“How Retailers Can Teach Empathy for De-Escalation” by Derek Belch via Total Retail

“How Retailers Can Teach Empathy for De-Escalation” by Derek Belch via Total Retail

Retailers and consumers alike had just started to feel hopeful about a post-pandemic future a mere few weeks ago. However, with the COVID-19 Delta variant quickly becoming a concern, retailers across the country have made the move to reinstate mask mandates indoors. Unsurprisingly, this latest round of mask mandates has come with mounting tensions. Many store associates have found themselves in very uncomfortable, and sometimes violent encounters with disgruntled customers, with facemasks continuing to pose a controversial debate. As such, with the onus sitting squarely on the shoulders of front-line employees to outline and enforce these mask mandates, many businesses are looking at proactive measures to help train and prepare workers for potentially highly charged customer encounters. Preparing Our People With Empathy Training During these challenging times, customer-facing employees will be looking for guidance on best practices and reassurance on how to handle potentially tense situations with customers. Signals must come from the top, emphasizing the importance of being confident and prepared with the skills needed to de-escalate stressful interactions. It often comes down to the ability to show empathy to those experiencing stress or anxiety. However, this typically doesn’t come naturally and requires proper training. This is why empathy training is key for giving front-line associates the tools to prepare for what they’re likely to face, such as what Walmart is doing with its beKIND program meant for teaching and measuring empathy in customer service. Customer-facing employees can benefit immensely by being able to embody the feelings of an anxious guest or customer. Through realistic, immersive training modalities, learners can better understand a customer’s point of view, whether or not they agree, in order...
“DC Shoes is proud to present, ‘THIS TOO SHALL PASS’, a short documentary about mental health issues in the skateboarding community.” – be sure to share this important video with your customers

“DC Shoes is proud to present, ‘THIS TOO SHALL PASS’, a short documentary about mental health issues in the skateboarding community.” – be sure to share this important video with your customers

Push play to view this important video Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. DC Shoes is proud to present, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”, a short documentary about mental health issues in the skateboarding community. DC team rider, John Gardner, opens up about his own mental health struggles as he experienced suicidal thoughts and depression over the years. John talks about how he uses meditation, breathing and skateboarding to help heal from depression. The documentary also features Andrew Huberman, Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine, providing some amazing insight into how we can help ourselves and each other on a daily basis. John also curated a limited zine that includes facts on mental health, self-care, breathing techniques and other tools that can be useful for anyone suffering from depression. Check the link below to read the digital zine and more. Link: https://dcshoes.com/blog/skate/This-T… For anyone battling issues with mental health or having thoughts of suicide, please know that you are not alone. You are loved – and there are resources available to provide support. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Follow DC Shoes: Website: www.dcshoes.com Instagram: @dcshoes TikTok: @dcshoes Facebook: https://facebook.com/DC.Shoes View this important video on Thrasher via the following link: https://www.thrashermagazine.com/articles/trash/dc-shoes-this-too-shall-pass/ JENKEM – John Gardner’s Tips for Building Up Your Mental Health View another important article featuring Andrew Huberman via the following link: https://www.boardretailers.org/discussing-skateboarding-with-neuroscientist-andrew-huberman-by-karl-watson-rob-fraebel-via-jenkem-mag/ If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no...
“If you missed the BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion at Surf Expo, you can view it and other relevant and helpful educational webinars right here” by BRA + Management One

“If you missed the BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion at Surf Expo, you can view it and other relevant and helpful educational webinars right here” by BRA + Management One

Concerns about the delta variant contributed to store traffic declines in July, combined with some signs that consumer confidence is wavering. The outlook for business in Q4 is nowhere near certain. In this Board Retailers Association (BRA) Retailer Roundtable panel discussion, the panelists speak about how these factors are affecting independent retailers plans for holiday selling this year. In addition, the panel explored and shared current pricing practices that have increased operating margins in their stores as well as significant staffing challenges. These competitive pricing and staffing strategies can be implemented in your store immediately. This remarkable panel was moderated by George Leichtweiss (BRA Chairman and owner of Modern Skate & Surf) and included Paul Erickson (Director and Senior Retail Consultant at BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One), Bruce Cromartie (BRA Board Member and Owner of BC Surf & Sport) and Doug Works (BRA Executive Director and former retailer). Push play to view this remarkable BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion from Surf Expo – 9 21 Massive thanks to Jesse of Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) for introducing their remarkable retail resource and sponsoring this outstanding event. Learn more about Podium in the following article: BRA Podium 4 Ways Article The video above serves as the 2021 3rd Quarterly BRA + Management One Webinar. At the end of the each Quarter, Board Retailers Association hosts relevant and helpful quarterly webinars on a variety of topics in collaboration with BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One. Push play to view the 2nd Quarterly BRA + Management One Webinar of 2021 Push play to view the 1st Quarterly BRA + Management One Webinar of...
“To Meet Customers’ In-Store Expectations, Retailers Must Master ‘Phygital’ Experiences” by Jaime Betancourt via Total Retail

“To Meet Customers’ In-Store Expectations, Retailers Must Master ‘Phygital’ Experiences” by Jaime Betancourt via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by bernard bodo Distance makes the heart grow fonder, sure. But it can also create romanticized expectations that are near impossible to meet. While there’s certainly a lot to miss about physical shopping, it’s possible some consumers have built up the retail experience in their head to the point where it will be hard for stores to deliver. To use another adage about human nature, people want what they cannot have. During the last 18 months, when in-person shopping was not possible, or at the least, not the same, some consumers yearned for classic brick-and-mortar moments more than ever. So, what happens now that consumers can visit stores again, and how about long term, when the pandemic is at last behind us? Retailers have no choice but to REALLY deliver on the core benefits of physical shopping — the joy of discovery, getting to touch and feel a product, the potential for immediate gratification, and the social aspect, whether that’s spending time with a loved one or connecting with a stranger. They must understand shoppers’ sentimental longing for normalcy, while continually innovating to reflect expectations for convenience and personalization. Otherwise, stores will have sorely disappointed shoppers on their hands. Building the Bionic Beings of Retail There’s a famous TV show from the ’70s called “The Six Million Dollar Man” about a former astronaut named Steve Austin, played by actor Lee Majors. After a flight accident, Austin is rebuilt with bionic implants and becomes better, stronger and faster. It makes me think about in-person retail experiences. The pandemic was our flight accident. Now it’s time to rebuild,...
“Key Industry Surf Shops Impacted by Oil Spill” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

“Key Industry Surf Shops Impacted by Oil Spill” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Workers cleaning oil that washed ashore on Corona Del Mar State Beach Wednesday – Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard The oil spill in Orange County that has closed beaches in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point is not only a crisis for the environment, it also could have a major impact on important industry stores and other businesses in the area. “This is an ecological and economic crisis for the city of Huntington Beach,” said Aaron Pai, the owner of Huntington Surf & Sport on Main Street. “I feel for all the animals and businesses affected.” Last weekend, Huntington Beach was packed due to the Pacific Air Show, which draws thousands of people to the beach to watch the planes perform off the coast. HSS was a sponsor of the event, which ended up being cancelled on Sunday, the last day of the show. “We had to navigate through COVID, and now we’ll have to navigate through this,” Aaron said. The spill has also cancelled this weekend’s City of Huntington Beach Surf Contest, which HSS was also sponsoring. The only good news is that the spill didn’t happen in the height of summer, Aaron said. Huntington Beach also just hosted the WSL’s U.S. Open of Surfing at the end of September. “Thank God it didn’t happen during the U.S. Open,” said Bobby Abdel, a partner at Jack’s Surfboards, whose flagship store is directly across from the beach in Huntington. “Can you imagine?” Jack’s has already noticed a drop in traffic as people avoid Huntington Beach because of the spill and the negative publicity. “There’s no...
“Just How Much Does Music Change the Way We View Surfing?” by Juan Hernandez via The Inertia

“Just How Much Does Music Change the Way We View Surfing?” by Juan Hernandez via The Inertia

That headline was a rhetorical question. Of course music impacts our viewing of surf videos. A lot. In fact, music doesn’t just have an effect on how we view surfing, a guy like Quentin Tarantino would argue music completely controls how we feel about anything watched on film. And he’s pretty good at making films. Music is an integral piece in the storytelling experience and surf flicks are no exception. Cue Brad Jacobson, a videographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles’ South Bay who doesn’t make your typical daily or weekly surf-porn vlog. He watches more footage each day than most of us can fathom after hours on end of watching our lineup habits and behavior through the lens of a camera. It leads him to ask questions like “Do average surfers have the most fun?” or “What’s up with all the weird faces we make while surfing?” They’re refreshing quips on things many of us notice in the everyday lineup but probably don’t actually talk about. Yes, that classic steel guitar leaves us yearning for the old days. Everything about surfing in the 1990s had a very specific and familiar sound. You can almost feel the paper-thin, 6’6″ thruster under your feet while picturing Kelly Slater with hair. Clown-car music and a wipeout reel? Makes sense. Ska? LET’S GO! Jacobson runs through an entire library of sounds here and looks for which types of waves and performance works for each. While we all know surfing is best (or at least most often) paired with certain genres, you probably haven’t taken the time to watch the same two or three clips paired with six different genres, back to back. It’s a...
“A LOOK AT SOME OF SKATEBOARDING’S GREATEST DISPLAYS OF FILMING” by Justin The Intern via Jenkem Mag

“A LOOK AT SOME OF SKATEBOARDING’S GREATEST DISPLAYS OF FILMING” by Justin The Intern via Jenkem Mag

To some skaters out there, filming might seem like a pretty simple task. First, you have to buy a half-decent camera with a fisheye, and then all you really have to do is keep the skater in the frame and make sure the colors aren’t too blown out. Easy, right? Maybe, but when you start to really focus on the technique, you start to see there’s a big difference between the regular Joes and skateboarding’s elite filmers. To shine some light on the real lens tacticians out there, we’ve compiled a list of some standout maneuvers that filmers have pulled off that others couldn’t (or wouldn’t) for the sake of keeping themselves and their camera safe. Feel free to bitch and moan in the comments about what clips we forgot to include. BRIAN PANEBIANCO – SABOTAGE X DC Philadelphia is a city of history. From the founding fathers to Rocky Balboa to the DC team, Philly has seen it all. In the new Sabotage x DC video, Brian Panebianco kicks off his own part by doing a Varial Heel while filming Kevin Bilyeu at Muni. Everything about it oozes a calculated maneuver that might be the coolest most nonchalant thing a filmer has ever done; baggy sweatpants, bulky Lynxes, and a somehow perfectly caught varial heel. This clip was good enough to earn Brian his place in Boil The Ocean’s “Filmers Who Rip on the Board Hall of Fame” and a spot on this list. JACOB HARRIS – ATLANTIC DRIFT: TOM KNOX Everybody remembers this part because Tom Knox performs some of the smoothest skating on some of the roughest ground. But Jacob Harris’ filming often goes...
“A ship anchor hooking the pipeline may have caused the California oil spill, preliminary report says” by Madeline Holcombe, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera and Cheri Mossburg via CNN plus relevant letter from SIMA President

“A ship anchor hooking the pipeline may have caused the California oil spill, preliminary report says” by Madeline Holcombe, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera and Cheri Mossburg via CNN plus relevant letter from SIMA President

(CNN) An anchor hooking an oil pipeline may have caused the Southern California spill that spewed more than 100,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said in a notice to operation owner Amplify Energy. “The pipeline has essentially been pulled like a bow string. And so at its widest point is about 105 feet away from where it was. So it is kind of an almost a semicircle,” Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said at a press conference Tuesday.There is no confirmation of a vessel above the site of the spill, but a response team is working with other agencies to determine whether a ship was in the area, said Capt. Rebecca Ore, the commanding officer at US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. Photo: Oil spill in Southern California Workers with Patriot Environmental Services clean up some of the oil that flowed into the Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, California. Earlier Tuesday, authorities said a 4,000-foot section of the pipeline was displaced laterally about 105 feet and had a 13-inch split that was likely the source of the spill.The discovery explains the likely source of a spill, widely reported Saturday, of as much as 144,000 gallons of crude oil about five miles off the coast of Huntington Beach. The spill has shut down prized beaches, damaged the environment and presented possible health hazards for local residents.Authorities investigating the leak also sought Tuesday to clarify the timeline of when authorities and the pipeline company learned about the spill and what they did in response. A strong gasoline odor. Plumes of oil. And now...
“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Mobile retail is at the early experimental phase of development, but operators are looking to achieve the same level of acceptance as food trucks have achieved in the restaurant space. The Lovesac Company, the home furnishing brand known for its adaptable Sactionals couches, just launched Mobile Concierge in the Seattle and Washington, D.C. areas. Customers schedule a visit from the van and, inside, receive live demonstrations, see the latest innovations, touch and feel fabric cover options, and design their own Sactionals setup to fit their space and style. Mobile Concierge builds on the growing use of showroom and virtual appointments, as well as interactive Facebook Live demos over the last year. “We wanted to create a new way for customers to shop our products, free from the stress of busy shopping centers and limited parking,” said Shawn Nelson, Lovesac CEO and founder, in a statement. “We decided to bring the showroom right to the customers’ home with a one-on-one, tailored shopping experience. Santa, created by former Wework veterans, recently debuted in Texas with two trucks canvassing Plano and Frisco. The trucks offer a weekly-rotating range of fashion, beauty, tech, home décor and gifts with a focus on locally-made. The initial idea was to offer front door exchanges to eliminate the hassle of online returns, but Santa’s mobile trucks also enable customers to try on clothing and see how décor looks in their homes before purchasing. Customers see the merchandise on the Santa app and are notified when the truck will be in their area. “Santa is an attempt to create a new kind of physical store that moves around and...
“When Retailers Mistake Their Most Important Asset As A Cost” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“When Retailers Mistake Their Most Important Asset As A Cost” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

For years we’ve heard that employee expenses are driving retail profit margins down; as a result, labor hours were cut. That meant shoppers were more likely not to see anyone working in a store, that they most likely would have to wait for assistance, and would have to wait in line to pay. That led customer service levels down across the board and still today it is pummeling retail traffic across the world. Many retailers see their retail employees as a cost center, the opposite of an asset. They are something to be minimized. That’s why, to keep down the expense, they try to get away with the minimum needed to cover the floor. And that’s a mistake. Brian Field, Senior Director at ShopperTrak, notes, “The more you cut your labor hours, the better your labor looks.” But there’s a problem with that and that’s why ShopperTrak advises clients to instead measure using shopper to associate ratio. That number can go up or down, depending on the level of service that a brand is intending to provide. The lower the shopper to associate ratio you want to have, the better trained your employees must be. You can’t say customers are the major focus of your business and then provide three-person coverage on a busy Saturday. But it’s not just employees you need to value as an asset, it’s their training. A friend of mine related an experience her son had while working at a Michelin-rated restaurant in New York. To keep their rating stars, they are mystery-dined each year. There are separate ratings for food and service. Last year this restaurant received a 93 on the...