t create memorability — interactive ads designed specifically for mobile will. Related story: Mobile App Advertising Trends to Watch in 2022 Creating an Engaging Experience As we move away from intrusive third-party data collection practices towards a privacy-focused digital advertising ecosystem, the focus for retailers has to be on using creativity and anonymized data to grab the attention of consumers. By using interactive mobile ads, retailers can create an environment that’s ripe for engagement — the truest form of attention. In turn, re-focusing on engagement provides an avenue for retailers to continue measuring campaign effectiveness beyond the use of third-party cookies or other identifiers. The industry must evolve beyond using viewability as the standard metric for measuring campaign... read more

“What Is Your North Star?” by Deborah Patton via The Robin Report

Do you know your organization’s North Star? Or maybe a better question is whether your organization even has a North Star. Not to get all astronomical on you, but Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and a world-renowned expert in ancient astronomy explains, “The north pole of the sky and whatever stars were close to that point told the ancients there was foundation and structure in their lives. It was an anchor that held the world in place, the stable, motionless hub of the night’s orderly parade of stars. Although we usually call it the North Star, it is also known as Polaris, Latin for “of the pole.” A North Star Narrative So, metaphorically, a North Star is what inspires and influences us. It’s not goals. It’s not a mission statement. It’s the fundamental ethos that your organization operates on. To be more precise, it is the reason you are in business. It is your shared purpose reflected and embraced by everyone in your organization. And your true sense of direction. So, what happens when market conditions throw you a curve or your organization faces a disruption? Do you abandon your North Star? Do you bend its purpose to adapt to the current situation? Which begs the question: Is a North Star immutable? Or is it malleable? Purpose would seem to transcend any blip in market disruption or sea change. And in today’s customer-demand-driven, woke environment, no one can afford to tap dance around a true purpose, your North Star. If you do, you risk losing authenticity and credibility with your workforce, customers, and... read more

“How To Make Your Retail Store Instagram-Worthy” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

Today’s retail landscape is all about being Instagram-worthy. Consumers and influencers are always on the lookout for new, unique, and visually appealing places to take photos and videos for their social media channels. As a retailer, you can capitalize on this trend by creating a dedicated space in your store for visitors to take photos and videos to post to Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. But you must first get up to speed on trends in social media and keep yourself current. In other words, don’t get caught off guard by the feta cheese. Benoit Breal, the owner of Saxelby Cheesemongers – a wholesaler supplying restaurants – told Marketplace, “It was a feta cheese surprise.” Suddenly, they found themselves getting a lot of orders for feta in the middle of winter. The demand was mysteriously 10 times greater than usual. He was confused. Breal finally saw the trend on the news, but by the time he coordinated extra orders with his suppliers, he missed a whole week of the feta craze. A couple of weeks later, it was over. Remember, this is all about staying fresh and attracting your shoppers in new ways using visual aspects throughout your store. And the more you can tap into what is popular on social media at the moment, the better. How to get started with your Instagramable space? Ask three friendly customers to spend a few minutes in your store taking 3-5 photos of what they notice most or think stands out. Note that this does not include your employees and make sure you compensate them with a small gift or a gift... read more

“The Surfing World Owes Stephanie Gilmore an Apology” by Ben Mondy via The Inertia

She earned it. And we forgot about her. Photo: Thiago Diz//World Surf League “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” wrote bad boy Billy Shakespeare. Or in Stephanie Gilmore’s case, some quietly achieve GOAT status whilst no one is watching. Perhaps of the most remarkable aspects of Gilmore’s eighth world title was that no one had given her a chance of making history. In a massive fail in surfing groupthink, it’s hard, in hindsight, to justify how most surf fans, and so-called experts, underestimated and ignored the greatest female surfer of all time. How did a seven-time world champion, one of the most stylish humans to ever ride a surfboard, and with a competitive track record only bettered by Kelly Slater, get written off before the WSL Finals? It was an incredible lack of foresight, matched only by a dearth of respect of which I was very much a part of. And yes, I can pathetically list all my reasons for writing off Gilmore. After all, she had to surf six, maybe seven, heats at Trestles, the last two or three against Carissa Moore, by far the best surfer of the last five years. The WSL Finals format was set up to reward performances throughout the calendar year, and Gilmore had been handed a severe handicap based on a largely mundane 2022. Having missed Pipeline due to COVID, in the next five events she managed just a single semifinal. Early on there was talk not of world titles and impending greatness, but of relegation and retirement under the brutal new cut system. After Margaret River, Gilmore... read more

“The Simple Way to Drive More Retail Foot Traffic” by Peter Biagioli via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by SolStock We’ve all witnessed the pandemic’s devastating effects on retail shopping and the significant downturn in customer foot traffic in-store, but experts now point to a major shift in customer behavior. Recent figures, including the consumer stats we’re always monitoring at TrueSource, show that customers are returning to brick-and-mortar locations — some experts even forecast a record sales year for brick-and-mortar locations of certain retail segments. Whether it’s the result of extended home-bound isolation, boredom or some other cause, we can now see that there’s a clear opportunity for smart retailers willing to capitalize on the moment. It’s simple. If you provide a desirable, pleasant, convenient in-person shopping experience, more and more of your absent customers will return. Perhaps more than ever before. And while many companies are investing millions in high-tech additions to their stores (e.g., digital signage and even augmented reality experiences), there’s an incredibly basic action that far too many fail to consistently and thoroughly take. It’s actually shocking to see how many store managers neglect this part of the customer experience, especially considering its weight of importance. I’m talking about cleanliness and order. Simple as that. Imagine … everything sparkling clean, everything in working order, everything in its place. Almost makes you smile to think about, doesn’t it? Your customers have the same reaction when they walk into your space and notice the care and attention to detail you’ve devoted to this all-important aspect of their experience. Related story: 3 Pillars of a Great In-Store Experience Why Cleanliness Counts First impressions matter. We’ve all heard this refrain time and again — in all areas of life, there’s... read more

“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

WASHINGTON – Retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses last year, up from $90.8 billion in 2020, according to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation. Organized retail crime (ORC), a critical component of that shrink, is a growing challenge both for retailers and the industry at large. “The factors contributing to retail shrink have multiplied in recent years, and ORC is a burgeoning threat within the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “These highly sophisticated criminal rings jeopardize employee and customer safety and disrupt store operations. Retailers are bolstering security efforts to counteract these increasingly dangerous and aggressive criminal activities.”    The survey found that the average shrink rate in 2021 was 1.44%, a slight decrease from the last two years but comparable to the five-year average of 1.5%. The majority of retailers report that in-store, ecommerce and omnichannel fraud have risen. Violence is a growing area of concern and retailers are prioritizing addressing guest-on-associate violence, external theft and ORC. The COVID-19 pandemic created more challenges for retailers. A large majority (87.3%) of respondents said the pandemic resulted in an increase in overall risk for their organization. Retailers specifically cited an increase in violence (89.3%), shoplifting (73.2%), ORC and employee theft (tied at 71.4%) as a result of the pandemic. Retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC, on average. Even more alarming, the vast majority (81.2%) said the violence and aggression associated with ORC increased in the past year. Research shows that ORC groups... read more

“How to Use Humor in Your Sales Presentation – the More Laughs, the More You Sell” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

Want to increase your sales? Try adding humor! Here are eight tips for incorporating humor into your retail store or in-person sales presentation. With all the focus on features and benefits from manufacturers, many retail sales presentations can be dry and boring. “It has this, and this and this. And a warranty. And it’s on sale.” That is just above the lowest form of customer service – simply asking, “Can I help you?” as someone comes in the door. A person who can use humor skillfully in their sales presentation is operating at the highest level of professionalism. Now let’s take a step back; I’m not talking about using humor to degrade or make fun of someone to feel better about yourself – after all, this isn’t Junior High. Your goal is to laugh with; never laugh at. This is about adding some gentle humor to break the ice, build rapport with your shoppers, and make your entire selling presentation more enjoyable. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” People who feel good are more likely to be receptive to your attempts at rapport and closing the sale. But productive humor only comes from being present in the moment and listening to your customer. If you overdo it or just run your “schtick”, it could show you aren’t paying attention. And yes, I can hear some of you already saying, “But you could end up offending someone.” So, you don’t do it. And that’s a mistake… Oracle recently released their Happiness Report which revealed:... read more

“Sandia Peak Ski Area to remain closed for second year” – A result of climate change and staffing issues by Scarlett Lisjak via SIA Newsletter shared article

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia Peak Ski Area officials recently announced they will be closed this winter, for the second year in a row.  The lack of snow on the mountain for the past five years has created a snowball effect. For the first time in at least the past 25 years, the ski area will not even make an attempt to open this winter.  Push Play “It’s not been snowing in November or really in December, and then it’s ended earlier, so middle of February, early March, and just the total snowfall has been down,” said Ben Abruzzo, Sandia Peak Ski Area general manager.  In 2021, the snow came too late.  “On the last week of January, it snowed a little more and we started to get things ready to go and, just, it wasn’t going to happen, you know, trying to operate a ski area for three weeks is a pretty tough call,” Abruzzo said.  The short ski seasons have made it difficult for management to keep the ski area operational.  “Asking someone to leave their job and come work for us for three to four weeks is a tough ask,” Abruzzo said. “All that leads into – when you have those short seasons – obviously it’s greatly reduced revenue, so then it becomes difficult to maintain your equipment, do new things, pay your staff.” The future for the ski area is unknown.  “We have been working on a mountain coaster that we thought would provide some economic stability for us, and the approval process became extremely cumbersome, very lengthy, and costly, and is on hold for now,... read more

“Why Is Surfing So Good for Us? A Neuroscientist and a Writer Offer Clues” by Owen James Burke via The Inertia

Maybe it’s simply moments like this that make us happy? Photo: Paz Arando//Unsplash “Surfing is the source, man. It’ll change your life. Swear to God.” – Surf shop grom from Point Break Sappy, soppy, mystical explanations and platitudes abound for describing surfing’s transcendental health benefits. But trite spirituality aside, what does surfing offer that pumping iron or riding a treadmill can’t? I took a harder look at the question and even asked a neuroscientist to see if research might offer any clues. Is it the exposure to the elements in lieu of the sterile, fluorescent-lit chambers of sweat crossed with body spray and rusty iron? Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush that only occurs occasionally in the gym when you attempt to bench too much? Or if the steroid-addled mongoloid next to you doesn’t like the way you’re looking at them? There are certainly close brushes with death when running off-trail or blazing down a cliff’s edge on a mountain bike. Or is it the satisfaction of improvisational decision-making? Something you can find in surfing, skateboarding, jazz music, or a blank canvas, but only vaguely offered by weight-lifting, running, cycling, or any activity with steadfast rules. Anyone who’s ever gotten their heart rate up, or surfed, knows that the benefits of physical activity on mental health are many. However, the stimulation we experience in pursuit of activities with few or no bounds might be mediated by something called synaptic plasticity, says Santi Solé Domenech, a Weill Cornell Medical College Research Associate and Google Scholar specializing in biochemistry and neuroscience. A synapse, neurologically speaking, connects neurons in the brain to those in the rest of the body, including sensory organs that register... read more

“5 Key Trends to Watch in Modern Retailing” by Nick Gurney via Total Retail

Credit: iStock.com by Tzido The shift from physical to digital retail was well underway before the pandemic hit, but the closure of physical locations has accelerated the trend. This has exposed a weakness in sales for many retailers that have been slow to adapt to the changing marketplace. Retailers that don’t embrace emerging trends and technologies will continue to lose sales as consumers turn to more convenient and user-friendly options. While it may be difficult for some businesses to make the transition, it’s clear that those that don’t adapt will be left behind. From multichannel marketing to millennial shopping preferences, some of the key trends that will impact retailers in the next five years include:  Increased Multichannel Marketing Shoppers will go online to learn product information, see new items, become comfortable with your store and your brand. However, ultimately, your store must build a relationship with new customers. That contact must be maintained in person, on social media, through text or email, and emerging interactions. In addition, multichannel marketing allows businesses to track the performance of each channel and adjust their strategy accordingly. By investing in a multichannel approach, businesses can give themselves a competitive edge and better meet the needs of its target audience. More Focus on Transparency and Sustainability Sustainability and transparency will play a more important role for all retailers in the years ahead as consumers become more committed to increasing environmental and social progress. Traceability and transparency of supply chains and raw materials sourcing will be critical. Consumers will want to know that the products they purchase are not contributing to deforestation, human rights abuses, or other... read more

“Office Depot Exclusive BRA Member Savings Program now available for all BRA Regular (no cost) and all BRA Distinguished Retail Members plus video elaborating on this outstanding Member Benefit” by Doug Works, BRA Executive Director

The Mission of Board Retailers Association is to consolidate the voices, the experiences and the visions of Board Specialty Retailers into a cohesive organization. We do this by identifying ways to lower day to day expenses, to increase profit margins and to create more remarkable customer experiences for our Retail Members. Speaking of lowering expenses, this video may help you realize that there is one place where you can save on a ton of products and services just because you are a BRA Retail Member. Push play to learn what BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Office Depot can provide to all BRA Retail Members As a BRA Retail Member, you will have a voice, you will benefit from BRA relationships and you will have access to a number of BRA programs and resources including the new Office Depot Exclusive Preferential BRA Member Savings Program. The image and video above elaborate on this outstanding Member Benefit, which is available to both Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members ($100 annually, which is 100% tax deductible). If you are interested in improving your business, click on the following link to learn about both BRA Retail Membership options: https://www.boardretailers.org/retail-membership/ Soon after you complete the following super simple join form, we will email you the link to gain access to this remarkable program and begin saving on over 20,000 Office Depot Products and Services (way more than just pens and paper clips): https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ #boardretailersassociation... read more

“Why Microplastic Pollution is Still Fashion’s Concern” by  Catherine Schetting Salfino via The Robin Report

Although numerous residents of New Jersey are still openly bemoaning the plastic bag ban that took effect in May, millions of people around the globe are participating in Plastic Free July, an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, an organization whose vision is “seeing a world free of plastic waste.” Included in that waste is microplastic ocean pollution, more than a third of which stems from apparel-made synthetic fibers. Critical Microplastic Mass At this point, the majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. Experts say it’s high time for the fashion industry to start listening to not just environmental authorities, but consumers themselves. The majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. “The planet cannot afford an industry that’s not making progress,” said McKinsey’s Achim Berg, senior partner, in an episode of The McKinsey Podcast. “Consumers have become more demanding in that respect. A lot of people have been at home throughout the pandemic. They have had more time to think about their consumption patterns. We’ve seen a big change – in particular, in Western Europe and North America – in how consumers think about sustainability and what they demand from brands. Therefore, brands will have to do it all. It’s not going to get any... read more

“VIDEO ESSAY: HOW SKATEBOARDING WENT HD” by Alex Coles via Jenkem Mag

Skaters aren’t always ready to give up old ways so easily, but most of us have finally accepted the transition into the high definition world. It’s been a long and slow journey, so we decided to put together this timeline of how skateboarding started to ditch the VX1000 and pick up HD camcorders in its place. For years, the gold standard of skate cameras was the VX1000. Even though it’s nearly 30 years old, skaters still search far and wide and often break the bank for this grail camera. Over the past few years, though, other main characters have appeared, most notably the Panasonic HPX-170. Armed with its own set of desirable features and a more reliable storage format, the HPX (and its older brother, the HVX) have quickly become the weapon of choice for some of skating’s most influential filmmakers. We hit up some of the HPX’s most notable proponents to walk us through the history and offer some detailed insight into what exactly has made it so desirable and ubiquitous. In 2022 the HPX is now starting to face some of its own limitations as well, so we also looked into the future to see what could potentially take its place down the line as video technology and technical know-how amongst skate videographers continue to grow hand-in-hand. Push play to view this video essay Video by: Alex ColesProduced by: Alexis CastroWritten by: Alex Coles, Alexis Castro, Ian MichnaArchival Support: Ben JonesShare this with a camera nerd on FacebookReport this as elitism on Instagram and Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet... read more

“How Retailers Can Use TikTok to Build Better Brand Loyalty in a New Era of Community Building” by Amy Gilbert via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Pixels Effect If you’re familiar with TikTok, you’ve most likely seen the hashtag #Tiktokmademebuyit. Truth is, people can find anything from books to clothing to makeup thanks to retail brands’ ever-expanding presence on TikTok. This social platform is certainly driving sales for retailers, whether it’s from an influencer wearing something from the back of their closet or the result of a coordinated brand campaign. And it goes without saying that it works fantastically well. However, there’s always room to do it better. In this new era of community building, retail brands need to explore new ways to interact with their followers in order to keep them authentically engaged, grow their online communities exponentially, and also maintain brand loyalty at the same time. Here are five strategies to help them make a splash on TikTok and connect with their audiences in the very best of ways: 1. Find a community that fits your brand and get involved. Getting involved in a community organically can be extremely beneficial — as long as the community fits your brand well. But don’t worry, TikTok has something for everyone, from niche interest communities to mainstream ones. In any case, before diving in, it’s a good idea to listen to and learn from the community itself. Connect with the community’s purpose, pay attention to its tone and style, and learn who the major influencers are. To avoid alienating anyone within the community, ensure that your content will blend in seamlessly. Putting time into developing this natural connection will go a long way toward fostering brand loyalty. Related story: The ‘Shoppable’ Social Opportunity... read more

“Instead of having just one DRM benefit known as the BRA Shipping Program, PartnerShip is now administering two separate shipping benefits plus FAQs and link to take advantage of these savings” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

We asked Harry Centa of PartnerShip (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) why they are splitting the shipping program into two separate benefits and a few other questions about the special savings program specifically for BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Here is how he responded: To better serve your members and create a clear distinction between the shipping services that areavailable to them, we felt it would be more effective to provide two separate member benefits.The FedEx discounts have always worked differently than the freight savings that were a part of yourshipping program. While PartnerShip acts as a third party for quoting and managing shipments with multiple carriers for freight, we don’t serve the same type of role for FedEx small package shipments. We provide the discounts but then members set up shipments through FedEx and are billed by FedEx.This change to your shipping program not only enables us to clarify the benefit offering, but it also allows us to use the FedEx brand more prominently – a brand that carries a great deal of trust and has wide-spread recognition. Are your discounts changing?No! Your discounts for FedEx small package shipments remain the same. And your members will continue to receive competitive pricing for their freight shipments through PartnerShip. Is the enrollment process changing?We have a brand-new landing page that includes the enrollment form. While the look is different, theenrollment form remains the same and the enrollment process is not changing. Will our members have to re-enroll in the program?No! Any members currently enrolled will continue to see the FedEx discounts on their account and can ship the same way they currently... read more

“Will Americans get started earlier or later this year on their Christmas shopping?” by Matthew Stern via Retail Wire

A Salesforce survey reported by Practical Ecommerce found that 37 percent of consumers anticipate starting to shop for the holidays early this year. According to that article, customers may shift their Christmas spending from the big seasonal shopping holidays (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) back into October or earlier to avoid spending a lot of money all at once.  On the other hand, Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy, anticipates customers shopping later this holiday season than they have been in the previous years of the pandemic. After an earnings report, Ms. Barry told reporters on a call that, whereas over the past two years customers shopped early due to concerns about stockouts, this year would be more like pre-pandemic holiday seasons with shopping throughout November and December, Bloomberg reported. Best Buy plans to maintain its promotional discounts through those months, as the chain anticipates a more value-conscious customer this Christmas due to inflation. Last year surveys from RetailMeNot and AlixPartners both found U.S. consumers planning to shop earlier in the season for holiday gifts. The July 2021 RetailMeNot survey found that 19 percent of shoppers said they planned to begin their holiday shopping in August or earlier, 30 percent said they would shop earlier than in 2020 and 66 percent said they wanted to get their holiday shopping done as early as possible.  Walmart’s 2022 Top Toy List Is Here With the Hottest Toys This Holiday Season – Walmart press releaseBeneath Walmart’s Top Toy List, a Retail Price, Inventory and Payment War Is Brewing – PYMNTSInflation May Lead to Early Christmas Shopping – Practical Ecommerce Best Buy Has Good News for Inflation-Wary Shoppers: Holiday Deals Are... read more

“Vail Resorts to Limit Ticket Sales Every Day of 2022-2023 Season” by Will Sileo via The Inertia

Snowboarders ride the lifts at Brighton, UT, an Epic Pass resort. Photo: Jackson Blackhurst. Are the days of overcrowded Vail-owned ski resorts a thing of the past? Will the infamous “Epic Lift Lines” Instagram account have to be discontinued due to a lack of content? Vail Resorts came under a lot of fire last season due to, well, a number of things. In short, they were accused of low pay for employees, leading to labor shortages which significantly impacted the guest experience. Add to that a healthy dose of Epic Pass crowds, and you’ve got the makings of a problem. In response to the criticism, Vail announced a number of changes at the end of last season, not the least of which was a $20-per-hour minimum wage for employees at its resorts. And just yesterday, Vail took things a step further, announcing a cap on daily ticket sales across all 37 of its North American ski areas. The cap will be in effect the entire 2022-2023 season. However, the cap only applies to the sale of walk-up day tickets and online ticket sales. Season pass holders (including the Epic Pass), employees, and those taking lessons will not be impacted. Last season saw 23 days of limited day-passes during peak holiday periods, and this season they don’t necessarily expect to sell out often. “This is a lever that will let us manage the experience on the most popular days without having to change the experience for our pass holders,” said Vail Resorts spokeswoman Lindsay Hogan. Crowds at Stevens Pass last season. Photo: Change.org. One thing Vail Resorts reportedly isn’t changing is its policies on season passes. Last year Vail slashed Epic... read more

“Are You Ready for Live Commerce? 5 Tips to Get Started Right Now” by Zarnaz Arlia via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of businesses as they attempted to meet the changing demands of customers. Stuck at home during lockdowns, people around the globe turned to online shopping and live commerce. Today, what was once a temporary solution to a global crisis has become a new way for brands to engage and interact with customers at their convenience. Live commerce isn’t new. It’s already a dominant way of shopping in Asia. Take China, for example, where the live commerce industry has become a shopping norm, growing from $2.85 billion in 2017 to $144.15 billion in 2020. The popularity of live commerce is expected to increase dramatically and is on track to become a $600 billion industry in China. The U.S. is on a similar track with growth projected to reach $25 billion by 2023. The Opportunity in Live Commerce But enough about the future: Live commerce is making an impact now. In ​​2020 alone, live shopping accounted for $5.6 billion in sales in the U.S. The numbers don’t lie. Live commerce is a powerful e-commerce strategy for businesses looking to create memorable experiences for customers while driving sales and increasing return on investment. Ready, Set, Shop The livestreaming e-commerce landscape has grown increasingly competitive as brands and retailers compete to attract and retain customers by adopting advanced digital tools. The result is that brands now can create a streamlined purchasing experience on their own website, apps and social media pages. Brands need a thoughtful approach when implementing a live commerce strategy. Here’s how to set your business up for success from the... read more

“5 Ways to Make Your Store a Place Employees Love” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

If you’re like most retailers, you’re always looking for ways to improve your employees’ satisfaction levels and keep them motivated. After all, a satisfied employee is more likely to provide better customer service.And frankly, only feeling great satisfaction with their own job will get them to want to give great satisfaction to your shoppers.You’ve heard me say it time and again, you don’t build your business. You build your frontline associates and they build your business.So, what can you do to create a retail store that employees will love? Here are five tips to get you started. 1. Create a positive and upbeat store environment When it comes to the store environment, it’s important to get it just right. You want your associates to feel comfortable and happy like they’re in a safe and supportive place where they can be themselves. But that also means they understand the guardrails of the retail job.One way to create the right environment is by being positive and upbeat. No one wants to work with a Gloomy Gus – especially one who has the power to fire them. Show your associates that you’re happy to be there and working with them. Smile, say hello, and be positive throughout the day.C-level execs often seem to miss the most important part of a store visit is giving time to those who can give the best feedback on culture – the retail associates. Make time and talk with them – not to them.Another way to create a great work environment is by having fun. Playing music before you open that is a Staff Pick, holding regular... read more

“U.S. retailers slash clothing prices as shoppers cut purchases” by Arriana McLymore via Reuters

A Victoria’s Secret store is pictured in Liverpool, Britain. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Inflation-weary U.S. shoppers have been skimping on clothing purchases, prompting retailers to slash prices to clear inventory off the racks. Gap was the latest retailer to report a slump in apparel shopping for the second-quarter, saying on Thursday that net sales slumped 8% from a year earlier to $3.86 billion. Earlier this month, executives at U.S. giants Walmart (WMT.N) and Target (TGT.N) offered deep discounts and rollbacks on clothing. Gap is “taking actions to sequentially reduce inventory, rebalance our assortments to better meet changing consumer needs,” Katrina O’Connell, Gap Inc. chief financial officer, said in a statement. Deep discounts on apparel, especially at Old Navy, hurt the company’s margins. Old Navy stores were not able to sell certain sizes and styles, while Gap struggled with mix imbalances for items including “mid-tops and casual shorts,” O’Connell said. Shoppers may see more promotions as the company keeps clearing inventory. In a Thursday earnings, O’Connell said she expects inventory levels in the third-quarter to be similar to Q2, with improvements in the fourth-quarter. Sales at U.S. apparel and accessory retailers have largely flatlined. Over the 12-months through July they averaged month-over-month growth of just 0.2%, according to Census Bureau data. At Hollister, the lower-priced line at Abercrombie and Fitch, sales declined 15% in the second-quarter compared to last year, the company said on Thursday, with trends moving away from pants styles and core categories. Abercrombie sales were up 5%. “Assuming recent trends remain consistent, we expect to continue to leverage markdowns in Q3 to keep seasonal items turning,”... read more

“Adapting to the New Normal in Retail: 5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Presence” by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle via Retail Minded

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumer buying behavior to the online world, forcing retailers to adapt quickly. Even as the world recovers from the pandemic, e-commerce still has a stronghold, so it’s crucial for retailers to cater to the needs of consumers who prefer to shop online. Since customers are now more inclined to shop at online retailers than offline brick-and-mortar ones, a digital presence is a must. A solid digital presence will help you get discovered. There’s no point in having an amazing product when people don’t even know about it. To make your product more visible to the audience, you need a good online presence. There are many channels through which your audience can find your company – an online ad, search results, social media posts, cold emails, etc. No matter how they find you, their first tendency is often to visit your website. According to a consumer survey, 56% of respondents said they don’t trust a company if they don’t have a website. This speaks volumes about the importance of having a digital presence. A digital presence is much more than a website that functions as an online brochure. Today’s businesses use a robust set of tools and technologies to maintain a digital presence that attracts their ideal audience, facilitate seamless transactions, and provide post-purchase support to boost customer loyalty. Companies like Argano can help you identify the right technologies and create a fully integrated digital foundation to support your e-commerce business. Investing in the right technologies is key, but there are other steps you can take to improve your digital presence as well. Let’s take a look at a few... read more

“Transactional reward programs are easy, but do they build customer loyalty?” by Tara Kirkpatrick via Retail Wire

Another day, another retail loyalty program launch. Bath & Body Works earlier this week debuted its “new” rewards program, which was soft-launched in July after it began testing in March. Bath & Body Works joins a slew of retailers and brands, including Lowe’s, Walmart and General Mills, that are doubling down on rewards to encourage customer loyalty in the face of rising prices. Is it a sustainable route to routine spending? Navigate to bathandbodyworks.com and a splash screen incentivizes downloading the app to access the rewards program. “PERK ALERT: ALL NEW REWARDS MEMBERS GET $10 OFF A $30 PURCHASE! (Offer and details will be in your Wallet within 72 hours of joining),” it reads. App downloads jumped 147 percent in the first two days of launch, according to our findings, but it will take a couple of months before engagement can be observed. On its face, Bath & Body Works rewards look similar to Sephora Beauty Insider rewards: both programs enable customers to earn points with every dollar spent. Sephora notably, however, does not focus its program on “transactional loyalty” or “doing whatever it takes to make the next sale, which usually hinges on a discount,” as the retailer’s VP of loyalty, Allegra Stanley told Forbes in 2020. Sephora did not join the bandwagon of rewards program updates this year; instead, it launched another digital experience to encourage loyalty, “auto-replenish,” or subscription refills of products. In July, it went further, partnering with Klarna to offer buy now, pay later for auto-replenish subscriptions. Arguably both subscriptions and rewards programs are oversaturated and require delicate design to drive value for both the consumer and the business itself.... read more

“Who is Strike Visuals and how can they help you to make your shop even more recognizable at events?” by Doug Works, BRA Executive Director

Strike Visuals is one of the newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner and has been leading the industry with high-quality promotional event products for years. Founded by the Stewart brothers in search of finding the best solutions for outdoor inflatable race arches and supplies at a reasonable cost, the business was born. Strike has been providing thousands of brands, teams, and companies with custom event products to help them stand out during their events. Strike strives to continue gaining the trust of many when it comes to quality, price, design, and guaranteed products. So why Strike Visuals? The answer is simple, if you want to get noticed during your events you will need custom products that represent your brand to its fullest potential. Strike Visuals has a wide variety of products including tents, table covers, flags, arches, and custom inflatable furniture. Designed to withstand any elements that you may encounter, every product is backed by the first industry-only lifetime warranty. Whether it’s two weeks, two months, or two years, if any product becomes damaged, we will repair it free of charge! What makes Strike Visual canopies different? Tents are an amazing option to help your brand get noticed during your next event. Most companies charge additional fees based on the number of sides printed and quantity of designs used. At Strike Visuals, all those fees are included in the price. No limit on how much you can print, what colors you can use, and how many sides you want to use. Strike tents are also built to last through any weather conditions. All canopies are weather sealed, flame retardant, and... read more

“The Reinvention of Curation” by Paco Underhill via The Robin Report

The display greeting you at the doorway is a huge geode of crystal amethyst; the asking price is $2000. Behind it is a mannequin wearing an American Museum of Natural History T-shirt. Even for a museum store, the amethyst was impressive. “How many blocks have you sold?” I asked. “Quite a few,” the store manager answered. “You’d sell more if there was a sign next to it that said: Happy to ship.” “Done,” she said. The New Museum Store The museum store has gone through a seminal evolution over the past 20-some years. When the renovated Museum of Modern Art opened in 2004, the decision was made to separate the gift stores. The store in the main building housed the books, posters, and catalogs linked to the exhibits. Across the street was the stand-alone MoMA store. In their promotional material, the MoMA store describes its collaboration among the store buyers and the curatorial staff as good design, innovation in materials and technology, and a conceptual fit to museum’s collections and exhibits. As with any retail enterprise, sustaining that first moment of wonder and awe on the fith-plus visit is the challenge. The museum store with a more frequent product rotation and unique offerings offers a better customer experience. Across the museum world the concept of a gift store has gone from a gloried souvenir kiosk to a full-blown retail concept. Museum shoppers are spread across the social and economic spectrum. Yes, the T-shirt crowd is looking for souvenirs, but there are also the affluent, sophisticated museum members and visitors who are willing to consider a broader cross section of... read more

“A 5-Point Road Map To Compete With Amazon” by Bob Phibbs via the Retail Doctor Blog

Levi’s made headlines when its stock gained 32% on its first day of trading. While Levi’s sales and profits are still growing, they didn’t come by accident. For years Levi’s brand foundered as competitors chipped away at one of America’s most iconic brands. Then Levi’s crafted and carried out a definitive plan of attack and they continue to reap the benefits. But this is not a post about Levi’s…  A lot of specialty retailers have loyal customers because they built their brand in their own way and did many things right at the beginning. But when the inevitable winds of change blow with increased competition like Amazon, the retailer can be rocked to the core…or even collapse like Payless, Charlotte Russe, and others. As your business matures, you notice holes in your foundation; things that should have been in place from the start to prepare for long-term growth are missing or unmaintained. Those gaps in your foundation are what makes you vulnerable to online retailers like Amazon. How you handle those holes tends to separate into two camps… You either settle for where you are and begin to slide backward, or you push yourself to keep moving forward even as the path ahead looks less and less certain. This is when you could use a map. Because the shocking truth is: Many retailers are their own worst competition. That opens the door for Amazon and the rest of your competitors. Here is a 5-point road map to compete with Amazon: 1. Set your goal to provide excellent customer service. An exceptional shopper experience is as much the setting as it is the encounter with your salespeople. When every... read more

“How Many Arrows Are in Your Quiver?” by Marc Weiss via The Management One Newsletter

In business, this is a metaphor for what resources and strategies are available to you in order to achieve your goal. The quiver holds the arrows, you as the store owner are the archer and the target is your retail business goal. The relationships to this metaphor are endless; like being the hunter, having enough replacement strings for your bow, (meaning always to be prepared), different types of arrows, not one strategy or tactic meets all situations, etc. Thinking about how many arrows are in your quiver is also a remedy to reduce stress, and thus focus on those arrows that solve problems, instead of focusing on precipitating factors that are expressed in fear, anxiety, and stress. Securing arrows in your quiver is also a way to mitigate risk. If you miss the target with one arrow, there is an ample supply of arrows to fall back on. If you are an Avengers fan you might have seen the jokes on Facebook, that Clint had a 3D printer available at lightning-fast speed. Wouldn’t that be nice? According to Google, Hawkeye had 32 arrows, 16 on each side that were visible. How many arrows are in your quiver, that you can call into action? Along with our OTB planning and merchandise intelligence, a key arrow, we have also created other tools that add to your quiver to make decisions. We have also built strategic partnerships with synergistic businesses that provide additional and important arrows. Here are some key “arrows” we have vetted that can make a difference in your retail business: OneShop Retail, brings clienteling to a new level for... read more

“Courtney Conlogue and Miguel Pupo Win 2022 Tahiti Pro at Firing Teahupo’o” by Staff via The Inertia

The surfers came. And Teahupo’o absolutely delivered all week. While the waves weren’t quite as big for finals day, the conditions were clean and glorious throughout as Courtney Conlogue made a late-season push, winning at Teahupo’o and Miguel Pupo nabbed his maiden CT victory. Push Play to view Finals Day of this remarkable Surf Contest Conlogue, who’d had a relatively quiet year (two even thirds in Australia were her best finishes), took down Brisa Hennessy in the final, who surfed brilliantly as well throughout the event, solidifying her spot in the final five at Trestles in September. That quiet year kept Conlogue, an Orange County native, from qualifying for the WSL Final at her home break but did move her into the seven slot in the rankings, easily within re-qualification for next year and sending her home with some momentum to close out the season. Miguel Pupo’s 2021-2022 campaign was an even slower burn than Conlogue’s. His younger brother, Samuel, it could be argued might have had a stronger season. Until now, that is. The 30-year-old Brazilian’s best finish this year was an even third at Pipeline. But Teahupo’o’s walls were a good match for the goofy-footer as he captured one of the most prestigious CT wins on the tour. It’s been a slow career burn for Pupo, in fact, who’s been grinding on the CT since 2011. The highlights were many in easily the WSL’s best event of the year. We leave you with two questions. How do you create more events like Teahupo’o? And doesn’t it feel like the WSL Final should take place somewhere like “The End of the Road?” Be... read more

“Technological Inventions That Shaped the History of Retail” by Bobby Marmahat via Total Retail

Brick-and-mortar retail is in a technology boom. While innovations like self-checkout, mobile apps, and digital kiosks were already popping up in stores, the pandemic only accelerated the adoption of new technologies to connect with customers and keep them safe. Despite focusing on face-to-face interactions and physical products, brick-and-mortar retail’s past is filled with technological innovation — though we may not think of them as such because they’re so ingrained into the shopping experience today. Here’s a look at some of the inventions that have shaped retail’s history, and some innovations that will shape its future. Cash Register Up until the invention of the cash register in 1879, storekeepers kept a record of sales in a ledger — and if the sale wasn’t recorded, it wasn’t tracked. Saloon owner James Ritty knew he was losing money from unrecorded sales and dishonest employees, so, inspired by a mechanism that tracked the number of revolutions of a ship’s propeller, he created a machine to track sales: the cash register. This new way of tracking sales, inventory, and loss allowed merchants to keep much more accurate records — and it’s only been improved upon since. Credit Cards While purchasing goods and services on credit has been a practice for ages, having a physical card to use is a fairly recent invention. The first credit cards were issued in the early 1900s by individual stores to their customers, and could only be used at that individual store. Issued in 1950, the Diners Club card was the first credit card that consumers could use at a variety of locations. The first bank-backed credit card was issued in 1958... read more

“GUERILLA MARKETING TACTICS WITH CLOWN SKATEBOARDS” by Alexis Castro via JENKEM MAG

A few weeks ago we came across what we thought was the most bizarre skateboarding collab of the year: Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and Clown Skateboards. How did a British skateboard company that none of us had ever heard of before, and only boasts a few thousand Instagram followers, manage to collaborate with one of the most popular and richest soccer (deal with it) clubs? Thankfully we dug deeper into our initial confusion and discovered that Clown Skateboards is actually not some new brand of teenagers ordering shirts off of Custom Ink. Instead, it’s a brand with ties to the early London skate and graffiti scenes. Even their logo was designed by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy. The brand went belly up in the early 2000s but was revived in 2020. Since their rebirth, founder Jeff Boardman has been making big steps in silence to reestablish Clown within the European skate scene as well as nurturing new scenes across the world. We wanted to bug Jeff about the future of Clown and try to figure out if he’s secretly Banksy or not. Can you tell me a little bit about the origins of Clown?We were around in 1999 or 1998, formed in East London. There was a bunch of us who just skated together and we formed into Clown around 2000. We ran it for five years and then from there — I mean, I was knackered in 2005, it was not going on – so then we put it on ice for a bit. We said, “Well, we’re going to come back to this in 18 months.” We had to earn some money, you... read more

“Surf Expo Attracts More Than 600 Exhibiting Brands to Upcoming September Show” via Shop Eat Surf (plus video of highlights from January Show & more)

Photo courtesy of Surf Expo PRESS RELEASES | Re-Published August 2022 ORLANDO, Fla.– (July 25, 2022) Surf Expo, the premier watersports and coastal lifestyle tradeshow, returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Sept. 8-10 in the West Concourse with a wide range of brands and a diverse floor plan.  Over 600 exhibitors are participating this September with an 18% increase in square footage compared to the previous September show.   “We are thrilled to return to Orlando this summer with an extensive and impressive list of brands to help retailers fulfill all their buying needs,” said Roy Turner, Surf Expo senior vice president and show director. “Coastal and beach related categories have been in high demand the past two years, and with our increased list of exhibitors, we look forward to introducing buyers to new brands as well as offering them a productive environment to connect with their existing brand partners.”  Brands exhibiting in the Watersports sections of Surf Expo include 4ocean, AVID Sportswear, Billabong, BN3TH, Body Glove, Brixton, Carve Designs, Carver Skateboards, Captain Fin, Dark Seas, Fair Harbor Clothing, Havaianas, HAYDENSHAPES SURFBOARDS, Hurley, IMSY, IPD International, Jetty, Katin,  …LOST, Lotus and Luna, Manhattan Beachwear, O’Neill, Otis Eyewear, Party Pants, POP Board Co., Psycho Tuna, Pura Vida Bracelets, Quiksilver, Rastaclat, Reef Apparel, Rhythm, Rip Curl, Roark, ROXY, RSVLTS, Rusty, RVCA, Saint Maddox, Salty Crew, Sand Cloud, SEATEC OUTFITTERS, Simbi, Sisstrevolution, Sun Bum, Surfer Dudes, Tahe Outdoors, Teva, Thread, Vissla, Volcom and YETI.   In the Coastal Life categories, brands attending the show include Beach & Barn, Bogg Bag, Dippin Daisys, ELAN, EXIST, Hang Loose, HUK, Kanga Coolers, Lakeshirts/Blue84, LowTides... read more

“STAY ON BOARD: THE LEO BAKER STORY – Takeaways From a Must-See Documentary” by Anthony Pappalardo via Artless Industria

My morning ritual begins by checking my text messages, followed by pruning my inbox from companies trying to sell me things and then setting my daily agenda. Today was no different but as I checked off empty white boxes next to eComms that would soon be directed to the trash, I received a scheduled email to myself, from myself to watch Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story which was released today on Netflix. Directed by Nicola Marsh and Giovanni Reda, Stay on Board is a powerful piece that packs an extremely complex and moving story over 1 hour and 13 minutes. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription I suggest getting a trial and ghosting or maybe finding an alternative way to view it. Today. Do it today if you have some free time. Before I get into a few takeaways and thoughts as to why I recommend you view this doc immediately, I thought I’d post a synopsis which I cut-and-pasted from its YouTube trailer: From Netflix, Pulse Films, a division of VICE Media Group, and Flower Films comes a raw and immersive feature film that follows competitive skateboarding icon Leo Baker in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics. As he faces the sharpening stakes and intensifying disconnect between how the world sees him and who he knows himself to be, the pressure to keep on the course or be true to himself comes to a career and a life-defining turning point. Stay on Board is Leo’s journey balancing the gendered world of sports, transition, society, and skate culture, which ultimately leads him to the most punk... read more

“Retail Check In: Ron Jon Surf Shop” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Ron Jon Surf Shop at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida – SES file photo By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Aug 2022 We speak to Ron Jon Surf Shop President Michele Goodwin, who provides very interesting details about sales and brand trends at the important retailer that has 13 high-volume stores along the East Coast.This article is available to our Executive Edition members.  https://shop-eat-surf.com/2022/08/retail-check-in-ron-jon-surf-shop/ Click here to login or click here to sign up for a free 30 day Executive Edition trial. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Employee Perks: Are You Giving Too Many or Not Enough?” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

Are you guilty of giving your employees too many perks? Or, are you not giving them enough? I read about a Canadian candy company looking for a Chief Candy Officer. The benefits? For a salary of up to $100,000, they get to taste 3,500 products every month. The most valuable perk though? It comes with “extensive dental coverage.” It can be tough to find the right balance between what you offer and what the employee wants, but it’s important to do so if you want to keep your team happy and productive. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the most common employee perks and how to determine whether or not you offer too many or too few. I’ll also provide some tips on how to create a perk program that works for your business. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to make changes to your current program, read on for some helpful advice! Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Perks: What are the benefits of employee perks and why should you offer them to your team members? Your employees will feel more appreciated and motivated when they know their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.Perks can boost morale by demonstrating every individual is valued within the organization – which encourages employees to feel responsible for its success.Giving employee perks shows that management cares about people beyond just their jobs – a reflection which has been shown time after again as being a critical factor in workforce retention strategies. How do you know if you’re giving your employees the right perks? The best way... read more

“Is 2022 Back-to-School Back to Normal?” by Warren Shoulberg via The Robin Report

It may seem like only yesterday that you heard kids singing, “No more pencils, no more books…” but here we are again deep into the 2022 Back-to-School season for retailers who supply all the stuff students need (and maybe don’t need) for their return to classes. And while apparel drives the BTS season, the home side of things is also a big business, especially for college kids heading back to dorms. Whether it’s classic items like laptops and mini fridges or somewhat more esoteric products like high-performance bedding and wall art, back-to-dorm is a serious business for many big national chains. School is Big Business Last year’s back-to-school shopping months – June to August – showed a 14.4 percent increase according to Census Bureau numbers, but these were also the months when overall shopping was quite robust as people began escaping from pandemic conditions. This year’s back-to-school season poses a unique set of challenges – and opportunities. On the one hand, inflation may be inhibiting consumers from splurging on too much school supplies. But this is also the first year since 2019 with no remote learning on the horizon, which may prompt parents to invest more in backpacks, clothing, and other essentials for learning in the physical classroom. Now following several years of partial or even complete study-at-home fall semesters, retailers are geared up for what appears to be not only back-to-school but back-to-normal for purchasing patterns. How this new demand balances out with overloaded inventory-induced markdowns remains the key question for this BTS season. The National Retail Federation forecasts that spending for K-12 back-to-school this year will be... read more

“The ‘Angriest Man in Surfing’ Proves the Days of Violent Surf Regulation Are Done” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

Andy Lyon decided that a rock needed to be implanted into this surfboard and the consequences for his actions are proof that it’s not okay anymore. Photos: Screenshot/YouTube In the first week of August, a Malibu resident named Andy Lyon took off on a wave at First Point. But when he took off on that wave, he burned someone, as is very likely to happen there. A small collision occurred — which is also very likely to happen there — but what Lyon did next cost him his job. Violence in surf lineups used to be a little more acceptable when surfing was still just a fringe activity. But now that it’s a full-blown sport with its own league and a giant industry around it, the days of window waxing, leash cutting, and water boxing are vanishing in the rearview. Lyon has taken off on plenty of waves in his 50-some-odd years surfing what has now become one of the most crowded waves in the world, and he’s one of the few people who can actually be called a “local.” After the collision, the 59-year-old proceeded to chase the other man’s board into the beach, pick up a large rock, and bash a giant hole in the bottom of it. That wasn’t quite enough for Lyon to make his point, though. He then took the surfboard, paddled back out towards the pier with it, and let it go. The other surfer, who hasn’t, as of this writing, been identified, is described as “in his 20s.” In the comments section of a now-deleted Instagram account, Lyon claimed that the other man involved... read more

“USOPC moves to decertify USA Skateboarding” by Alyssa Roenigk via ESPN

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee has initiated proceedings to decertify USA Skateboarding as the sport’s national governing body (NGB), a spokesperson for the USOPC confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday. “We initiated the decertification process, citing section 8 non-compliance violations,” said Kate Hartman, USOPC Chief External Affairs Officer, referring to the USOPC bylaw that governs its process to revoke an NGB’s certification. Hartman added that the organization is “at the very start of the process.” USA Skateboarding chairman Don Bostick did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The decertification news comes on the heels of a USOPC audit of USA Skateboarding, published in mid-July, that evaluated the governing body against 48 compliance standards. The audit found USA Skateboarding to be compliant in only 12 standards and deficient in 28. The deficiencies included not requiring background checks for staff, judges, athletes, board members and contractors, having their tax status revoked by the IRS in June 2021 and not having an anti-doping policy. The audit also deemed the NGB deficient in child protection and found “a number of significant concerns raised during the review, including athlete representation, conflicts of interest, USOPC funding, athlete safety and managerial capabilities.” Within weeks of the audit’s publication, USA Skateboarding Chairman of the Board Gary Ream resigned from his role with the organization. USAS appointed Bostick, a former National Skateboard Association president, to replace Ream. Ream continues in his role as the chair of the skateboarding technical commission for World Skate, the IOC’s governing body for skateboarding and roller sports. High-performance director Mimi Knoop, men’s head coach Andrew Nicolaus, women’s head coach and 2020... read more

“Skate Leaders Discuss Inventory Glut and State of Market” by John Stouffer via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

By John Stouffer | Published Aug 8, 2022 The skateboard industry is struggling with excess hardgoods inventory that’s affecting manufacturers, distributors, and retailers around the world. We talk to leaders at Arbor, Carver, Element, Eastern Skateboard Supply, PS Stix and more about the outlook for the skate market. This article is available to our Executive Edition members. Click here to login or click here to sign up for a free 30 day Executive Edition trial. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Proactive Service is the Key to Consistent, Positive Customer Experiences” by Bulent Cinarkaya via Total Retail

It’s 2022 and everything, including the way we shop, is hybrid. The 2022 Shopper Experience Index shows that almost two-thirds of consumers have embraced hybrid shopping permanently. Customers are shopping in person for products they’ve likely already researched online. Thus, the experience customers have when they go to a store needs to be as seamless, straightforward, and easy as it is when they browse the website. Given that so much of a store’s operations, from point of sale (POS) to back-room service to employee management, requires technology, ensuring it’s all working properly is key to keeping customers happy. Retailers need to think differently about IT service and ensure that they’re anticipating and preventing digital roadblocks before they reach the customer, and that their technology teams are set up to do their best work. Traditional Approaches to Service Eighty percent of customers say that they’ve switched brands due to a poor experience. That means just one malfunctioning POS system or an incorrectly catalogued item can be disastrous for a retail store’s reputation. Traditionally, regional or contract IT teams manage tickets as they come in from employees, troubleshooting and scheduling service as available. But in the meantime, at least one customer has already been negatively impacted, with more likely on the way. Rather than using a break-fix model, some organizations have moved to cycle-based maintenance to avoid negative experiences. This is typically more effective for equipment uptime, but it can result in performing unnecessary maintenance and actually adding to downtime. Proactive monitoring and automation to maintain the technology and infrastructure at a store is the only approach that will help retailers get this right... read more

“Will the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ model overcome economic and regulatory challenges?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) services, such as Affirm, Afterpay, Clearpay and Klarna, saw explosive adoption as e-commerce upshifted into a higher gear during the pandemic, but are now facing questions over their sustainability against a tide of rising interest rates, inflation and regulatory threats. The services let shoppers defer payments to a later date or break up purchases into interest-free installments. Rising interest rates narrow already-thin margins for BNPL providers. Their profitability is dependent on their own borrowing rates being much lower than the fees charged to merchants for their service. Soaring inflation and concerns about a possible recession are making consumers more apprehensive about purchasing the big ticket items best suited for extended payments. Finally, the fast growth of the largely-unregulated BNPL space has been drawing more scrutiny from state and federal authorities over concerns that consumers are not aware of the large late fees that can accumulate. Regardless, many consumers discovered the benefits of BNPL’s flexible payment options and avoiding the financial commitments involved with credit cards, even on lower ticket items. Experian’s “Global Insights Report,” based on a survey of 6,000 consumers globally in March, found that 18 percent had used BNPL in the past six months. Fifty-seven percent said they believe BNPL could replace their credit card and 71 percent perceive BNPL as secure. In the U.S, 80 percent of respondents use BNPL to avoid credit card debt. GlobalData’s report, “Buy Now Pay Later – Thematic Research,” which came out in late May, found BNPL expanding from $33 billion in 2019 to $120 billion in 2021, driven by greater adoption by merchants including Amazon and Shopify. GlobalData predicts BNPL sales will increase nearly five-fold to... read more

“Instagram rolls back some product changes after user backlash” by Kalley Huang and Mike Isaac

Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian were among the upset users who said the updates made the app too much like TikTok. Instagram said on Thursday that it was rolling back several recent updates to its photo-sharing app after Kylie Jenner and other celebrities joined a user backlash against the changes and criticized the platform for trying to be too much like TikTok. Instagram said it would pause tests of full-screen photo and video posts, which the app had introduced to replace its typical look of posts that take up just a portion of the screen. The app, which is owned by Meta, also said it would temporarily decrease the number of posts in user feeds that its algorithm recommended, a new feature that it had been trying out. Kalley Huang is a technology reporting fellow based in San Francisco. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. @KalleyHuang Mike Isaac is a technology correspondent and the author of “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” a best-selling book on the dramatic rise and fall of the ride-hailing company. He regularly covers Facebook and Silicon Valley, and is based in San Francisco.  A version of this article appears in print on July 29, 2022, Section B, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: After Users Grumble, Instagram Rolls Back Product Changes.  The New York Times is dedicated to helping people understand the world through on-the-ground, expert and deeply reported independent journalism. This mission is rooted in our belief that great journalism has the power to make each reader’s life richer and more fulfilling, and all of society stronger and more just. Check... read more

“The Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets of 2022, Reviewed” by Rebecca Parsons via The Inertia

Photo: Christinamae Sheley. Nothing puts a damper on an epic surf session more than being cold. If you’re anything like me, being cold means it’s game over. Once the shivers start, it’s time for me to paddle in, regardless of how good the waves are. Although summertime delivers plenty of waves and warm weather, if it’s a dawn patrol session or the wind is up, I tend to get chilly. Wetsuit jackets are easy to throw on, making them the perfect way to combat the cold. After some testing, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite wetsuit jackets for women. For more gear guides written specifically for women who shred, check out our guide to the best women’s wetsuits, the best women’s springsuits, the best women’s surf suits and rashguards, the best stay-put women’s swimsuits for surfing, and the best surf leggings for women. What Are the Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets? Kassia + Surf La Luna 2 MM Jacket ($158) Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Long-Sleeve Top ($129) O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket ($100) Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Long Sleeve Neoprene Jacket ($105) NRS Ignitor Jacket ($90) What Makes a Good Wetsuit Jacket? ComfortComfort is my number one priority for most clothing items and wetsuit jackets are no exception. I want my jacket to be cozy and comfy so I can wear it for marathon sessions and not have to worry about it bunching or causing chaffing. StyleIf I’m going to be wearing it often, I want something that looks good, so I feel confident wearing it for surfing, diving, and everything in between. DurabilityWhen I buy a wetsuit jacket, I expect it to last a few years... read more

“TikTok Live Shopping Is Booming In 2022. How Can Small Businesses Benefit?” by Catherine Erdly via Forbes Magazine

Live streaming is transforming some of the small businesses who have taken advantage of it’s powerGETTY “TikTok Shop LIVE has totally changed my business,” claims Sumayah Saadi, an LSE student who first set up her online shop aiming to provide affordable, modest fashion in February 2021 whilst still at university. With over 55,000 followers, Saadi’s business has seen significant growth since embracing TikTok Shop LIVEIVE -0.5%s. “The first time we went live, just to try it, we made £500 in 30 minutes. I figured that was a great result for such a short time, so we kept going. Now, it’s not unheard of for us to generate £50,000 from UK sales only during a 2 hour live and I would love to be selling live all day every day,” she explains, speaking via a video call. “Over the past year, we’ve seen merchants of all sizes transform their businesses through TikTok Shop, making the most of features like in-feed videos and livestreams to get their products in front of TikTok’s engaged community” says Patrick Nommensen, Senior Director, E-commerce Operations at TikTok. “It has been amazing to see the range of merchants now selling through TikTok Shop, from household names to small homegrown businesses.” Keen to encourage multi-seller events, TikTok has recently launched a series of TikTok Shop LIVE events. These have been hugely successful, with their recent Summer Sale event experiencing over 276 million LIVE views, and nearly 135 million views on associated hashtags. The interactive nature of live selling makes it perfect for almost any type of products – from jewellery, accessories, luggage and an unexpected hit – football trading cards. Nommensen highlights... read more

“USA Skateboarding chair resigns after audit finds multiple governance and financial problems” by Duncan McKay via Inside The Games

Gary Ream has resigned as the chair of USA Skateboarding (USAS) following concerns being raised over governance and financial misconduct at the national governing body. Ream, who played a leading role in helping skateboarding get on the Olympic programme at last year’s re-arranged Games in Tokyo, has been forced to step down following publication of a damning audit conducted by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). The revelations of the crisis that USAS finds itself in will be of concern to World Skate, the International Federation for skateboarding. Ream was appointed as chair of the World Skate Skateboarding Technical Commission in 2017 and oversaw the sport’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. As it stands, he will also be in charge of sport’s appearance at Paris 2024. The audit, completed last month, ruled that USAS was “deficient” in 28 of the 48 areas investigated. This included 13 of the 16 sections related to governance and compliance and all seven in financial standards and reporting practices. The USOPC audit found that USA Skateboarding was deficient in 28 areas ©ITG “Overall, Audit concluded that USA Skateboarding has only met 12 of the 48 compliance standards evaluated,” the audit, which insidethegames has seen a copy of, reported. “There were also a number of significant concerns raised during the review, including athlete representation, conflicts of interest, USOPC funding, athlete safety, and managerial capabilities.” The audit revealed that no financial reports had been presented to the USAS Board last year, that a budget for 2021 was never completed and that “there are multiple issues related to USOPC Funding”. This included paying unsubstantiated expenses, no documented... read more

“How to Choose the Right Tow Tower – Picking the right tow tower for your boat.” by Jeff Hemmel via Wakeboarding Mag

Push a button and Nautique’s Flight Control Tower telescopes up or down with the Bimini top in place. Courtesy Roswell Tow towers have gone from wakeboarding one-offs to standard equipment on most tow-sports boats, as well as an increasing share of runabouts, deck boats and even pontoons. Chalk it up to the ability to provide an elevated tow point, store wake- and surfboards off the cockpit sole, and add just a touch of coolness factor. Here’s what to look for. Drop Top “Some people only lower their tower once a year,” says Darrick Wilson, chief of design at industry-­giant Roswell. “But for someone who lowers their tower daily for a bridge or to get in a garage, folding is an important consideration.” Look for features designed to offset a tower’s weight, including compression spring systems, hydraulic or gas shocks, or electric-gear or worm-drive actuators. Release mechanisms vary, from bolts and pull pins to cam-style levers or even a simple push button. Under Cover Some ­Bimini tops are ­surprisingly small to integrate with a ­tower. Options with greater coverage make a world of difference in hot, sunny climates. Ask for a demonstration on how to handle the Bimini when folding the tower. Some can be quite cumbersome, while others prove easier. For example, the Bimini on the Roswell-­designed telescoping Flight Control Tower, exclusive to Nautique, can remain fully in place when lowered and still shade the crew. A wake tower provides airflow ability, good looks, and practical mounting of board racks, speakers and Bimini tops. Courtesy Roswell Built Strong Aircraft-­grade, 6061-T6 or 6063-T6 aluminum tubing in a minimum 1.9-inch diameter is still... read more

“5 Ways to Boost Team Morale” by Mike Szczesny via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Sarote Pruksachat There may be a day when you wake up and simply don’t have the motivation to do your job anymore. When you think about going to work, you may feel helpless, trapped, detached or cynical. This lack of motivation or interest related to your job is commonly known as burnout. Managing this fatigue in the workplace is an increasingly important task for employees, managers and directors. So, how do you boost team morale to prevent job burnout from taking hold of your employees and your workplace culture? Burnout can be contagious and can spread throughout your organization without the proper prevention strategy. Here are five things you can do to tackle the issue before it takes hold: 1. Just ask. Presumably, you’re not a psychic, so asking your employees what’s most challenging about their work experience and what could be done to mitigate those challenges is advisable. Open communication between various team members will slowly create the perfect environment for everybody inside the building. When people feel like they can talk about what’s challenging without the fear of losing their jobs or being ostracized, they’re more likely to share their thoughts. And as hard as that may be for you initially, it will only accelerate your company’s health. Consider options such as an anonymous feedback box or Google form. Even if your employees know it’s safe to share, anonymity helps lessen the anxiety that can still arise when sharing thoughts openly. 2. Organize team-building activities. Full-time employees spend around 40 hours per week inside office walls. Those 40 hours are spent with relative strangers... read more

“Instagram launches payment-in-chat feature for businesses” by Dani James via Retail dive

Instagram launched the ability for U.S. businesses to complete transactions in chats with shoppers. Courtesy of Meta Dive Brief: In an effort to simplify the customer journey for small businesses, Meta on Monday launched the ability for users to pay for products within Instagram chat, according to a press release.Qualified small businesses on Instagram can directly convert customer inquiries and interests directly into purchases using Meta Pay, without users needing to leave the chat. Completed orders can also be tracked in the same chat, creating a dedicated space for follow-up questions, per the release.The feature allows small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have an Instagram Shop digital storefront to still transact with shoppers in app. Dive Insight: Buying and selling on Instagram for businesses of any size just got a lot easier. “We want to help people start conversations with businesses they care about and help them find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread,” said the release. The ability to pay for products in chat means that businesses can more easily convert curious shoppers’ questions and concerns into purchases and allows for a more personalized experience where businesses could give direct recommendations. This launch is a step forward in Instagram’s evolution to become a one-stop retail destination. One billion people message businesses every week across Meta’s apps, which include Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. According to a study from NPD last year, Facebook and Instagram were both listed among the top platforms where consumers discover and learn about products.  Social commerce is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce, according to an Accenture report... read more

“5 Tips to Increase Retail Sales With Visual Merchandising” by Nick Gurney via Total Retail

As a retailer, you know that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to keep your business running. And while there are many different aspects of your business that require attention, arguably the most important is your sales. Ninety percent of the information sent to the brain is visual, therefore, a key strategy to boost sales is to focus on visual merchandising. And while traditionally visual merchandising applied to a retail store’s physical environment, the science of visual merchandising is no longer confined to brick-and-mortar — retailers can now use the same tactics to create immersive online shopping experiences as well. Effective visual merchandising transforms a physical or digital environment into an extension of a brand’s image. As such, visual merchandising efforts must be consistent throughout both physical and digital environments. A simple example is using the same color scheme in-store, on your website, and in your app. Here are five strategies to help any retailer master the art of visual merchandising, both in-store and online: 1. Know your customer. Knowing your customers is the difference between being a successful visual merchandiser and an average one. Successful businesses know who they’re selling to, what kind of people buy from them, and how best to provide satisfying solutions for those consumers both in-store and online so that more shoppers will come visit or make purchases on any product offered by this company — not only improving customer experience but also boosting profits. Visual merchandising is most effective when it’s guided by customer data. Using a customer relationship manager (CRM) tool to track what, when, why and how people shop... read more

Who is Earthpack and how can they help me with my custom shopping bags and other packaging needs? + free sample kit by Doug Works via BRA

Founded by Dave Bock in 1989 in Irvine, California, Earthpack has since taken recycling to a higher level by supplying recycled bags, boxes, tissue, labels, and more to eco-conscious businesses. Earthpack works with each client individually to custom design cutting-edge, repurposed packaging. By providing comprehensive distribution services and inventory management, we can supply quality materials for businesses of all sizes. Earthpack has implemented production and distribution services localized to retail locations so that companies can continue their environmentally-friendly packaging purchases from start to finish. FULL SERVICE CAPABILITIES Earthpack strives to provide businesses with the best and most cost-effective outsourcing solution for offsite warehousing, distribution, and inventory management needs. We provide a full-service backroom without the fixed overhead cost.  WAREHOUSING With more than 15,000 square feet of Earthpack warehousing space in Irvine, CA, we offer clients bulk discounts on retail packaging storage and eliminate the need and associated costs of maintaining their own facilities. ORDER FULFILLMENT Earthpack aims to process and ship orders with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Our service enables clients to order products at corporate levels and distribute at retailer level. We offer easy order access through email, phone, and online. FORECASTING We pride ourselves at Earthpack on expertly understanding and assessing clients’ retail packaging needs. We design automatic distribution plans based on analysis ranging from initial corporate bulk orders down to individual retail store needs. Today, Earthpack continues meeting the changing needs of the environmentally aware retail community, making it an industry leader in eco-friendly packaging. Furthering these efforts, Earthpack proudly supports and promotes Board Retailers Association. All BRA Retail Members will receive a free sample kit... read more

“What 5G and Edge Computing Mean for Retail” by Dan Picker via Total Retail

With the media and analyst attention 5G and edge computing are getting these days, it’s easy to sense they’re very important technologies. However, it’s not always easy to figure out what they mean for your retail business, or why they’re so often talked about at the same time. My goal is to help you connect those dots. I’ll start by describing what 5G means for retail, explain how edge computing fits into the picture, then outline how the two can be used together. 5G Accelerates Every Aspect of Retail Operations 5G wireless connectivity is extremely fast, reliable and secure, and it provides the low latency needed to support the most demanding, real-time retail applications. So, it gives you everything fiber gives you. However, because 5G is wireless, you can extend its benefits to the mobile and portable parts of your business, such as delivery trucks, kiosks and pop-up shops. Now you can bring the same level of high-speed connectivity and real-time operations to every aspect of your business. You have instant access to all transaction data, no matter where it originates, so you can immediately update inventory status. Furthermore, you can easily keep track of mobile fleets and distributed assets. You can also take advantage of a private 5G network that’s dedicated to your operations. Many feel that a Wi-Fi network is sufficient for business operations, however, there are some key differentiators: Related story: 2023 is Retail’s Pivot Point for Digital Innovation 5G works over licensed or semi-licensed spectrum, so it’s much more reliable than Wi-Fi and other unlicensed technologies.5G is more secure than Wi-Fi.5G supports a capability called network... read more

“Retail braces for the second half of the year, as cautious shoppers pay more but get less” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

Banoart/depositphotos.com Dive Brief: In the segments tracked by Retail Dive, retail sales in June rose 7.7% year over year, as e-commerce regained some momentum with a 20.6% rise, according to numbers released Friday by the U.S. Commerce Department.The gains are undermined by record inflation of 9.1%, reported the same week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Consumer sentiment remains near all-time lows and wariness around prices is enduring despite some relief at the gas pump, although inflation expectations may be improving, according to a report from the University of Michigan released Friday. Dive Insight: A nearly 8% jump in retail sales year over year would usually be good news for the industry, but this report requires a specialized lens: Higher prices mean consumers are spending more, but getting less. That’s leading households to prioritize essentials like fuel and food over discretionary purchases, as seen during Amazon’s Prime Day sale. “Total growth continues to run a little way below inflation which indicates, broadly, that volumes are in negative territory,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in emailed comments. “In simple terms, consumers did not buy more stuff in June — they bought less product but paid more for it. This is not a comfortable position as it makes consumers feel downbeat, which is one of the reasons confidence is sliding.” June’s retail sales rise does show that consumers so far “are powering through price pressures,” Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation, said in a statement, noting, however, that “inflation is eating away at savings built up during the pandemic and is wiping out recent income gains.” The situation is especially challenging for consumers already struggling to make... read more

“Sustaining Profitability and the Environment: A Retail Necessity” by Nathan Smith via The Robin Report

Industry Reality Check To set the context for new emerging retail crises, allow me to set up the situation we find ourselves in as a result of the pandemic. From my perspective, Covid-19 did not start any new trends; instead, it accelerated one that had already begun, which is, that people were starting to do more and more of their shopping online than at brick-and-mortar establishments. Not only was there an acceleration in those who were already comfortable in buying online, but something even more interesting happened. People who were not used to shopping online were forced to do so due to the various lockdown policies implemented by government. They quickly got comfortable with online shopping and started to embrace its ease and convenience, even if it came at an additional cost. Now, as Covid case numbers continue to ebb and flow, shoppers are returning to brick-and-mortar stores, but not at the levels we’ve seen prior to the pandemic. Some of those pandemic “forced” behaviors have stuck; from my own experience I never thought I’d see the day when my parents ordered groceries online, but now after having been forced to do it, they realize how much easier and more convenient it is and it is now their primary way of shopping. While this situation may seem like a boon to online retailers, it also comes with some unprecedented challenges. For one thing, there is extra risk built into the buying process as consumers can’t see, touch, or try on items before they purchase, leading to much higher return rates. Our research at Appriss Retail has shown that consumers... read more

“Maya Gabeira Wrote the Most Beautiful Children’s Book: ‘Maya and the Beast’” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

Maya’s first book is available August 2. Images courtesy of Abrams Books. For the last few years, Maya Gabeira has been working on something very different from her normal gig. She’s been writing books. You know Gabeira, of course, as the two-time Guinness World Record holder for big wave surfing and seven-time World Surf League Big Wave Award winner. She’s been tackling large surf for years now, battling not only the waves themselves but the detractors that inherently shout from the sidelines when a woman dips her toe into a place that’s traditionally been a testosterone pit. But through it all, from her childhood to present day, Maya has simply put her head down, done the work, and accomplished exactly what she decided she wanted to accomplish. And her books — two children’s stories and a young-adult memoir — have reflected that resilience. Her first picture book, Maya and the Beast, releases in hardcover and e-book editions on August 2. Next year, in the spring of 2023, her young-adult memoir hits shelves. Then, in the fall of 2023, her second picture book will be available. A three-book contract is an impressive feat for an established writer, let alone someone who, by her own admission, hadn’t thought about being a writer until a good title for a book hit her while she was on a walk. The idea for Maya and the Beast came to Gabeira while on a walk with her dogs. Image courtesy of Abrams Books. “It happened right there,” she told me over the phone on a July morning. “I never thought about it before… I was hiking with my dogs every day... read more

“YouTube, Shopify Partner to Offer Creators Livestream Shopping Option” by Marie Albiges via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Courtesy of YouTube Creators and merchants on the Shopify e-commerce platform can now feature their products across their YouTube channels, thanks to a new partnership between the two businesses. The new collaboration allows creators to link their Shopify stores to their YouTube channel, offer livestream shopping, and enable viewers to purchase their products without leaving YouTube. Shopify users can get started by visiting the “Shopping” tab in their YouTube Studio. In a press release Tuesday, Shopify said merchants would reach over 2 billion monthly logged-in users on YouTube through this partnership. Total Retail’s Take: Shopify is used by millions of merchants across 175 countries who will now have another way to sell their products, provided they have a YouTube channel. That, combined with the millions of people who go on YouTube every day, means more eyeballs than ever on businesses that have a Shopify account. As Shopify’s Vice President of Merchant Services Kaz Nejatian told Fast Company, “Hopefully what we’re doing is creating a new venue for entrepreneurship in a way that didn’t exist before.” Google, which owns YouTube, has been expanding access to shopping features for some time now. It has streamed live events like Coachella and Brazil’s Paulistão soccer tournament and made them shoppable for viewers, Variety reports. With this latest update, the company is also introducing a new shopping destination in “Explore” for viewers in the United States, India and Brazil, which features relevant shoppable content. It plans to expand this feature into other countries later this year. About Marie Albiges Marie Albiges is a senior editor for NAPCO Media’s Retail & Travel Group, including Total Retail, Women in Retail, and... read more

“Monthly retail sales from the US Commerce Department” by Daphne Howland and Caroline Jansen via Retail Dive

Photo Illustration: Shaun Lucas/Industry Dive; Getty Images The department’s Census Bureau tracks estimates each month. Retail Dive provides the numbers for key segments, and their year-over-year progress, or decline. Editor’s Note: Comparisons for individual segments are updated each month to reflect the government’s revisions to its year ago figures. A full methodology for how Retail Dive tracks retail sales figures is included at the bottom of this page. Every month, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, releases its first calculation of the previous month’s retail sales. At Retail Dive, we report these figures by grouping the key segments that define “retail” in a way that we hope is most meaningful to the industry. We use unadjusted, advance numbers and year-over-year comparisons, with the government’s most recent revisions to its year-ago estimates. And although we of course include e-commerce, captured in the federal report as “nonstore retailers,” readers will note that the government includes sales from businesses not generally thought of as “e-commerce.” YoY sales performance by sector Monthly retail sales How key retail sales fared year over year Total sales+8%Non-store+21%Furniture & home+2%Sporting goods, hobby, bookstores0%General merchandise-1%Clothing & accessories-3%Electronics & applicances-10%Retail Dive calculates “total retail sales” of core segments, as well as what the Commerce Department calls “Nonstore retailers.” That includes e-commerce, mail order and infomercials, but also revenue from subsectors not generally considered traditional retail, including vending machines, home delivery (including newspapers and home heating oil), door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstrations and portable stalls like non-food street vendors. Year-over-year comparisons use the most recent revisions to estimates; year-to-date numbers use only advanced numbers. Data from U.S. Census Bureau, Advanced Monthly... read more

“Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Model Wakesurfing and Wakeboarding Legislation” by WSIA Staff via WSIA Newsletter

Last week, representatives from the recreational boating industry – including NMMA, WSIA, Heyday, Indmar Marine Engines, and MasterCraft – joined Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for an official signing ceremony of the industry-backed model wakesurfing and wakeboarding legislation. The new law entered into force on July 1, 2022, and marks the first state to adopt the industry’s model legislation.  “We appreciate the leadership of Governor Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly in passing this legislation,” said Lee Gatts, Director of Government Affairs for WSIA. “This commonsense legislation enhances safety and maintains the ability for every user group to share the states’ waterways while alleviating environmental impact concerns.”  Sponsored by Senator Ken Yager and Representative Dennis Powers, the bill enhances safety requirements for those engaging in wakesurfing and wakeboarding by: Requiring operators to stay at least 200 feet away from all shorelines, docks, piers, or other structures. This means that a channel needs to be at least 400 feet in total width to be considered an appropriate area for these activities.  Riders engaging in towed watersports must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Prohibits wakesurfing and wakeboarding between the hours of sunset and sunrise.  Prohibits wakesurfing from a boat with an exposed (beyond boarding platform) propeller. Prohibits wakesurfing and wakeboarding on a body of water less than fifty (50) acres in size.  “Working in the boating industry and being an avid boater and wakesurfer myself, I personally cannot thank the WSIA and the NMMA enough for stepping in and successfully amending a bill, that that was originally intended to ban wakesurfing in my home state, into a positive piece of... read more

“The Raglan Surf Report: Why Surf Judges Keep Their Identities Secret” by Will Sileo via The Inertia

There’s a lot of hate out there in the world, no small amount of which is often leveled at competitive surf judges. No idea what I’m talking about? Go check out any of the WSL’s Instagram posts from the El Salvador Pro, scroll through the comments, and if you still don’t know what I’m talking about shoot me an email and I’ll happily clear things up by sending someone over to give you a two-by-four to the cabeza. As such, the WSL and any competitive surfing organization does a lot to protect the anonymity of its judges. We wouldn’t want an angry Italo Ferreira doing this to the boards in front of their beachside cabanas now would we? Much less a band of angry surf fans doing the same. Here’s how the surf authorities that be make sure the above never happens. Push Play Be sure to visit The Inertia website to view valuable Surfing related News and Resourceful Articles regularly. Speaking of helpful articles from the good people behind The Inertia, you may want to click on the following link to learn about how BRA Supporting Vendor Partner SurfCare can help you generate additional revenue from Surfboard Sales without increasing inventory: https://www.boardretailers.org/you-might-not-need-to-worry-about-breaking-a-brand-new-surfboard-ever-again-via-the-inertia/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“3 Tips to Grow Your Business With Short-Form Video” by Melissa Oppenheim Lano via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by fizkes The average person’s attention span has decreased over the years — with some experts saying it’s now under 10 seconds — due to the large amount of information constantly vying for their attention. Not only is it harder to keep people engaged, but it’s now also harder to retain their loyalty, as pandemic constraints have increased people’s willingness to experiment with new brands. This shifting landscape can present challenges for businesses’ marketing efforts, but companies are investing and finding value in short-form video as a tool to gain attention, build community, and differentiate their brand in an increasingly saturated marketplace. Video has now become a critical part of any modern marketing strategy. More importantly, customers are asking for it. Nine out of 10 people said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses. As short-from video continues to grow in importance, here are some best practices on how to create engaging video content to grow your business and create value for your customers: 1. Engage your customers in a conversation around your content. You can invite your community to get to know your brand by filming behind-the-scenes content and interact with them by asking for their opinion and responding to the conversation in the comments. When brainstorming, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what content you’d love to see or learn about from your favorite business. Related story: Reels vs. TikTok in the Fight for Video Commerce Market Share 2. Use audio to excite your customers and inject some personality into your brand. Select a trending song, try a new sound effect, or... read more

“TikTok creates program for small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Mario Tama / Staff via Getty Images Dive Brief: Joining other social platforms in releasing tools for small businesses, TikTok has created Follow Me, a six-week educational program from July 11 to Aug. 19 for small and midsize companies seeking to increase sales using the platform, according to a Monday announcement. The Follow Me guide will outline how businesses can set up a business account, use the Creative Center to generate content ideas and learn how to use the app’s ads manager and promotion tools for rolling out TikTok campaigns, per the announcement.The company has chosen Cassie Sorensen, owner and founder of Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, owner and founder of Feel Your Soul, to serve as its small-business ambassadors and share tips with program participants for using TikTok to increase sales.  Dive Insight: In its announcement, TikTok said it wanted to shepherd more small businesses onto the platform to reach more consumers and, in turn, achieve their goals. Last summer, the platform hosted its Small Biz Block Party virtual workshop series, which aimed to help small businesses reach consumers and grow their businesses. It cited a report from Hello Alice indicating that 81% of small businesses say that TikTok is fun, and 73% say it is easy to use. TikTok is looking to prove its worth to businesses of all sizes based on its consumer data. The company cited a study from Material noting that TikTok users are twice as likely as users on other platforms to recommend a product or service they found on TikTok. They are also 1.5 times more likely to influence consumers to purchase that product or service, Material found.... read more

“Will Yeezy find it easy to operate stores?” by Matthew Stern via Retail Wire

Sneakerheads and streetwear enthusiasts may soon have a new brick-and-mortar store to visit. YZYSPLY, the sneaker and apparel company of sometimes-controversial rapper, producer and fashion entrepreneur Kanye West, has filed a trademark hinting that a physical storefront for the brand could be on the way. The trademark provides the foundation to let the brand expand from “online ordering services” and “online retail ordering services” to brick-and-mortar “retail stores” and “retail store services,” according to Hypebeast. In addition to sneakers, the filing mentions the availability of clothing and accessories, such as lingerie, t-shirts and hats. Mr. West’s branded Yeezy shoes and clothing are produced via partnerships with Adidas AG and Gap Inc., and in 2021 the brand was worth between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg. His exclusive, collector-oriented sneaker line is known in particular for its limited-release drops. The sneakers are so sought after that purchasing most releases requires winning a raffle, according to Sneaker News. Physical sneaker retail has undergone a big shakeup over the past few years, as top brand Nike began withdrawing from some of its biggest wholesale relationships and significantly throttling back what is available through others. Nike has stated that its move away from wholesale is intended to pare down its “undifferentiated” retail partners as it simultaneously focuses on selling via its direct-to-consumer channels. The brand has long had a footprint of standalone Nike stores through which it sells its products. It also orchestrates drops and other exclusive selling events through its popular Nike SNKRS app. Nike’s change in plans earlier this year left Foot Locker, a major sneakerhead destination and Nike co-opetitor, looking for other partnerships to... read more