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

“How To Avoid Hearing A Customer’s “No, I’m Just Looking” Ever Again” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Were you ever picked by a teacher to come up in front of class when you weren’t prepared to speak? It felt like hell, I bet. There’s an area of your retail store shoppers will avoid; it is the first eight feet after your doors. Some call it the decompression zone, some call it the threshold area—it should be called The Hell Zone. The Hell Zone because shoppers don’t want to go there. They might remember a past experience where an aggressive employee pounced on them wanting to shake their hand. Or they might remember another employee asking them a question, when all they wanted to do was get their bearings.  They had to blurt out a No just to get rid of the pesky employee. It’s hell because employees don’t want to go there either. They’ve asked a stranger in their most helpful way, Can I help you? and those darn shoppers always answer No! or No, I’m just looking! After weeks of this rejection, your employee gives up trying, says nothing, and retreats to the counter to text a friend. Because shoppers answer these greetings over and over with a negative, employees feel dehumanized. That negativity and lack of connection also opens the door to rudeness. Customers turn their back and walk away; they talk on the phone at the register; they haggle over prices or make unrealistic demands. It’s hell too because owners and managers see this happening time and time again but don’t know what to do to change it.  Until now… Discover how to create your best retail sales strategy with this comprehensive primer Use these steps to avoid, “No, I’m just looking.” First,... read more

“New PPP Loans For Businesses With 20 Employees Or Less” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

The Biden administration announced five major changes in the Payroll Protection Program this week to make access to PPP loans more equitable, which could make a big difference for small businesses. Starting February 24, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for PPP loans exclusively for businesses under 20 employees and sole proprietors. The application period will occur over two weeks, with the SBA accepting program applications through March 10, 2021. If your business has 20 employees or less, check the SBA’s website to find a lender, find the right loan for you, and more. Borrowers may also be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness here. These changes are critical for small business nationally, considering only an estimated 5 percent of small businesses have received support thus far. According to USA Today, we have said goodbye to 400,000 small businesses since the start of the pandemic. To help prevent these numbers from continuing to climb, it is vital that indie retailers receive the help and support they need to push through the pandemic. SBA also announced four additional changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses than ever before. While these changes are being implemented, SBA will work with community partners to improve the emergency relief “digital front door” and conduct extensive stakeholder outreach. The organization will also strengthen its relationships with lender partners to advance equity goals, deliver funding efficiently, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Here are the four additional changes: Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicantsEliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access... read more

“Jump on Board with Locally” by Callista Tufankjian

 Come ride the Locally wave Are you Looking for a new way to connect brands, shoppers and retailers? Locally is your answer. Locally is a dynamic store and product locator company with thousands of retailers integrated providing shoppers with nearby, in stock products throughout multiple channels. Retailers, if you haven’t already heard of Locally, let’s dive in and learn more about our latest technology and advancements. How will this help your business?  Locally’s mission is to help retailers surface their in-stock merchandise to nearby online shoppers by using digital marketing tactics, merging brand-provided digital product content with POS stock information. We connect shoppers to local stores that currently have the product they are looking for in-stock. Our platform keeps the workload for stores low, while driving new online shoppers into the door. Our platform closes the gap between retailers, shoppers and brands. We strive to bring everyone together.  Keep your customers happy  It is key to keep your shoppers happy, especially during a pandemic. Locally is all about convenience. We make it simple for any size retailer to offer in-store or curbside pickup and/or same day delivery to their community. Locally also displays local events, store hours and many more features. These advancements will help keep your customers satisfied. People live very busy lifestyles and Locally will save everyone time. Locally is here to simplify the shopping experience for the consumer and the retailer!   Shopping Locally is the way to be Shopping at your favorite local shop is the best way to support your community. Locally permits retailers to broadcast what they have in stock to local consumers. Without... read more

“You Might Not Need to Worry About Breaking a Brand New Surfboard Ever Again” via The Inertia

Editor’s Note: Just bought a new surfboard? Check out Surfcare, a new option for peace of mind. You just dropped an unforgiving grand(ish) on a creamy white hunk of fiberglass – straight off the rack from your local surf shop. It’s silky to the touch. Your eye skims its clean eyes with adoration. You’re beaming with pride. You’re also a little sheepish about the purchase. The expense to fragility ratio is merciless. The reef doesn’t care about your investment. Nor does the minefield of surfboards at crowded spots like Malibu. Nope. They’ll happily break your board for you and kill that joy at no cost. The fragility of expensive surfboards has long defied logic for addicted, cash-constrained surfers. But a sensible solution may have just hit the market. Enter Surfcare: insurance for your brand new surfboard. “I was on a six-month trip to Indonesia when I had my ‘aha’ moment,” says Surfcare Founder Nick Stolz. “I showed up to the tiny Island of Sipura in the Mentawais with a brand new quiver of boards. Within a couple weeks, however, I broke every single one of them surfing HT’s and waves on neighboring islands. That’s when I decided to make Surfcare a reality.” Surfcare cofounder Nick Stolz charging Nias prior to breaking all of his surfboards and deciding to do something capitalist about it. Photo: Courtesy Stolz According to Stolz, the brand launched last month after three years of development and hoop-jumping to abide by regulations in the understandably no-nonsense insurance industry. Insurance is not a bro-bro industry.  Warranties must be vetted and maintained. “To get a little into the weeds, I didn’t know what I was... read more

“Did you miss the live M1 webinar session this week? Not to worry, we recorded it for you!” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One

In this free educational webinar we sat down with industry experts to discuss changes to round 2 of the PPP geared towards helping small businesses. What does this mean for YOUR retail business? We cover everything you need to know on our live webinar session. In December, the PPP loan program was given new life, but that’s not the only source of financial assistance available to retailers in this crisis. Join Management One as we invited a panel of financial experts to discuss the levers available to retailers to optimize access to government stimulus options and evolve their merchandise strategies. Financial Keys to Retail Success in 2021 PPP and Beyond Webinar on Demand Download the PPP Worksheet here: https://www.management-one.com/ppp-lo…​ Thank you for attending our live session as we sat down with industry experts to discuss changes to round 2 of the PPP geared towards helping small businesses. What does this mean for YOUR retail business? We’ll cover everything you need to know on our live webinar session. In December, the PPP loan program was given new life, but that’s not the only source of financial assistance available to retailers in this crisis. Join Management One as we invite a panel of financial experts to discuss the levers available to retailers to optimize access to government stimulus options and evolve their merchandise strategies. View this free, live discussion with Rich Rose of Rainstar Capital and Missy Waites of Alliant Group as we talk through the various financial options retailers have at their disposal. Marc Weiss, Erin King and Paul Erickson from M1 will also offer key insights into how these... read more

BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently enacted State and Federal level small business relief (PPP2 and more) as well as new PPP instructional webinar on February 24, 2021

Welcome to the BRA COVID-19 Resource Guide. Below you will find resources for the benefit of all board specialty retailers (BRA Retail Members and non-members alike) during this challenging period. The Board Retailers Association is actively aggregating resources to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters. We update this page with additional resources regularly. If you are interested in contributing relevant information or helpful resources that will benefit other board specialty retailers, please email our Executive Director at doug@boardretailers.org Relevant and trustworthy online resources providing facts related to transmission of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and strategies to battle the spread #spreadthestokenotthevirus Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Official Website Flatten The Curve – Everything you and your customers need to know to battle COVID-19 is on this website World Health Organization – Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak This epic and relevant drawing was created by Reddit User Darth Voter Relevant educational webinars (on-demand) > Crystal Media – 3 Tips To Get Started With Social Selling Today and Staying Top-of-Mind and Connected to Customers During a Pandemic > Management One – 1) “The Retailer’s Guide to the Economic Stimulus Package & Financial Options to Address COVID-19” – The CARES Act is a complex mix of government aid and bank loans each with their own timelines and requirements. The parameters and regulations for these loans is changing hourly! 2) With rent being one of the highest monthly expenses for brick and mortar retail businesses, it’s a good idea to approach the subject of temporarily altering the structure of your agreement – The Art of Landlord Negotiation to Ease the Highest... read more

“The London Bridge Skateboard Hero” via Transworld Skateboarding

In 2017, three terrorists driving a van ploughed into people in central London before taking to the streets to randomly attack anyone they came across. At the same time, Ignacio Echeverría was having a typical Saturday Night out skateboarding with his friends. Hear how those two separate events came together with horrifying consequences. Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for being such a solid resource. Be sure to click on and bookmark the following link for relevant news, intelligent articles and ripping skateboarding:  https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Top 11 Causes of Boating Accidents – These 11 mundane events cause the most critical boating accidents.” by Steve Griffin via BoatingSafetyMag.com

Most critical boating accidents stem from these 11 events. Zach Stovall Boating accidents make news. Maybe it’s a throwback to the great tales of misadventure at sea. Maybe it’s their novelty; many mundane activities are statistically riskier. But beyond the headlines, one or more of a relative handful of causes are usually to blame, says Randy Vance, editor-at-large at Boating. Here are 11 situations to avoid: RUNNING OUT OF GAS: It’s amusing, maybe, on small water in good weather or when a marine towing company can quickly bring rescue in a gas can. But run out of gas in the middle of the Gulf Stream, or just above Niagara Falls, and the situation can be dire. How does this happen? Maybe you miscalculated your bearing and burned up too much fuel finding your way, or you fished or cruised longer than you intended. Perhaps you skirted unexpected storms or ran offshore to avoid them. Or maybe you just plain forgot to gas up. Plan ahead: Calculate how much fuel you need, and then add a generous cushion. “If I’m going 25 miles offshore to fish,” Vance says, “I figure 15 gallons out, 15 gallons to fish and 15 gallons back. Then I add 5-10 gallons (about 10-20 percent) for a safety margin.” Your mileage may vary, so be even more conservative until you get to know yours. RUNNING AGROUND: Sometimes entertaining, often embarrassing, occasionally truly dangerous — that’s grounding. Vance says that while commuting by boat to his family’s Lake of the Ozarks resort and marina, more than once he came upon a boat high and dry in the woods, evidence... read more

“Skateboarding eyes brighter future with USOPC support on mental issues” by Rory Carroll via Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The skateboarding community, rocked by several prominent deaths related to mental health issues, is hoping the benefits that go with the sport’s inclusion in this year’s Tokyo Olympics will help its athletes tackle the underlying problems.Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk rides his during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Vista, California, U.S., May 8, 2020. Picture taken May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake Briton Ben Raemers died by suicide in 2019, skateboarding pioneer Jeff Grosso passed away after a drug overdose in 2020, and 22-year-old Henry Gartland took his own life last month, highlighting the urgent need to address issues like depression and addiction. “Skateboarding is a very tight-knit community,” said USA Skateboarding CEO Josh Friedberg. “Everyone has these links to each other and that makes losses like these tougher to deal with because there’s so many personal connections. “The good news is that it’s causing people to think more deeply about mental health in skateboarding – trying to figure out new ways to support the people that they love and care about.” Friedberg said one key development is that the athletes now have access to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) mental health services for the first time. “We’ve been really lucky to have the support of the USOPC in this situation,” he said. “They have been proactive in providing mental health resource for our team and staff.” Tony Hawk, one of the world’s most famous skateboarders, said that while there has been progress in combating the stigma associated with mental health, more work needs to be done. “I’d like to say... read more

“Shopify adds Shop Pay to Facebook, Instagram” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: As social commerce accelerates, Shopify is integrating Shop Pay into Instagram and Facebook, the e-commerce platform announced on Tuesday. The move allows consumers to pay Shopify merchants using Shop Pay on those platforms. Shop Pay automatically fills in consumers’ details and allows them to pay without leaving Facebook or Instagram, the company said. Users will also be able to track orders after purchase and see carbon emissions offsets from their purchases, among other things.Shop Pay facilitated more than 137 million orders in 2020 and almost $20 billion in gross merchandise value since it launched in 2017. Brands like Allbirds, Kith, Beyond Yoga, Blueland and Jonathan Adler use Shop Pay, per the announcement. Dive Insight: One of the pain points with shopping on social media platforms has been the experience of actually buying products, which can often be a clunky process or lead consumers out of the app. Shopify is looking to improve that experience for its merchants by offering consumers an in-app purchasing method that it claims is 70% faster than other checkout systems. According to Shopify, Shop Pay has a 1.72 times higher conversion rate, leading to fewer abandoned carts for merchants. The platform also lets customers track their purchases, receive updates and oversee their orders, the company said. The collaboration between Shopify, Instagram and Facebook comes as brands increasingly tap into shoppable content to drive sales. The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated that 40% of marketers would use shoppable video ads in 2020, an increase from 33% in 2019 and 25% in 2018. The demand for social shopping has pushed platforms to enhance their own capabilities. Last year, Instagram expanded its in-app shopping... read more

“Love Letters To Small Businesses” by Lora Kelley via The New York Times

Illustrated by Broobs Small businesses make communities — whether densely populated urban areas or small towns — feel like home. It’s no secret that many businesses have been struggling over the past year. In New York City alone, almost 3,000 businesses closed between last March and August, and small businesses shed 520,000 jobs. Across the country, small businesses, from bakeries to shoe stores to day care centers, have struggled to stay afloat amid pandemic restrictions and a recession. But through these challenges, small businesses continue to touch their customers’ lives. And many patrons are more loyal than ever to the people behind these businesses. The most loved small business workers do more than sell products: They foster a sense of community. To better understand how local businesses do this, we asked our readers to tell us about a small business they love. More than 500 people wrote in to share how small businesses and their employees have offered them kindness in hard moments, brought them joy and reinforced a sense of community even during periods of isolation. Here are four grateful customers, in their own words, on the small businesses that are special to them. These accounts, drawn from interviews and submissions, have been edited and condensed. TO JEANELLAND DERRICK MORGAN The kindshopkeepers whokeep all kindsof families in theirthoughts. FROMSUSAN WEXLER COHEN Before I had ever met Jeanell, she sent us a “cheer” package filled with superhero items for my then-infant son, Elliot. It was about eight years ago, and she heard that Elliot had a rare medical condition through a friend of our family who went into the store she... read more

“Mark McMorris, Zoi Sadowski-Synott Win Natural Selection in Jackson Hole” by Ben Osborne via The Inertia

Mark McMorris has been here before. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool If you’re tuned into the core snowboard community, you know the value of a proper switch method — and from the moment Mikkel Bang took the win over Pat Moore in the Quarterfinals with a switch Method, one thing was abundantly clear — Natural Selection is a competition for your favorite snowboarder’s favorite snowboarder. The judging might have had the masses scratching its collective head here and there, trying to decipher trick differences and what constituted a stomp, those sorts of details, but in the end, most of it made perfect sense, and the finals day went down flawlessly. The men’s quarterfinals kicked off the day with matchups that couldn’t have been better on paper — Austen Sweetin vs. Blake Paul, Ben Ferguson taking on Sage Kotsenburg, Mikkel Bang and Pat Moore facing off, and two riders who may go down as G.O.A.T’s, Mark McMorris and Travis Rice going head to head. Displaying the ultra-smooth style and consistency we’ve seen from Paul throughout the competition, the Jackson Hole native put down a run that Sweetin simply couldn’t match in form or function on this day (especially with a missed landing or two). Ferguson managed to edge out Sage Kotsenburg. Both put down epic runs. A fall on a switch 9 on the final hit doomed Sage’s chances of taking the heat from the ultra-smooth Ferguson, though. The two surprises of the day came when McMorris took down event organizer/backcountry god Travis Rice, laying down a flawless run with back-to-back 7’s that looked all too easy. Rice, knowing he had to step things up... read more

“Why you need to make Online Reviews a focus in 2021” by Shannon Blake of Podium

Reviews can be make-or-break for any business, and that’s never been more true than it is in 2021. But what do customers care about most? Is it simply just a good star rating? Is it worth your time to respond to reviews? And what makes customers more likely to leave reviews?We surveyed 2,376 people (1,543 consumers, 455 SMB owners/managers, 378 enterprise business leaders) to better understand the role reviews play in 2021. Learn what we found in our 2021 State of Reviews Report. If you are currently a BRA Regular or Distinguished Retail Member, you can email doug@boardretailers.org to receive the aforementioned 2021 State of Reviews Report. If you are not yet a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member, please complete the super simple join form  Shortly after it is received, we will email you the report as well as the link to access the BRA Office Depot Preferential Pricing Program. BRA note: We are very pleased to announce that Podium has joined Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to the solid people behind this outstanding resource, be sure to email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive... read more

“Office Depot Preferential Member Pricing Program now available for all BRA Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members”

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. 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 Pricing Program. The image below elaborates on this outstanding Member Benefit, which is available to both Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members. 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 rad program and begin saving on over 20,000 Office Depot Products and Services: https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ #boardretailersassociation... read more

“LET’S TALK WITH CHRIS NIERATKO ABOUT SKATE SHOP DAY, THE EVOLUTION OF SKATE SHOPS, GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, THE OLYMPICS AND MORE” by Jordy via Good Day To Skateboards

Chris Nieratko has been a big voice in skateboarding for more than twenty-five years. More recently, him and his friends started Skate Shop Day, which will be held on February 19th this year, for its second edition. We had the chance to talk with him to learn more about it, to discuss the evolution of skate shops, the importance of giving back to the community and more. Grab a drink, some snacks, and enjoy this very interesting interview. How did you come up with the idea of creating the Skate Shop Day in 2020? When did you first think about it? Truth be told, it’s not my idea entirely. My friend Scotty Coats, who works in the music industry, is a lifelong skater, and he was on the ground floor of Record Store Day which has been hugely successful. It’s pretty remarkable because they now have it twice a year, earlier in the year and then I think it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. Scotty was telling me that these mom-and-pop record stores have a special day, they get exclusive and limited product. And in that day, they generate three to five months’ worth of rent, in one single day. I was blown away by that alone and he’s like, “We should do this for skate shops”. I absolutely fell in love with the idea and so that was last February, we thought of it on a Friday, and the following Thursday we launched a website and Instagram, thanks to artist Sasha Barr for lending us his, “Support your local skateshop” artwork. That first skate shop day I basically went through my cell... read more

“The Winter Show Continues” by Lisa Ramsperger via OR Magazine

Outdoor Retailer Winter Online is just getting started. While Summit Days have passed, the digital marketplace remains active and education is ongoing through March 19. There’s a lot of time to schedule meetings, find new products for your store, and make new connections in the outdoor community. Once you’re registered, everything is accessible in one place. Build your profile and start exploring. It’s not too late to register for free – click HERE to log on. Here’s a few tips to help you make the most of the Winter Online experience. Tips for Attendees Tune in to education live or on demand. If you were in your shop or on a Zoom call during a session, you didn’t miss a thing. Every session and event hosted during Winter Online remains available to watch when and where you want. Click the Education & Events tab to scroll through daily listings or use the search function to filter by topic. Past sessions will auto-play and add upcoming education to your schedule. Take time to listen and learn. The education lineup has featured incredible speakers and impactful conversations that have the ability to help your business, this community, and our planet. Sessions available to watch on demand include the Industry Breakfast, SIA’s Industry + Intelligence day, the OIA education tracks, and discussions with The Conservation Alliance and Camber Outdoors; trend and consumer reports with the NPD Group, WGSN, and InMouv; and gear previews. There’s also yoga, the third annual Outdoor Retailer Innovation Awards and the 16th annual Backcountry Film Festival. More education is on the way this month, and all can be... read more

“BEHIND THE BLACK LIST: A Growing Guide of Black-owned Brands, Retailers, and Organizations in Skateboarding Complied” by Patrick Kigongo via Artless Industria

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF P. KIGONGO A few days ago Patrick Kigongo set out to compile what he calls a “non-comprehensive list of Black-owned skate industry brands.” The Black List quickly expanded to include media and organizations. I wanted the Artless Industria® readership to not only have a link to this resource but learn why Kigongo put it all together. Below is his response about the genesis of The Black List. LINK TO THE BLACK LIST PATRICK KIGONGO: Punk rock remains a foundational source of inspiration for me. Punk’s “DIY” ethos has given me the confidence to start bands, teach myself how to edit video, and even change careers. More importantly, punk taught me to facilitate the change I wanted to see in the world.The anti-police brutality protests that erupted across the United States in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has led to a spike in the demand to support all things Black. Millions of Americans are now sharing lists of Black restaurants and bookstores in cities across the nation. Being a Black skater, I wanted to chip in. When I realized that there wasn’t a list of Black-owned skate companies, shops, or organizations, I decided to create one.When I started working on “The Black List” on the night of June 3rd, I could only come up with a handful of obvious names (e.g. Hardies, Hopps, Maxallure). Thankfully, I got a lot of help from crowd-sourcing on Twitter and Instagram. Over the last couple of days, I’ve received a flood of DMs and texts with the names of brands from all over the United States... read more

“All 2020 quarterly Action Watch Reports are now accessible to BRA Distinguished Retail Members” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) works with specialty retailers, brands and industry partners in the surf and skate industries to share in-depth insights and actionable data on buying patterns so that we can all make better, more informed decisions to create a stronger, more successful industry together. BRA Distinguished Retail Members are granted access to quarterly retail sales reports and other relevant Action Watch data so you will know exactly what is happening at point of sale in specialty retail. BRA Distinguished Retail Members can now access all four quarters of 2020 (password protected) Action Watch Reports via the following link: https://actionwatch.com/2020-board-retailers-association/ If you are a BRA Distinguished Retail Member but do not already have the password credentials (user name and password) needed to access these insightful reports, please email our Executive Director doug@boardretailers.org and he will reply with the appropriate credentials. We encourage you to reach out to patrik@actionwatch.com with any questions related to the data and to learn more about the Project United program for Core Retailers through Action Watch. As stated above, BRA Distinguished Retail Members can gain access to recent and historical Core Surf and Skate Shop sales reports by category as well as Action Watch Core Retailer survey results. If you are not yet a BRA Distinguished Retail Member, you can easily opt in via this super simple join form If you have already opted into Regular Retail Membership, but would like to upgrade to Distinguished Retail Membership and benefit from additional offerings including the Action Watch Reports referenced above, please email our Executive Director doug@boardretailers.org and he will reply with an invoice and... read more

“11 Ways Skateboarding Thrived in 2020” by Zane Foley via Skatism.com

If we didn’t have skateboarding during this pandemic and 2020, where would we all be? Mentally, physically, spiritually, it’s safe to say none of us want to even think about what life would have been like this past year without skateboarding.  Still, regardless of how bad this year was for each of us or is being portrayed in contemporary media, 2020 began with how everything in skateboarding should: riding our skateboards to escape, expand and create our own world. However, as we all know the month of March brought forth the global pandemic of Covid 19. With it, for the first time, skateboarding could not escape the world and its troubles. Instead, every skateboarder had to adapt like never before.  From the skateparks to the skate shops, to the streets and the driveways, not one of us was immune to the pandemic. And that’s what is truly unique about this adaptation. It included all of us as a community and industry. Whether you’re a pro skater, a beginner, an instagram skater, a company owner or a raw street skater, we were and still are all in this together.  And together, more connected than ever by a global pandemic, we brought forth the incredible powers of skateboarding to foster not only a thriving skate industry but a strengthening of community and belonging. Words by Zane FoleyPhotos by Zane Foley & Denia Kopita  Skating the Unskateable The pandemic spared no one and that is especially true for businesses. Whether big retail, corporate, government buildings, large or small business, entire shopping malls and downtown districts became ghost towns overnight. Obviously, we don’t mean to be insensitive... read more

“How Retailers Will Thrive in 2021, According to 11 Experts” courtesy of Heartland Retail (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

As retailers reflect on the last 12 months of the rollercoaster the industry rode—er, might still be riding—you can’t help but chuckle at some of the predictions made for 2020. Curiously enough, while few forecasted the actual impact of COVID-19, many themes still held up. Were we right about the continued rise of D2C brands investing in storefronts? Not quite. The emphasis on unique in-store experiences and community events? A little off the mark. Yet a call for deliberate and frictionless customer convenience? Nailed it. Amenities like curbside pick-up and BOPIS/BORIS, same-day delivery, contactless payments, mobile wallets and virtual shopping appointments ended up carrying more weight than many could have fathomed. These pivots, quite literally, saved retail businesses across the country. Though it’s likely to be a number of months before the world returns to what we once knew as “normal,” a shift in the direction of normalcy is on the horizon. What does that mean for retail in the new year, and will any of 2020’s themes carry over? We spoke with 11 retail industry experts—all Heartland partners—about what they think is in store for 2021, and what retailers must do to meet the trends that customer expectations are driving. A “Phygital” Experience Nico Cabral, Director of Marketing at Management One For the first half of 2021, consumers will still be wary of the high-contact, pre-COVID retail environments they once enjoyed. Retailers need to leverage their newfound savvy in the digital world and begin to blend it into their physical environments. This doesn’t require a massive investment in big, flashy in-store tech equipment—it could be as simple as a scannable QR... read more

“How to Conquer Your Selling Fears” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

I was talking to a pool builder who had just put in a new pool. His client lived in a very expensive neighborhood, drove a Bentley; you get the picture. A few months later the client’s neighbor installed a pool … from a different pool builder. The Bentley guy went to his neighbor’s party and saw his pool; it had all the bells and whistles, a salt water chlorinator, fiber optic lights, and an automatic pool cover. He drove back to his builder and asked why he didn’t show him all the possibilities. I was afraid I would price myself out of the sale, he replied. Fear… It’s what keeps people stuck, particularly in selling.  Fear is a reaction to a perceived threat; in this case, the possibility that the sale could have blown up in his face. That fear blindsided him to the upside potential. So many retail salespeople power through the rote features of their luxury watch, or their gee-wiz electronics, or their energy-efficient appliances, that they can appear brain-dead. I know when I first started working retail, a customer was only something I had to close, they were not a person, they were just a sale to be made. That approach to sales is the antithesis of what is needed to overcome fear. And that’s not just the salesperson’s fear of rejection but the customer’s as well. One of the best ways to overcome fear is to be creative The death of creativity and imagination are at the heart of low sales in retail shops around the world. Some think technology is the answer … not me. We have to find... read more

“Remembering Skate Industry Vet Mark Waters” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

We were sad to hear the news this week that skateboard industry veteran Mark Waters passed away after a battle with COVID-19. Mark had a long career in skateboarding, including working at companies such as Tum Yeto and Sole Technology, in addition to working for USA Skateboarding as the men’s team manager. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC). Mark is survived by his wife, Claudine, and his son, Avery. We asked Don Brown, the Sole Technology VP of Marketing who worked closely with Mark over the years, to tell us about Mark’s impact on the skate industry. Please click on the following link to view the touching Shop Eat Surf memorial interview of Don Brown about his fallen friend Mark Waters:  Remembering Skate Industry Vet Mark Waters Thank You, Mark, for your contribution to making skateboarding and the world a better place. DONATE TO HELP MARK’S WIFE AND SON HERE. Be sure to visit (and bookmark) 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 ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Retail 2021 E commerce in the New Normal” Webinar (on-demand) via Management One Retail

Click on the video below for a free, on-demand discussion with Josh Orr of Streamline Retail as we talk through the ways retailers are successfully using e-commerce to reach more of their “perfect customers” and how they keep them coming back again and again. The changes in 2020 forever altered retail. What was once a “nice to have”, e-commerce has become an expectation now for brick and mortar retailers. But how can you stand out in such a crowded market? We’ll dive into the practical ways brick and mortar retailers can leverage e-commerce to stay connected to their customers, drive in-store foot traffic and increase revenue. BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Management One has joined Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to the solid people behind this outstanding resource, email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive Director If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“4 Ways to Power Touchless Retail with Text Messaging” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Companies from Amazon to Zoom are rethinking their customer experience in the post-COVID era. See how innovative retailers are responding with text-based messaging, touchless payments, and more. COVID-19 has completely transformed consumer behavior. 85% of consumers have chosen a new business because of pandemic friendly services and 86% say they expect businesses to be even more convenient after COVID-19 restrictions lift. It’s not surprising that 80% of consumers would like local businesses to continue offering curbside pickup options. Companies like Amazon, Doordash, and Netflix have also upped customers’ expectations for convenience. And retailers can meet these expectations with a few tips from the experts. In this session of the 2020 Total Retail Innovation Conference, Katie Osberg, Global Retail Partnerships Lead at Google, and Doug Regner, VP of Enterprise Sales at Podium, share four ways to power touchless retail with text messaging. Read on for the takeaways from this discussion: 1. Grow location reviews with text messaging.  89% of consumers begin their buying process with a search engine. Searches containing “near me” have grown 9x more popular since 2016. Google Map Pack chooses three businesses to highlight based on star ratings, number of reviews, and frequency of reviews. And 70% of clicks on a local search will happen in that map pack. In order to grow and optimize your online and local presence, you’ll need the help of reviews.  Follow these steps to get started: Check to see if you’re listed on Google My Business. If not, create a Google My Business accountVerify your businessEnter or update business informationPeriodically add or update information, especially relating to COVID hours, pickup services, etc.Generate reviews The most effective way to... read more

“A LOOK AT THE SKATEBOARD DROUGHT OF 2020” by Ian Browning via Jenkem Mag

If you’ve walked into a skate shop over the last couple of months, you may have had some difficulty getting your hands on the product you came in for. Sadly, these days it’s not unheard of for a shop to be fully out of boards, trucks, wheels, or bearings. Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for skate hard goods has gone up, but manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have all been put in a pinch. Unable to maintain production and distribution at pre-pandemic rates due to lockdowns and new health and safety guidelines, the demand for hard goods is now bigger than the supply, and the whole distribution chain is struggling to catch up. The pandemic had already taken hold in Tijuana in April 2020 when Grant Burns, who owns BBS Manufacturing contracted COVID-19 across the border in San Diego. He emailed his staff to let them know that he had gotten sick on a Friday, and by Monday, people were nervous. The state of Baja California, Mexico had already declared that employees with pre-existing conditions should be allowed paid time off, and Burns, gave the rest of his employees the option to do the same. Less than a quarter of his staff took him up on it, and the government ordered the shop and other non-essential businesses to close two weeks later. With the shop sitting idle, numerous skate brands that relied on BBS to press their decks lost their manufacturer, and their stock of decks was decreasing across the skate ecosystem. When the factory opened back up in May 2020, it doubled the number of busses transporting employees... read more

“Put Your “Retail Puzzle” Together” by Tom Schrepferman

Have you ever worked a 10,000 piece puzzle? Imagine all of those pieces spread out on your table. Where do you start? How do you start? You probably have these questions about how to thrive coming out of the COVID-19 retail challenges. Here’s how we recommend you start: Invest in e-Commerce: We expect e-Commerce growth trends to extend well past COVID-19.Control Inventory: Regularly review sales performance and inventory on-hand reports daily, weekly, and monthly to understand what inventory is moving.Reward Loyal Customers: Use frequent buyer incentives to support customers who support you. You can’t snap all the pieces of your business together at-once, but you could start here. The truth is there are many strategies to working puzzles, but the most important step is that you have to start. Marveling at all of the pieces won’t snap them together. BTW, the pro tip is to make sure all puzzle pieces are face up, sort them by color, and set aside the edges or corners. Reach out to book a demo with RICS and see how we can help! Tom Schrepferman RICS Software VP, Sales tom@ricssoftware.com 317-275-5941 BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that RICS Software is a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner who is currently offering fifty percent (50%) off all on-boarding fees and fifty percent (50%) monthly fees for the first twelve (12) months as well as a deferral of payments until 2021 for all BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Be sure to mention BRA when connecting with Tom and the solid people behind this outstanding resource. – Doug Works, Executive Director BRA If you are not yet... read more

“Did Pete Mel Just Catch the Wave of the Decade at Maverick’s? Many in the channel say, “hell yeah!”” by Marcus Sanders via Surfline.com

Photo: Audrey Lambidakis Earlier today, Peter Mel, who already snagged one of the best waves of the year at Maverick’s on December 8th — and was towed into a bomb and then rescued by his son last Saturday — just upped the ante. Again. See below for video and Mel’s take on the wave, and stay tuned here for our realtime updates on this series of swells. All photos: Audrey Lambidakis “That wave was by far my best in 29 years of surfing Maverick’s,” Pete said. “I mean, I’ve been seeing those types of waves my whole life. But I was never brave enough to do it. I always thought, ‘maybe I could get one from there.’ Then, the other day (Dec 8) kind of catalyzed that slightly.” “So today, I just went to my spot again and said to myself, ‘I need to be a little deeper so I can actually get behind it and then pull up into it.’ And that’s kinda what happened. I just visualized the outside part where you can get the chip-in. That’s the only way you’re going to get through one of those big ones. Because you can’t take off from the bowl. It’s too vertical.” “So I got the chip on the shoulder and it worked out. The wave stayed open. I’m actually depressed right now. It’s crazy. I don’t know. It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve never felt this kind of…it’s like, ‘Oh my God. I’m 50 years old. Did I just do that?’ But it’s like, ‘now what? What do I look forward to now?’ You know what I mean? Do I do it again? It’s pretty... read more

“An Evolutionary Reinvention of Retail” by Paco Underhill via The Robin Report

PrePan…Pan…Not-Yet-PostPan. What does the world of retail look like now? What did we learn? What did we let go of …and what changed us? Here’s a retrospective look forward. 1. Shopping Safely You’d have to living in a cave not to know that digital sales have exploded in our Pan world. Just between March and April of this year, the first month of our shared Pandemic, the number of customers buying online increased in the U.S. by more than 30 percent. The dollar volume was even higher as everyday shopping was reinvented. On Black Friday, the traffic at local malls was light. Encouraged by government, fueled by new habits, and still in shock over the aftermath of the election, Americans spent most of their money online. Call it a cyber- weekend event. Yes, some major retail sectors are dying, but the good news is that the beast of consumption is alive and well. – Home Depot, the home furnishings industry, grocery, and small contractors focused on home improvements are having banner years. We are spending our money; the question is where and how. Conclusion? We are in for some focused physical changes, particularly in how the analog and our digital worlds need to work together. In Europe there are strict laws governing recycling. In some countries the responsibility is not with the consumer, but with the merchant selling you stuff. American trails much of the rest of the first world in legal restriction and conditions on how we recycle. 2. Packaging Once we reach age 35-40, roughly 80 percent of our weekly purchases are the same things. And it... read more

“BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion (from Surf Expo Connect), other relevant videos from the BRA YouTube Channel and more”

Board Retailers Association organizes and expresses the views and concerns of independent board specialty retailers to industry associations, major trade show organizations and others in an effort to help promote our industry, support the board sports specialty retailers and protect our Lifestyle. BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion (Surf Expo Connect – Sept. 2020) View board sport specialty retailers from around the United States speak about how they are managing these challenging times, the resources they have leaned on and new opportunities that lie ahead. This remarkable Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion initially aired at the Surf Expo Connect virtual tradeshow on September 17, 2020 Host: George Leichtweis, BRA Chairman and Owner of Modern Skate & Surf (Royal Oak, MI) Panelists: Ferguson Herivaux, One Gig (Boston, MA) Coco Tihayni, Surf Diva (La Jolla, CA) D. Nachnani, Coastal Edge (Virginia Beach, VA) Paul Erickson, Management One Tune in with Doug Works from Board Retailers Association – PropagandaHQ.net interview by Vipe Desai This is a video of an interview conducted on September 28, 2020 by Vipe Desai of PropagandaHQ.net with Doug Works (Executive Director of the Board Retailers Association), who shared updates with Vipe on what the organization is doing to help its retail members as well as insights as to how retailers are managing during the pandemic. Be sure to visit PropagandaHQ.net to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly. BRA Webinar: Reopening Your Store – The Things That You Are Not Yet Thinking About (Dan Jablons,RSG) Special Educational Webinar hosted by Board Retailers Association and presented by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys on May 21, 2020 and now available... read more

“How to Generate More Location Reviews for Your Stores” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

If you’re lacking location-specific reviews, you’re losing sales and referrals. You’re sending more customers to your competition. Discover how you can beat the competition with 5 simples steps. 97% of consumers read online reviews when searching for retail products and services in their local area. And most often, these searches are on mobile devices. If you’re lacking location-specific reviews, you’re losing sales and referrals. You’re sending more customers to your competition.  Google prioritizes search results based on the frequency, quality, and quantity of reviews. For local inquiries, relevance, distance, and prominence are important. Ready to stand out from the crowd and acquire more customers from local search? Follow this checklist to boost reviews across multiple locations. Improve the customer experience across all locations. The first step in generating more reviews for your stores should be centered around providing customers the experiences they want to share. While certain factors, like traffic or parking, may vary from store to store, there are a few best practices you can put in place to ensure that overall, your customer experiences are smooth and convenient. Consider utilizing the click-to-message feature on Google My Business (and connecting customers with a local representative), adding mobile payment options, and implementing services like Webchat (that again, connect customers with local representatives). With these tools, customers can quickly get in touch with your business to see if a product is in stock at the location near them, initiate a curbside pickup at the nearest storefront, or even purchase a product—all from the comfort of their mobile device. When you focus on the customer in this way, they’re more likely to have positive things to say when... read more

“Ron Jon Leaders on What Worked in 2020 and Plans for 2021” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Ron Jon Surf Shop at Disney Springs in Orlando – SES file photo Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article containing comment from Debbie Harvey (BRA Board Member) of Ron Jon Surf Shops (BRA Distinguished Retail Member): “Ron Jon Leaders on What Worked in 2020 and Plans for 2021” 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 already a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“7 Ways How To Grow Your Retail Sales The Week After Christmas” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

After-Christmas retail can be fun – even with a pandemic – as long as you stay focused on making money instead of just giving it away through aggressive promotions and discounts. After Christmas Day has come and gone retailers of all sizes, from boutiques to department stores to big-box stores, may find themselves wanting to rest. But you can’t.Every retailer should have one mission: to minimize returns to grow your retail holiday sales.The final week of the month is frosting on the cake. By proactively deciding to grow sales you will have a better mindset, keep your crew from feeling overwhelmed, and keep the online retailers at bay. 7 Ways To Grow Your Retail Sales The Week After Christmas: 1. Greet at the door. Have someone greet people as soon as they enter your retail store to let them know what is on sale with, “Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off.” You want to interrupt them before they get to the counter wanting their money back. The goal is for them to “Look around.” Even if they tell you that’s what they want, you can counter with, “We can certainly do that for you as well, we just don’t want you to have to stand in line twice.” 2. Greet at the counter. Even if someone greeted them as they entered your brick and mortar store and you have signs everywhere saying 20 percent off. When customers head straight for your counter with their receipt and a return, greet them with something like, “Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off, would you like to look around first?“ Even... read more

“Covid 19 Relief Package – U.S. Congress Passes Bill” via Management One

The saying “better late than never” can certainly apply here… After dragging its feet for months (which felt like years), U.S. Congress has delivered a stimulus bill offering relief to small businesses and families struggling to survive the recent COVID surge. How will this affect the retail community?The Wall Street Journal on December 21st posted a categorical graphic breakdown of where the proposed $900 billion will be allocated (with a large percentage set aside for small businesses) and here are key provisions (provided by CNN) that will be included as part of the $900 billion agreement, according to releases sent out Sunday evening by members of Democratic and GOP leadership: Direct payment checks of up to $600 per adult and childAid for struggling small businesses, including more than $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans and $15 billion “in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions”$300 per week for enhanced unemployment insurance benefits$20 billion to buy vaccines and make “the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it” and $8 billion for vaccine distribution$20 billion for coronavirus testing efforts$25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension$82 billion for education providers like schools and colleges, including aid to help reopen classrooms safely and $10 billion for child care assistanceThe deal will rescind “$429 billion in unused funds provided by the CARES Act for the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending facilities”$13 billion in increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and child nutrition benefits$7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect remotely during the pandemic$45 billion to support transportation services, including $2 billion... read more

“Ten Leadership Lessons from 2020” By Deborah Patton via The Robin Report

In so many ways, the date of a new year is arbitrary.  In Western societies, we’re still on the Gregorian calendar, but there are plenty of cultures that walk to a different time drummer: Hebrew, Maya, Chinese, Navaho, Islam. Yet it is the significance of a new year to mark time passing that becomes the ritual. Rebrand yourself as a marketplace, not a big-box, discount, specialty or department store. One could argue that the whole world was asleep at the wheel in terms of dealing with the ultimate impact of the pandemic.  It’s not as though we had no warnings, Bill Gates, the scientists, the UN – a pandemic was a very real threat, and as Tom Friedman of the NY Times has said, just a warm-up for climate change. Regardless of politics, 2020 is hindsight according to Tom Foolery (and well worth watching). So, on the only Winter Solstice of 2020, let’s consider foresight for 2021. If you’re going to offer brick-and-mortar retail, make it an experience worth having. Personal touches, unique experiences, community, relevance — more than a store. Make it safe, make it secure, make it like the general store of the 1800s where everyone knows your name – in a non-creepy way. In short, the physical retail store is your stage; put on a good show.Edit your inventory. Scarcity creates value.  If the velvet slippers to wear with your sweats on Zoom calls are sold out (Birdies), great.  Create demand.  And use customer demand to develop similar new products, also with a short run. We can’t have everything, even though we’ve been led to assume the opposite.If... read more

“2020 Wake Awards – The Winners Find out who won in a year unlike any other!” by Wakeboarding Magazine

The 2020 Wake Awards are live, and you can watch the show here: If you’re looking to read about the winners, you’ve come to the right spot. Celebrating the highlights, achievements and progression over the past year, this year’s Wake Awards honors an amazing group of winners who have pushed boundaries despite the obstacles faced in an unprecedented year like 2020.  wakeboardingmag.com/story/videos/2020-wake-awards-the-winners/ For more wakeboarding related news and articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: wakeboardingmag.com/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Outdoor Retailer’s second all-digital trade show prepares for launch OR leadership released the conference’s education and event lineup today, Registrants can now start building their profiles and schedules” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

Get ready for round two, everyone. After debuting its first all-digital trade show this summer, learning from industry feedback, and making tweaks to the format, Outdoor Retailer is ready to go forward with its second iteration of the online show in just a few weeks. A replacement for January’s traditional Snow Show, “OR Winter Online” will open to registrants on January 6 and run for more than 10 weeks, through March 19.  Unlike the conventional in-person show, which squeezes hundreds of events, speeches, meetings, parties, and presentations into three head-spinning days—and unlike this summer’s digital show, which largely tried to replicate that format—OR Winter Online will unfold at a more leisurely pace, with much of the content available on demand for users to access whenever they wish. In other words, this OR will live in the background of our lives for months, rather than deluge us for a week. To help the industry plan for that shift, OR leadership today released the show’s education and event lineup and opened the calendar function of the registration dashboard, where attendees can start mapping out their schedules. What to expect from OR Winter Online Outdoor Retailer show director Marisa Nicholson told SNEWS that, so far, the upcoming show is projecting a better attendance than the summer run, with more buy-in from exhibitors and attendees across the board. “[Our numbers] are way up compared to where we were at this point before the summer show,” said Nicholson. “We have thousands of retail buyers and designers already registered for the event, as well as about 120 companies. Every week, we’re getting about 20 new sign-ups.” Nicholson confirmed that some of the... read more

“3 Reasons People Buy on Impulse and How to Capitalize on Them” by Ray Ko via Brand United

Credit: Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay Never underestimate the potential of a last-minute purchase. Today’s consumers are not only more likely to buy in-store, they’re more likely to buy more in-store, and that includes impulse purchases. Despite the hue and cry about online shopping taking over the world, the great majority of people—85%, according to the annual The State of Brick & Mortar Retail report—still buy half or more of their goods in stores. And they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Turns out that Gen Z, the “always online” generation, gets a little sick of always being online. They crave legit, tactile, in-person shopping experiences that allow them to unplug from the constant ping-ping-ping of social media and gaming from time to time. So, let’s talk about those impulse buys. According to Statista, roughly half of the purchases carried out by 18 to 24-year-olds in the United States in 2018 were as a result of impulse buying. It’s not chump change, either. More than half of U.S. shoppers have spent $100 or more on an impulse buy. Point of purchase (POP) displays are a big reason why. They are purposely designed to draw attention and drive incremental sales, and they can be tucked away in almost any area of your store. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons people buy on impulse and how to take advantage of that. Reason #1 – People don’t want to feel like they’re missing out on something. According to finder.com, more than half of people cite the fear of missing out on a deal, on something being in stock, on something they think they may forget about later, etc., as... read more

“THE DIY PARKS BUILT DURING COVID” by Larry Lanza via JENKEM Mag

Whether it’s an unevenly poured quarterpipe or haggard bowl corner, DIY parks are the cornerstones to a lot of skate communities. It’s the meetup spot that you never leave, the hangout spot when you’re too hungover to actually skate, and the safe haven for all the unsafe things us skaters do. Contrary to what you may think, the parks don’t just pop up. They take a lot of time, manpower, and money to get started. During the ongoing COVID pandemic, those resources were readily available, and we saw a surge of DIYs popping up across the skate world. To shed some light on the hard work and creativity that some people put in we reached out to a few DIYs that caught our eye to showcase their work. Just remember, if you’re going to pull up to any of these spots after reading this, be respectful, clean up your beer cans and water bottles, and don’t fuck with anything that looks like it’s drying. photo: ezra franklin MOSQUITO BEACH (LIC DIY) – QUEENS, NY What was the plot of land before it was a DIY park?It’s a standard NYC dead end. There used to be signs of nightlife there. One day I found a bunch of roses, then some red panties, and then a used condom. Probably from the strip club across the water. Standard city shit. Where does the name of the park come from?Mosquito beach? Just go in the summer. Bring your bug spray. Did you have to get permission from anyone to build there? Did you just barge it and start building?Just barged. Maybe initially just nudged... read more

“Surfer Attacked by Shark at Honolua Bay During the Maui Pro Has Died” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

The victim was a 56-year-old Lahaina resident. Photo: Cayla Moore/WSL Yesterday we reported that the surfer attacked by a shark Tuesday at Honolua Bay, which postponed the Maui Pro, was in stable condition in a local hospital following surgery. Since then, his condition worsened and sadly, the 56-year-old Lahaina resident died of his wounds last night according to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, which released information to local media. “The WSL has learned that Tuesday’s victim of the shark attack at Honolua Bay has tragically passed away,” wrote World Surf League CEO Erik Logan on social media. “Our thoughts and hearts are with the victim’s family and friends as well as the entire Maui surfing community.” The WSL also announced its decision not to run the rest of the Maui Pro at Honolua Bay this year and is currently looking at options of where to finish off the event which was on schedule to finish Tuesday before the attack. The bite mark. Photo: Department of Land and Natural Resources The man was reportedly paddling out from the old boat ramp when he was bitten and the water was murky due to swell and other factors, which may have led to the attack. According to experts, these shark bites (this particular shark left a 17-inch bite mark in the victim’s board) are usually exploratory as the predator is most often looking for turtles and other prey in Hawaiian waters. The attacks are rarely fatal, although a California man died after a shark attack on Maui near Kaanapali Shores resort in 2019, which is just down the Honoapiilani Highway from Honolua Bay on the island’s west side.... read more

“BRA To Offer Retail Members Exclusive Healthcare Insurance Coverage” via Press Release

By Board Retail Association | Originally published on Nov 4, 2020. Updated on Dec 9, 2020 LIG Solutions announces a partnership with the Board Retailers Association to offer its Distinguished Retail Members, their families and their employees access to exclusive healthcare insurance coverages. Healthcare is not a one size fits all endeavor, and neither is the insurance coverages offered through LIG Solutions. The exclusive offerings include a full suite of medical, dental, vision and disability coverages, as well as the new “Health Reimbursement Arrangements” (HRAs) for employers/employees. This program also includes access to information on the latest healthcare, personal wellness, and lifestyle trends. “We want to provide access to quality healthcare products that fit the specific needs of the Board Retailers Association Distinguished Retail Members,” says Jason Farro, CEO of LIG Solutions. “The plans can be tailored to fit the individual needs of members, their families, and employees that off the shelf programs may not be able to provide.” The health insurance coverage offered through LIG utilizes plan options from many of the leading national carriers, and the program is designed to be a vehicle to promote healthier lifestyle choices and preventive care options for the organization’s membership. “This is a relevant and valuable resource for all of our Distinguished Retail Members throughout the country.  LIG Solutions offers affordable and comprehensive health plans that our retailers and their employees can use today!” says Doug Works,  BRA Executive Director. Coverages are offered concierge style to BRA Distinguished Retail Members in a centralized portal, thus eliminating the hassle and cutting through the confusion that often accompanies shopping for healthcare insurance. The offerings – which are culled... read more

“2021 Marketing With Email & SMS” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

Now that indie retailers everywhere are ready to rack in holiday sales, the rest of the year is going to be spent figuring out ways to retain all those new customers. Bluecore warns in a report on shoppers motives and preferences that while acquisition efforts are important, if there’s no focus on retention, those acquired may just be one and done shoppers. Retain Customers with Email & SMS Marketing Focusing on your business’s email and SMS marketing efforts is a great way to help retain new customers. New data from an Omnisend report confirms that consumers want to receive branded email and text messages, but not random marketing promotions. They want messages based on their interactions with retailers. Data from Omnisend’s report found that open rates for automated lifecycle messages saw a huge increase of 76.25 percent year-over-year. The report, which analyzed 2.4 billion emails and 1.8 million SMS and push messages, showed that automated messages saw an improvement of 178.6 percent over scheduled promotional campaigns when comparing open rates in Q2 2020. The report confirms that ecommerce brands who automate email and SMS messages are outperforming those who do not. Email Performance According to the report, the conversion rate for promotional email campaigns was 5.37 percent—an 88 percent year-over-year lift. Maybe more promising for DTC brands, email conversion rates increased each month of the second quarter, which hints at an increased reliance on not only ecommerce but email marketing as a primary channel. The report also revealed that order confirmation messages had a much higher conversion rate (8.61 percent) than shipping confirmations (3.02 percent), indicating that marketers should optimize their transactional messages... read more

“3 Ways to Keep Inventory Fresh and Improve Sell-Through” by Emily Fanning of Heartland Retail

Board retailers, even more so than other specialty stores, tend to have extremely loyal client bases. It’s a blessing, with a small spritz of a curse: the more often they come in, the more “same old” they see. So with your best customers visiting multiple times a season, engaging them with fresh and stimulating products and experiences carries a lot of weight. High sales are great, sure, but high sell-through and margin are two inventory performance metrics that are most telling of the health of your business—and the satisfaction of your customers. Let’s back up: What is sell-through? Sell‐through = units sold / initial units received x 100 Or, a percentage that compares the amount of inventory a retailer receives against what is actually sold within a specific time period. If your reports are showing a low sell‐through—say, less than 30% over 3-4 weeks*—on certain items, brands or even full categories, then it’s time to take action to move the merchandise before it becomes even less fresh. When product is slow, retailers often resort to markdowns as the default mechanism, but doing so means your margin will take a hit. Yet when your point of sale doubles as your inventory management system, its reporting can provide intel that will allow you to push under‐performing products through other techniques. We’d wager there isn’t a single retailer out there who hasn’t made a handful of poor buying decisions, so here are a few tactics that the savvy ones use when such happens. *You may have different optimal selling periods for different categories or even store locations—more on determining these benchmarks later!... read more

“Holiday Rebound: Apparel Retailers Drive Sales With Flexible Payment Options” by PYMNTS.com via link from The Robin Report

Many American consumers are feeling the financial squeeze as the holiday shopping season goes on and will be turning to flexible spending plans to help put them at ease. More merchants are embracing buy now, pay later (BNPL) options to allow consumers to pay in four installments interest-free. This will not only help retail items be more accessible to more consumers but could help merchants bounce back from what may have been a rocky year in sales due to the pandemic. Recent research by PYMNTS and Afterpay found that millennials are especially enthusiastic about these flexible payment options, and prefer them more than any other generation. In fact, only 20.7 percent of millennials report being financially stable, compared to 79 percent of non-millennial consumers. BNPL could be especially useful in helping this demographic buy gifts and extend their purchasing power. The latest Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker® examines how installment payment plans can help budget-conscious consumers, as well as help merchants see a rebound in sales this holiday season. Around The Buy Now, Pay Later World PYMNTS researchers recently found that many shoppers would avoid merchants that do not offer their preferred payment methods, and that it determines where consumers will make their purchases. The study revealed merchants that offer flexible payment plans could tap into a loyal, sizable pool of digital consumers. Forty-eight percent of those who prefer the method said that they would not purchase from retailers that fail to offer it, compared to 40 percent of those using mobile wallets and 37 percent of those using contactless cards who said the same. Emerging payment solutions such as BNPL are becoming... read more

“Help Strengthen Our Water Sports Industry by Sharing this Universal Content” via WSIA Newsletter

For years, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has been developing boating safety content in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard in order to touch on key safety issues and work to change boaters’ behavior on the water. This content is available for all who would like to share and promote through their various email and social channels. Educating your customers about boating leads to a safer boating experience and therefore a more profitable and successful industry. Please consider sharing the following videos the best way you know how. Thank you for your support of the WSF, the WSIA, and the boating industry. Shared Waterways Safety Video A record-setting year for powerboat sales combined with a multiyear surge in the use and popularity of paddlecraft has resulted in more recreational boaters on the water than ever before. Sharing the waters is key to boating safety, and means we must not only be aware of other boaters, but express concern for other vessels as well. WATCH AND SHARE NOW >> Proper boat handling is the most important body of knowledge a skipper can master. Your passengers depend on it. Once you’ve realized that you’re about to be in an accident, there’s no time to buckle up in a car or put a life jacket on in a boat.  The WSIA is the towed water sports industry’s leading advocate, known for preserving the vitality of our activities long into the future. As a group, we develop best practices, maintain waterway access rights, educate participants, promote safety and facilitate sustainable industry growth. Learn more about this outstanding organization here: https://www.wsia.net/ By the... read more

“How To Convert Holiday Shoppers Into Loyal Year Round Customers” by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor

It is so important to convert holiday shoppers into loyal customers because you have so many more bodies walking through your doors after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When I was starting out as a retail manager, I had a new sales guy who was killing it two weeks in a row. Everything he touched turned to gold.He had done an exceptional job with one couple who were chairs of a big fundraising party in Orange County. It was a western theme, and they were so thrilled with how they looked in their new attire that they told everyone to “Go see Daniel.”The big night came and went and Daniel felt on top of the world; his commission check for that month helped him buy a car. The next month however, he really struggled. The other guys on the sales team ribbed him by singing “The Party’s Over” when they got a big sale and Daniel didn’t. Daniel had been lulled into believing there would always be plenty of shoppers coming into the store to see him.That is exactly what can happen during the holiday season for brick and mortar retailers. They have so much traffic that they forget to consciously look for ways for those holiday shoppers to become everyday shoppers. The key is to remain in front of those customers and remind them on a regular basis you are there for them. How To Convert Your Brick and Mortar Holiday Shoppers into Everyday Shoppers Customer Service. Even when it is busy, you have to greet everyone who enters your store, you have to find a way to... read more

“Skate & Create, Street Edition” via Transworld Skateboarding (updated on Nov. 30th)

Transworld Skateboarding is proud to announce the return of Skate & Create, Street Edition. Four teams. Four original concepts. One month in the streets. Skate & Create 2020 Promo Transworld Skateboarding is proud to announce the return of Skate & Create, Street Edition, coming this Friday. Live premiere at 3pm PST. Four teams. Four original concepts. One month in the streets. Videos from Birdhouse, Thank You, Visual, and Meow. And a huge thanks to Red Bull Skate for their continued support in making this contest a reality this year. Click on the above to view a behind the scenes video (added on November 30, 2021) Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for being such a great resource. Be sure to click on and bookmark the following link for relevant news, intelligent articles and ripping skateboarding:  https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“What a vaccine could mean for retail” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

Originally posted on November 10, 2020 then updated. On Monday morning, when VF Corp. announced that it will plunk down more than $2 billion to snag streetwear favorite Supreme for its portfolio, the apparel conglomerate probably thought it would count as retail’s best news in a while. But it was quickly overshadowed by the report that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is putting the finishing touches on a vaccine that it says is 90% effective against COVID-19. The virus has surged in recent weeks, with diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths up across the U.S. The situation is bleak in terms of both human health and the economy, which in the U.S. depends heavily on people having discretionary funds, and spending them. Earlier in the year, when stores were forced shut in an effort to contain the pandemic, most retailers were hit hard, even as e-commerce soared; several filed for bankruptcy and more were pushed to the brink. Grocery stores and mass merchants, which were allowed to remain open or, like Amazon, sell online, have done well. While retailers of all stripes instituted or expanded BOPIS options and maintained COVID-safe protocols in their stores as they reopened, all hope for getting back to normal has been predicated on developing a vaccine. The resurgence has been demoralizing for retailers heading into the holidays, with many bracing for bargain-seeking customers and possibly even further closures. “Until there’s an effective vaccine, we’re not going to be able to know how we’re going to land and what businesses are going to be successful,” Eric Rapkin, chair of law firm Akerman’s Real Estate Practice Group, said by phone. “My sense is that once there’s a vaccine that proves to be effective, we’re going... read more

“Brick and Mortar: The Original Marketplace” by Dan Pankratz via PropagandaHQ.net

Brick and mortar retailers are the original marketplace for brands to sell to the end customer. It’s not news that this is changing and changing fast. It feels like new online marketplaces are popping up almost daily.  As brands are looking for more ways to sell directly online and streamline how they get products to the end customer. Online Marketplaces are becoming more and more of a solution. New online marketplaces are leveraging dropship to attract customers to their selections of products. Allowing them to focus on driving traffic to their sites rather than the logistics of managing Pick, Pack and Shipping products. As the customer purchasing habits are moving more online, and with online purchase growing more in the past few months that they have in the past 10 years. The importance of giving your customer a way to shop and purchase from your online is more important than ever. 5 Years ago, my brother Dave and I started to see the pinch that direct to consumer, amazon, and big eCommerce was having on our own brick and mortar retail business. As we were still recovering from being affected by the last recession where we lost our prime location to our big box competition. We wanted to find a solution that would keep the customers we created shopping with us no matter where they were and not be limited by what we had in stock.  The result was Exchange Collective.  Over the past 5 years Dave and I, along with Jason Strubing from Skate Works, and John Normoyle who worked in our retail store during college. Have built... read more

“Torey Pudwill and Chris Haslam | LARVIKITE LINES” via Transworld Skateboarding

Click to view this remarkable story. When the opportunity arose to visit Lundhs Real Stone quarry and create a permanent Larvikite skatepark for the town’s skate scene, Torey Pudwill, Chris Haslam and Angelo Caro flew in to link up with local pro Deedz and session the 300 million-year-old terrain in situ – before bringing it all down from the mountain quarry to create a permanent skate space in Larvik itself. Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for being such a great resource. Be sure to click on and bookmark the following link for relevant news, intelligent articles and ripping skateboarding:  https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“JENK TV: CONSTRUCTING A SKATEBOARD OUT OF SODA BOXES” by IAN MICHNA & ROB FRAEBEL via Jenkem Mag

Welcome back to Jenk TV! For this episode, we tried to get DIY with it and build our own skateboard deck out of trash scraps. Our intern Bechara was inspired by the ongoing hardgoods shortage and wanted to see if he could make a deck out of “alternative” materials, as a sort of doomsday prep in case this pandemic continues to halt skateboard production or we chop down all the maple trees in existence. Seven plies, a couple presses, glue, and a saw seem pretty easy to come by, so we did some laps around the neighborhood to find some materials to make this deck out of. Bechara figured with all the drinking that’s been going on during lockdown, cardboard boxes of beer would be plentiful and really easy to work with. He threw in a layer cut out from a plastic kiddie pool to see if it would add any pop or elasticity, and veneered that all together to make the deck. Did we just start the hottest new sustainable skate brand? You’ll have to watch to find out. Filmed by: Ian MichnaEdited by: Rob FraebelShare this with a scientist on FacebookReport this as pathetic on Instagram and Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

” The Inertia Wetsuit Guide 2020″ by staff via The Inertia

Editor’s Note: The 2020 Wetsuit Guide is powered by our featured partners. The air is getting cold. So is the water. The difference between good and bad rubber is about to get real. It’s the difference between pain and comfort. The suits featured in The Inertia’s Wetsuit Guide 2020 are the best of the best – guaranteed to keep you in the water longer, more comfortably, to make the sometimes-unwelcoming task of winter surfing that much more palatable. Feel free to scroll through the selection of suits above, or, for your convenience, we’ve listed them out below as well. Keep warm this winter. Wear good rubber. The warranty “covers anything that appears to have failed under normal use, such as a blown seam, failed power seam seal or broken zipper. Warranty items are always repaired free of charge.” Photo: Amee Longpré Patagonia Men’s R2 Yulex Front Zip Wetsuit Patagonia’s Yulex® wetsuits have exclusive linings for increased stretch. The only Fair Trade Certified™ suits, they’re made with 85% Yulex® natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content; natural rubber is FSC® certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The R2 gets the job done. Best for water 55°–60° F/13°–16° C. Read our review of the Patagonia  Men’s R4 Front-Zip Hooded Wetsuit. Body Glove Men’s Red Cell Front Zip Wetsuit Body Glove’s top-of-the-line fullsuit features proprietary Red Cell infrared interior insulation, which converts your body heat into infrared waves that channels warmth back to your core. Ergonomic panel construction married with the stitch-free Micro-Bead exterior seam seal creates a true fit with minimal restriction to movement. Additionally, the Evo-Dry exterior jersey is hydrophobic to resist water absorption, minimizing weight, and keeping... read more

“Adidas and Nike Trim Wholesale and Skate Shops Object” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article:   Adidas and Nike Trim Wholesale and Skate Shops Object Please note that this article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. 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 ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“VF snaps up Supreme for $2.1B, eyes brick-and-mortar expansion” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: VF Corp. on Monday said it has a deal to acquire streetwear brand Supreme for $2.1 billion, expected to close later this year, according to an investor presentation. Supreme founder James Jebbia and the brand’s senior leadership team will stay with the company, which will remain headquartered in New York City, according to a company press release.VF expects Supreme to contribute at least $500 million in revenue in its next fiscal year and be “modestly accretive” this fiscal year. Dive Insight: Since it opened in the mid-’90s as a skateboarding shop in New York City, Supreme has vaulted into cult status among young consumers worldwide. The brand has carefully guarded its price points and desirability through small weekly drops and intense online engagement. Soon it will join a conglomerate. VF executives Monday morning took pains to say that they’re aware that Supreme’s healthy popularity and margins depend on a scarcity model and that they wouldn’t be meddling in the Supreme team’s approach. But they also said that VF’s scale could help drive a compound annual growth rate of between 8% and 10%, and that Supreme could eventually become a billion dollar brand, at least. Stores are also scarce at Supreme, which only runs 12 globally. The brand has been especially a hit in the U.S. and Japan, and executives said they see potential in China and elsewhere in Asia more broadly. VF CEO Steve Rendle called the brick-and-mortar store “the ultimate expression of the brand” and said that that under VF, new Supreme locations will open “where the Supreme followers and lovers exist.”​ Indeed, despite the steep price VF stands to gain from Supreme’s enduring... read more

“TAMPA AM PRESENTS: GLOBAL AMDEMIC ” via link on Skatepark of Tampa website

Watch the Global AMdemic Finals featuring the top Ams from over 500 entries from around the world, battling it out for Tampa Am spots, bragging rights and a $1,000 cash prize. Plus Independent Best Trick with feedback from judges Kelly Hart, Kelvin Hoefler, and Mike Sinclair. Hosted by Andrew Cannon and Paul Zitzer at (BRA Distinguished Retail Member) Skatepark of Tampa. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“SHACC Launches Educational Resources and Digital Tour” by Glenn Brumage via info from SHACC Newsletter

For all those surf shops, educators and parents out there looking to enrich the lives of customers, students and children, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) in San Clemente, CA is proud to be able to support you with the newly launched Educational Resources section of their website. From plastic pollution to the pursuit of equality in the water, they have 12 new lesson plans that are up online and available for free. Check them out via the following link: SHACC Educational Resources Their doors have been closed for the last few months due to health and safety concerns, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a deep dive into the history, heritage and culture of surfing. Thanks to Google, they’ve got a digital tour available so you can enjoy all the classic surfboards, artifacts and memorabilia. We’ll be looking to open our doors again after the holidays, so stay tuned for upcoming developments.  Here is the link: SHACC Digital Tour We, at Board Retailers Association, love the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC). We absolutely appreciate Glenn Brumage and the entire staff for everything that they do to preserve the remarkable culture and history of Surfing and to promote surf shops. BRA would like to sincerely thank Glenn and the epic staff at Surfing Heritage and Culture Center for hosting the BRA Retailer Roundtable Event in November 2019 as well as each of the Supporting Event Partners including Solite Boots, Exchange Collective, Locally, Action Watch and Sambazon. Board specialty retailers from throughout Southern California and beyond as well as board sport related manufacturers and trade organizations participated... read more

“Report confirms outdoor recreation is crucial to national and state economies” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its annual report that lays out the importance of the outdoor recreation economy in hard data. The numbers are in.  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) came out with its annual report today dissecting the importance of the outdoor economy across the nation. Officially an analysis of the agency’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, which measures “economic activity as well as the sales or receipts generated by outdoor recreational activities” across the country, the report laid out in clear terms just how crucial outdoor recreation remains to state economies from coast to coast. Across the board, the upshot was positive. The BEA’s report found that outdoor recreation contributed to the economies of all 50 states and accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product and $788 billion in gross output (consumer spending) in 2019. According to a recap of the study published this morning by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, it is likely these figures will be even higher for 2020, given the rise in outdoor participation during the pandemic. Read more: New data shows the outdoor industry heading in the right direction Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of OIA, said after the release of the data, “The report published today proves that together, we are a force. The industry is a vital component of national, state, and local economies, as well as an important catalyst to America’s economic recovery.” Here’s what we learned from the numbers. States that benefited most from the outdoor economy The states that saw the highest value-add from outdoor recreation as a percentage of state GDP were clustered in the Intermountain West and the Northeast, with several key outliers... read more

“What If We Told You That You Could Protect Your New Surfboard Against Breaks And Dings…” via STAB Magazine

Well, you can. And it starts at just $10 a month.  Posted by: STAB What’s worse: breaking your new board first session, or watching every person you love getting mauled by a voracious pack of lions? Answer: the lions, but only just. New Board Anxiety is a serious medical condition that affects millions of surfers worldwide. If you or any surfer you know has suffered from this debilitating ailment, we present you with a viable (if only marginally costly) solution: Surfcare.  First and foremost, and despite how that intro read, this is not an advertisement. Or, I guess technically it is, but the crew at Surfcare didn’t pay a penny for it, so good on them for creating a product so inherently fascinating that we couldn’t help but write about it.  Second, Surfcare is exactly what it sounds like: AppleCare for your surfboard. It’s actual, genuine, real-life protection that you can buy as financial protection against a dinged or broken board.  Here are their available plans: Below we chatted with Nick Stolz, founder of Surfcare, to get more info on his product and see if the juice is truly worth the squeeze.  What inspired you to start this company? Well, I grew up breaking a ton of boards! Maybe I took that “stomp it” saying a little too literally [laughs]. I came up with the idea in Indonesia three years ago after running through a quiver at HTs. It’s a bad feeling when you spend a bunch of money on a new board and break it first session, or even at all. We all know the feeling. So Surfcare was... read more

“The puzzle of inventory during the pandemic” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

2020 has been a year of supreme uncertainly for specialty retail. Empty shelves, cancelled orders, and lopsided demand have forced shop owners to get creative to meet customers’ needs. Here’s what several retail owners say about the challenges they’ve faced. “If there’s any pattern to all this, it’s to expect delays. Which categories, brands, or products—that’s anybody’s guess. It’s best to just assume everything will be delayed and end up pleasantly surprised if it’s not.” That’s Eastside Sports owner Todd Vogel’s take on the state of inventory challenges at this point in the pandemic, nearly eight months in. “If there’s a delay, you pivot. Delay, pivot,” said Vogel, whose shop is based in Bishop, California. “That strategy has kept us going. It’s all about flexibility.” It’s no secret that sellers of outdoor goods have been scrambling this year, trying to keep pace with a retail landscape strained by supply chain disruptions, rapid shutdowns, unpredictable demand, and other hardships. Still, one way or another, many retailers are finding ways to keep their shelves stocked—to some degree—and customers happy.  To figure out what retailers are seeing on the ground level, and how they’re coping, we got in touch with several shop owners and buyers to ask about what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how everyone is bracing for the upcoming season. What’s causing problems To start things off, we wanted to know about specific pain points. In some sense, we were looking for a pattern, but that exercise quickly proved futile. After speaking with shop owners in several different states, the moral of the story seems to be that there’s no rhyme or reason... read more

“Surf Expo to Hold In-Person Show in January” via Surf Expo PR on Shop Eat Surf

PRESS RELEASES | Published Nov 2, 2020 Surf Expo, the premier watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow announce today that their upcoming January 6-8, 2021 show will take place in the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, a shift from the North/South Hall where the show has been held previously. Roy Turner, Surf Expo Show Director and SVP said, “Our top priority is to reunite the industry together safely. Our team is committed to creating an experience where we can safely and effectively conduct business.” The West Concourse will provide space for social distancing plus multiple entry and exit points to the show floor, a more favorable floorplan, and easier move in and move out for exhibitors.  At around 120,000 net square feet, the reduced footprint will allow for approximately 420 exhibitors with increased aisle space for distancing. While attendance is expected to decrease somewhat due to travel restrictions and store closures, the overwhelming response from retailers is that they need inventory, and want an in-person show.   Retailers from all across the US and Caribbean are registered to attend including Hi Tech Surf Sports from Maui, HI, Sun Diego from Carlsbad CA, K-Coast Surf Shop, Ocean City MD, Archie’s Surf Shop in Ontario, CA, Coastal Edge from VA Beach, Red Sail Sports in Aruba and Grand Cayman. Allyson Catanzaro, Buyer and Boutique Manager at La Playa Beach and Golf Resort in Naples, Florida said, “I am looking forward to attending Surf Expo to see vendors in person and to be able to touch and feel product. Zoom calls have worked, but it doesn’t replace the in-person contact.” Jim Archibald, owner of Archie’s Surf Shop in Ontario, Canada added, “Surf Expo has been hugely instrumental in our success. Archies wouldn’t be the same without it.  We haven’t missed a winter show in 30 years. I don’t want to break... read more

“Postmates looks to solve local retail’s last mile” by Tom Ryan of Retail Wire

Postmates, the Uber-owned on-demand delivery platform, has introduced a new service supporting the last-mile needs of local retailers. Under the program, Shop, local retailers create a virtual storefront on Postmates’ app, where they’ll be able to showcase their inventory with organized, configurable catalogs that feature high resolution images. Postmates will provide the retailer with a tablet to manage available inventory. Customers get access to a variety of options for getting their orders, including home delivery and in-store or curbside pickup. Delivery and service fees range from $4.99 for standard delivery to $12.99 for priority. Unlimited subscribers receive free delivery. Mike Buckley, who recently joined Postmates as SVP of business to guide the effort, told Glossy that Shop is designed to help local retailers meet heightened expectations for speedy online delivery created by Amazon Prime as well as to alleviate expected pressures from major carriers around shipping constraints this holiday season. “Our intuition is that there’s going to be a lot of interest in beauty, personal care, home goods, apparel and more frequently [shopped categories], like flowers and hardware,” he said. “We’re trying to create a fun, curated shopping experience.” Mr. Buckley, formerly VP, digital commerce operations & new business models at Nike, also expects the service to support flash sales, exclusive “drops” and other limited-time campaigns. “We think we can drive engagement to these merchants and create calls to action,” he told TechCrunch. The move enables Postmates, acquired by Uber in July for $2.65 billion, to expand further beyond its core food-delivery offering and positions the platform as an online marketplace for mobile shoppers. Shop’s introduction starts in Los Angeles with nearly 50 retailers, including... read more