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

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

Stay Current on the Latest Industry News and Consumer Trends

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

2017 Retail Predictions

We all watched 2016 transform retail into a world driven by technology, speed, and constant change. In order to keep up with the new pace of marketing and sales, businesses had to be connected to stay three steps ahead of the technology trend of the day. We witnessed mobile transcend all generations, taking the lead for online sales platforms. It seems that each year brings new expectations by consumers, and in order to see growth, retailers need to keep up. Our prediction is that 2017 will be no different in regards to continuous change, which is why we are sharing some of our retail predictions for the new year. Mobile – First, Everything Else – Second Ecommerce and digital marketing needs to have mobile at the front of their minds. Each year, online traffic through mobile is doubling. We live in a fast-paced society, and customers desire a fast, one-touch checkout system. Mobile gives them the ability to do so. So how does your retail business adhere to the desires of your customers? Make their mobile experience with you as seamless of an experience as possible. Create mobile platforms that are easy to navigate and allow the customer to click and purchase in an instant – thus watching your mobile conversion increase instantly. Focus on the Individual   I’m sure you have all noticed how ads on your Facebook newsfeed and even emails in your inbox from retailers have felt like they relate directly to you. How did they know that I wanted a new non-skid yoga mat? Why did this Warby Parker ad appear on my newsfeed right... read more

How Retailers Can Get Ready for Small Business Saturday

November is finally here, and you know what that means? It’s holiday shopping seasons! Retailers everywhere are plotting the most strategic methods for successfully making it through the frantic November and December months of shopping. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales, their plates are guaranteed to be full. However, some must all prepare for Small Business Saturday, which lands right in between the two. Small Business Saturday began as an initiative to encourage buyers to shop at their local small business during the busy holiday season. What started as a small initiative eventually grew into a prime shopping holiday, with millions and millions of consumers choosing the “shop small” for their gifts. That being said, there is a lot of preparation and planning that goes into making Small Business Saturday a success story, and we are here to help you get ready! Don’t Wait! The future success of your Small Business Saturday sales is determined right now. Start your preparation now (or yesterday) and don’t waste any time promoting holiday shopping to your consumers. Begin alerting your followers on social media about upcoming sales, offering contest and incentive opportunities to engage interest. Put together a creative email campaign to send off to your current shoppers featuring products and sales. Begin organizing your storefront to best appeal to your brick and mortar customers. Preparation begins now, so get to it! Fine Tune Your Website. Your online presence is often times your first impression for your brand. That being said, you want to ensure that your website is optimized to best serve its viewers. Update your current inventory, highlighting your... read more

BRA Hires New Executive Director!

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (October 24th, 2016) – With the fall season now officially in full swing, the Board Retailers Association (BRA) has made a bold move and hired a new Executive Director to oversee operations. Mike Scully, a veteran sales executive, will oversee the non-profit organization representing more than 600 independent owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers. A lifelong resident of Fort Lauderdale and action sports fanatic, Scully’s passion is a natural fit for the organization. Coupled with his business acumen, earned over 35 year in corporate sales management, Scully is the perfect person to fill the role, according to BRA chairman Bruce Cromartie. “I met Mike when I was about 13,”says Cromartie, “our mutual love of surfing has bonded us together for more years than I care to count. His enthusiasm for surfing, skateboarding and paddle boarding is unparalleled and his fresh perspective on the industry will be a welcome addition to our organization’s management team.” Aside from his professional sales experience, Scully is also President of the Greenback Surf Club. This Florida based nonprofit dates back to 1967 and focuses its efforts on keeping the beaches open, caring for the environment and aiding in local civic issues. “I’ve loved action sports as long as I can remember,” says Scully. “To now have the opportunity to apply my business experience to an industry that I’ve admired for so long is extremely exciting. I’m looking forward to going to local surf shops I’ve visited as a customer and working with their owners to develop their business and amplifying their voices. Bruce and I are eager to work with... read more

How Retailers Can Prepare for the Holidays

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not even Halloween yet, so why are we already talking about the holidays?! We know that some of you save your holiday shopping for the last minute, but retailers spend months preparing for Santa to load his sleigh. When planning for the holiday season, retailers know that they need to be ready to take on their busiest time of the year! Here are a few tips for helping your business stay ahead of the game during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Perfect Your Website Customers tend to be drawn to brands that give them the most pleasant experience, and customer service is not limited to just the brick and mortar presence. Your customer’s online experience is just as important! Ensure that you have created a website that is easy-to-navigate for your shoppers this holiday season. Remember that one of the biggest reasons that customers gravitate to online shopping is for the convenience factor. Therefore, a quick and smooth process on your website will result in more sales. It is also crucial that your website is mobile-friendly. Smartphones are becoming increasingly more popular than desktops for surfing the web, so make sure to create that level of mobile convenience for your buyers. Prepare Your Products Do you have what your shoppers are shopping for? Before the holidays arrive, it’s a good idea to stock up on your key inventory products. With that, take a look at trending sales over the last year and even the previous holiday season. What products are your customers looking for? By understanding the wants and needs of... read more

BRA’s New Chairman and New Future

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing more than 600 independent owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers is pleased to announce that it has elected a new chairman, Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport, for the 2017 term. Having previously served as Co-Chair from 2011-2014, Cromartie is primed to take the reins of the organization. Cromartie opened the original BC Surf & Sport in 1977. In 1986, he and a partner opened a store in Littleton, Colorado just as snowboarding started to gain popularity. Since that time, BC has grown to 15 stores, primarily located in the Rockies and Florida. As a multi-sport industry veteran, Cromartie has the industry relationships and experience to connect with members, develop new partnerships and unify retailers. “Being a member of BRA has been a great experience for me,” says Cromartie,“and I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to help keep our initiatives moving forward. There have never been more challenges in our industry, and we all have a lot to gain by working together to be sure the surf, skate and snowboard business stays strong.” In addition to this change, the Association also shared the news that Mike Duncan will step down from his position as President at the end of 2016. After founding the organization with Surf Expo’s Roy Turner, Duncan has run the Association for over 13 years.  He will remain a key resource for the organization and join its Board of Directors. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be a founding member and serve as the President of this remarkable... read more

Top 5 Highlights of Surf Expo 2016

Last week marked another successful bi-annual Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Board Retailers Association and over 2,500 booths of apparel and goods came together for three full days of exciting events! Featuring demos, fashion shows, education seminars, award ceremonies, and more, Surf Expo is one of the largest trade shows in the nation. BRA continues to attend this well-organized event, walking away more impressed each time. Although there are so many aspects to rave about on this tradeshow, here are a few qualities that really stood out to us at Surf Expo this year. Layout and Organization – Easy to Navigate Upon entering one of the largest convention centers in America, it could be easy to become overwhelmed. However, the smooth layout of this trade show was very well-organized and easy to navigate. The areas of the convention center were organized by the category of products, such as surf, wind, boating, boutiques, SUP, skate, and beyond. As you went down the escalator to enter into the abyss of exhibitors, you could clearly see the structure of the setup from above. All 9,500+ storefronts had their own booth for showcasing their products, and the fluid flow of the floor plan was ideal. Seminars and Education The best and the brightest in the industry attend Surf Expo each year, bringing vast amounts of knowledge to the attendees. There were a variety of educational and entertaining seminars, including seminars on working with Amazon and social media marketing and SEO by BRA President, Mike Duncan. In addition, seminar topics ranged from e-commerce to paddle boarding to surfboards, etc. It’s safe... read more