PROTECTING RETAILERS AND A LIFESTYLE

SURF SKATE SNOW SUP WAKE

“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 Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to newly and recently enacted State and Federal level small business relief (PPP2 and more) as well as updated State by State restrictions on January 7, 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“10 Easy Ways to get Customer Reviews that Boost Retail Sales” by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor

Customer reviews are very influential and can increase your sales more than marketing with a paid ad but can be hard to get. Here’s 10 proven tips to get customers to review your business online. There’s nothing shoppers consider buying without asking a friend, reading a review, or searching an app. Since most purchases start online these days, reviews act as a surrogate for a brick and mortar employee who could build trust. The other day I asked a buddy how his purchase of LED lightbulbs worked out. He replied, “You don’t think I would’ve tried them without first checking the reviews, do you? All 5-star.” A ZenDesk research report noted that 88% of customers have been influenced by an online customer review when making a buying decision. Yet many retailers and service providers, when I suggest they call or follow-up with their customers, tell me they are afraid they’ll get a negative review so they don’t do it. They figure the only people who will write reviews of their business or products will be people who want to share a bad experience. ZenDesk affirmed this by noting that 95% share bad experiences.  But here’s the thing…they also noted 87% shared good experiences – that’s pretty close. And more importantly, they also noted that more people have read a positive review (69%) of customer service online than negative reviews (63%.) And I’m not naive enough to think any reader of this post hasn’t looked at an Amazon review before purchasing something – regardless of cost. When you see 50 five-star reviews of a product, you tend to trust…and I bet you buy it. So you know product... read more

“Retail how-to: 5 tips for battling showroomers” by Carolyn Webber via SNEWS

Sure, price-shopping consumers can save a few dollars by buying from big e-tailing sites, but brick and mortar specialty shops can do more to capture those sales and create a long-term, loyal customers in the process. When you see a customer price-shopping in your store, make a move to engage them and steal back the sale. // Photo: Carolyn Webber IT HAPPENS PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY IN OUTDOOR SHOPS AROUND THE COUNTRY. A customer walks into the store and heads over to the pack wall. He tries a bunch on, finds the perfect fit, the ideal size, and the feature set that he likes. He may or may not be casually surfing on his phone throughout the process. Regardless, he offers a quick “thank you!” then boogies on home to make the purchase online, where he saves a few bucks. It’s called “showrooming,” and it’s become a dirty word in the world of brick and mortar retailers. Mark Swindel, store manager of REI’s Salt Lake City location, says it happens far more than he’d like. Nowadays, everyone has product information at their fingertips, and apps such as ShopSavvy and PriceGrabber make comparison shopping even easier. Swindel and other retail managers find it hard to fight against the competitive prices of the “Amazons of the world.” But there are ways to combat showrooming, and bring those transactions back into your shop. #1 Train your retail employees.Human interaction is something you can’t get online, even if there is an open chatroom. Bob Phibbs, CEO of Retail Doctor, a retail consulting firm, attributes showrooming to less retail assistants on the floor and a... read more

“A Very Unequal Recovery: The New Face of Retail Darwinism” (plus links to relevant M1 webinars) by Marc Weiss – CEO, Management One

Initially, the outcome was unexpected. But as summer turned into fall, and as fall moves into holiday, we now know with certainty that Indie retailers are experiencing a very unequal recovery. At Management One, we have been tracking data by location every day since March 12th. (see chart below) The results have stayed constant and reflect a very strong K-shaped reality. The top 20% are seeing retail bliss, the bottom 20% are experiencing a retail slump, and the middle 60% are either moving up the K slope or fighting to keep from sliding down. There are a variety of factors that affect results, including location, vertical, and a retailer’s demographic makeup. It is true some retailers were fortunate to be in resort locations where affluent populations fled over the summer, or were already well positioned in their digital e-commerce, social media, and communication, or are happily in verticals that flourished during Covid-19 like Outdoor and Pet Supply. However, there is also a strong collection of retailers that welcomed the opportunities that appeared, and they embraced change. Some from that group are enjoying gains, as they rest comfortably in the upper slopes of the “K.”  Cash is strong, inventories are in great shape, and they are exploring other opportunities to expand, where previous doors were closed. On the down slope, there is a struggle to find growth and a return to some normalcy. Recovery has been weaker and slower than expected. Less flexible landlords, abandoned communities, a client base that is slow to come back, challenges to adapt to a virtual world, supply disruptions, and stiffer responses from other creditors... read more

“CSEF Is Bridging Skateboarding and Higher Education” interview via Malakye.com

Keegan Guizard literally skated through college. He was an inspired student at North Carolina State University who founded a collegiate skate tour and then shortly after college he co-founded The College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF) with Thomas Barker and Neftalie Williams, who’ve both been involved in the skate industry for a long time. CSEF connects skateboarding and higher education and is a great way to help young skaters see a bright future through skating without having to turn pro. Check out this interview with Keegan, a video that explains a lot, and learn how to get involved. Learn about applying for a CSEF scholarship here.Learn how to donate and get involved here.What inspired you to create The College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF)? When I was in school at North Carolina State University, we had a Skateboarding Club that hosted local contest events for charity and went on school-funded road trips. We had so much fun. As part of an entrepreneurship course, I started Collegiate Skate Tour, a national contest series for college students (we had a division for non-students too). That was an opportunity to keep doing events and traveling post-graduation. After I moved to Los Angeles in 2015, I met Thomas Barker and Neftalie Williams who I co-founded CSEF with. I wanted other skaters to know how much fun skating in college can be and to be able to potentially set themselves up for a better life after skating. The organization stands for so much more, but that’s a narrative that I experienced as a skateboarder that went to college. What’s the breakdown of what it took to get from idea... read more

“Cooper talks to Tony Hawk about life in quarantine” interview by Anderson Cooper via CNN

Anderson Cooper talks to Tony Hawk about life in quarantine – CNN Video Anderson Cooper speaks to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk about life during the coronavirus pandemic. Watch “Full Circle” every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 6pm E.T. www.cnn.com https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/10/16/acfc-tony-hawk-you-and-your-quarantine-full-episode-vpx.cnn 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

“Prime Day vs Election Day” by Dan Pankratz (Co-Founder of the Exchange Collective) via Building The Revolution

With Covid now in its 8th month and what could be Americas most debated presidential elections less than a month away, we are now faced with another decision that can change life as we know It.—- PRIME DAY. You might think voting for a Career Politician, a Businessman, or Rap Star will help fix our country’s economic and social welfare. Think again. Some Americans celebrate spending money on mass-produced products from a multi-billion dollar company where the average warehouse employee could not even purchase 1 share of their company stock with a full month’s paycheck. How you spend your money on Prime day does more than get you a discount on crap you don’t need. It also effects the community you live in.  It is no secret that when a business can offer more convenience and better pricing we feel like we are getting the best deal. But what if that convenience and pricing are really costing you and your family more than you think.  For every $1 you spend by entering the digits of your credit card to have your hard-earned money securely zip through space into that multi-billion dollar corporations bank account, less than 20% off that money will ever end up circulating back into your community. When that same $1 is spent in a business with a physical location that percentage can double. If that business owner lives in that town up to 80% of that money can stay in your community.  Convenience and pricing are for toilet paper and deodorant. But if you are going to buy a new vacuum for your wife, or a new... read more

“The Black Surfing Association is Empowering Black Youth in Rockaway -PADDLING OUT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUALITY WITH NEW YORK’S LOU HARRIS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine (from the final issue)

This feature originally appeared in SURFER Volume 61, Number 3. Since that issue’s release, due to the impact of the pandemic on SURFER’s business, the staff has been furloughed indefinitely and all content production has been paused. Hopefully SURFER will one day return, in some form, but in the meantime please enjoy this feature from the final issue. In April of 2014, Lou Harris, a surfer and resident of Rockaway—an oceanfront community in the New York City borough of Queens—read a news article about a 16-year-old boy who’d been arrested after setting fire to a mattress in his apartment in neighboring Coney Island. When the cops asked the kid why he started the fire, they reported that he said it was because he was bored. Harris couldn’t bear the thought of kids in his community growing up with so little engagement—and in a place with waves, no less. To Harris, the answer was obvious—he’d introduce local youth to the thing he loved so much. He’d get them surfing. Harris, who is now 48 years old, was born in Queens and grew up in Dix Hills, Long Island. He moved to the Rockaways in 2006, where he began teaching himself to surf to help come to terms with hanging up his skateboard in his late 30s. Soon enough, Harris crossed paths with Brian “B.J.” James, a dedicated Rockaway Beach surfer and among the few Black wave riders you’d have found in that lineup in the 1990s—despite the neighborhood’s population being roughly 35 percent Black. Author of “The Nautical Negro”, a memoir about his life as a Black waterman, B.J. showed... read more

“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – Letter from Chris Neiratko of NJ, FAQs & more

We are re-posting the following information (FAQs and more) about Skate Shop Day with the following letter from NJ Skate Shop Owner, BRA Distinguished Retail Member and co-founder of Skate Shop Day, Chris Nieratko addressed to skate brands: Hello new and old friends, Chris Nieratko here. You might know me from some of the previous hats I’ve worn over the past 25 in years in skateboarding, or maybe you don’t. Either way, there is no hat that I wear with more pride than my NJ Skateshop hat. 2021 marks NJ’s 18th anniversary (cue Skid Row’s 18 and Life…) and in that time, like most skateshops, my partner, Steve Lenardo, and I have seen unbelievable highs and crazy lows. We’ve survived a recession, Hurricane Sandy, CoViD as well as emotional personal and industry losses and yet somehow we live to fight another day. It is my love for not only my own shop but for all shops, especially those that opened their doors to me and my friends on tours throughout the years, that led me to start Skateshop Day this past February 19th with my friend, Scotty Coats. Skateshops have always been the cornerstone of skate communities around the globe. Skateshop Day is meant to be the time when the skateboarding community celebrates our cultural hubs. The foundations of every skate scene. The places that bring skaters together and act as the glue for skateboarding as we know it. Skateshop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops, to show love to the unsung heroes that do so much for skating all year round; the men and women that float you a bearing, throw in free grip,... read more

“How Can Surfcare Help My Surf Shop?” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Surfcare

Surfcare brochures on display at Rip Curl San Clemente. Shop employees share Surfcare with every perspective customer buying a new board. Surfcare’s Surfboard Protection Plans Can Help Your Board Shop Increase Sales & Customer Loyalty  Customers want to feel secure when they make a big purchase. This is true in pretty much every market and the surfboard industry is no different. Buying a new surfboard can feel like a major life decision. And whether they’re a beginner or veteran, board purchasers want to feel like they aren’t going to regret it the second they get their first ding.  Surfcare QR Code stickers on new boards for sale at Rip Curl San Clemente. These QR Codes link to Surfcare’s website and let Surfcare know every time a Rip Curl Customer visits the site. It’s not uncommon to see surf shops providing an exchange window or limited-warranty with board purchases. Still, their customers generally know the drill. Those narrow offerings barely scratch the surface when it comes to true product protection.  Sure, the customer can always bring their board back in for repair. They’ll just have to pay for it entirely out of pocket. This additional expense later down the road can potentially worsen their relationship with your business. It also ultimately leads to less board purchases from customers who might be too risk-averse to pull the trigger. The more they have to worry about hidden maintenance and repair costs, the less likely they are to buy your boards.  Product Protection Plans Add Value to Most Industries  Offering a type of insurance or product protection plan for the higher-cost items in... read more

“Venmo pilots Business Profile feature to showcase small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: Venmo announced that it launched Business Profiles, a feature which allows small businesses to create profiles and accept payments for their goods and services.With the payment platform’s Business Profiles feature, sellers can accept contactless payments, attract new customers and gain transactional insights regarding customers. Businesses can track their company transactions, the number of customers and their customer database, according to a company blog post.For now, the feature is only available to select retailers for free, but the company plans to make it available to other businesses within the coming months and possibly charge them fees to use the service, per the company blog post. Sellers with personal Venmo accounts can set up a company profile without creating a separate login. Dive Insight: In its announcement, Venmo acknowledged that the current economic climate has been challenging for small businesses, many of whom are sole proprietors. With the Business Profile pilot, the peer-to-peer payments platform follows in the footsteps of companies like Builder.ai, eBay, Facebook and Instagram, which have introduced tech tools and funding for small businesses.  The move also comes after Venmo engaged in partnerships with retailers and rolled out a new feature. Last October, the payments platform enlisted retailers like Target, Sephora and Sam’s Club as collaborators for its cashback incentives on its rewards card. Back in August, the company also debuted an instant transfer feature that allows users to send funds immediately to their linked bank accounts for a fee.  Venmo mentioned in its announcement that it has more than 52 million users. The company noted that establishing company profiles allows small businesses to tap into that network of users without needing a substantial advertising budget.  Using the... read more

“Tune in with Doug Works from Board Retailers Association” – interview conducted by Vipe Desai of PropagandaHQ.net

Doug Works, Executive Director of the Board Retailers Association shared updates with Vipe Desai on what the organization is doing to help its retail members and also shared insights as to how retailers are managing during the pandemic. Click on the image below to view the interview. Be sure to visit the Propaganda HQ website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly 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

“Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer magazines to cease publication indefinitely – The four titles will “pause” operations in the coming months and furlough employees without pay.” by ANDREW WEAVER via SNEWS

Four of the outdoor industry’s oldest print magazines—Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer—will cease publication indefinitely this year, according to multiple sources at the brands’ parent company, A360 Media. TransWorld SKATEboarding, another A360 Media property, will also pause operations until further notice. Sierra Shafer, editor-in-chief at Powder, confirmed today that staff members at all five titles received indefinite furlough notifications late on Friday, October 2. Employees at Bike and Surfer were furloughed immediately, Shafer said, while Powderand Snowboarder staff learned the same would happen to them on November 20. None of the furloughed staff will be paid after operations cease. In a letter to A360 Media employees obtained by SNEWS on Monday, the company’s human resources director, Ken Slivken, confirmed that “COVID-19 has presented unforeseeable business circumstances and has had a sudden and dramatic impact on the business of A360 Media.” The letter made clear that the furloughs are a direct consequence of financial challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. In its communications to employees, A360 Media described the development as a “pause” in operations, but at least one brand leader among the affected titles is skeptical the magazines will ever resume publishing. “As far as I know, there’s no plan to get our magazines back,” said Surfer editor-in-chief Todd Prodanovich. “It was made clear that we shouldn’t hold our breath for it to ever come back. It seems silly to say things are on pause when it seems that there’s no intention to bring it back. People just want to know—is it done or isn’t it?” Snowboarder editorial director Pat Bridges declined to comment for this story, but there’s evidence to suggest his title will be affected differently than the others. Adventure Journal reported today that a single editor will remain at Snowboarder to run the magazine’s website... read more

“SURFER Magazine Just Published Its Last Issue” by Zach Weisberg via The Inertia

The first and last covers of Surfer Magazine. According to SURFER Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Todd Prodanovich, issue number three of volume 61 will be the iconic publication’s final issue. Prodanovich posted the announcement on Instagram this morning with the following caption: “This is the last issue of @surfer_magazine,” wrote Prodanovich. “The whole staff got let go yesterday (no, nothing to do with the heat from the Biden endorsement 😂, just the Covid economy), but I feel like we’re ending on a high note with this one. The cover shot was taken by @donaldmiralle during the Encinitas paddle out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Inside has some of my all-time favorite features from my all-time favorite surf writers— @smashtyn_douglas , @hzahorseman and @seano888 —and a piece by me about the LGBTQ+ surf community that was the honor of my career to work on, and I’m so grateful to the subjects for trusting me with their stories. Funny how you can work a job like this for 10 years and each issue is a completely new and different journey. I’ll really miss that part, and the mag in general, which ends on this issue after 60 years of publication. Hope you all enjoy the issue and thanks for reading over the years. Lots of love to everyone I had the privilege of working with to make this thing what it was while we could” American Media acquired SURFER Magazine as well as Powder, Bike, Snowboarder, and several other titles from The Enthusiast Network in February 2019. Prior to that transaction, The Enthusiast Network shuttered its other surf publications, Transworld Surf in 2013 and Surfing Magazine in 2017. American Media continues to... read more

“Pacifico Presents Downtown Open Live Oct 8th” via Transworld SKATEboarding

Pacifico Downtown Open Live Recap Video (updated 10/9/20) Pacifico Clara® Beer Presents the Downtown Open S.K.A.T.E. ChampionshipA VIRTUAL HANDRAIL & STAIR SET S.K.A.T.E. COMPETITION BROADCASTED LIVE FROM CHICAGO Pacifico’s Downtown Open competition series is hosting its first ever handrail and stair set S.K.A.T.E. competition on Thursday, October 8 from 5pm – 7pm (CST) / 3pm-5pm (PST) here at skateboarding.com and our YouTube. The virtual event will be curated by Pacifico and TransWorld Skateboarding. Chicago, IL – October 8th, 2020 –Pacifico is inviting six top professional skateboarders; Chaz Ortiz, Ishod Wair, Jamie Foy, Felipe Gustavo, Manny Santiago, and TJ Rogers to Chicago to compete in the one-of-a-kind Downtown Open S.K.A.T.E championship. This isn’t your typical flatground game of S.K.A.T.E, these guys will be battling it out in a game of S.K.A.T.E exclusively on a handrail and set of stairs. Pacifico will transform a Chicago warehouse to host and stream the event.The competition will be broadcast live via the Transworld Skateboarding Website, Youtube, Facebook, and Downtown Open Twitch. Skate fans will receive an inside look at the competition through on-site hosts Chris Pastras, Chris Cote, and Jack Mitrani. Viewers can interact virtually with the hosts during the competition and ask questions in real-time while DJ Alissa Jo provides the tunes. One winner will be crowned victorious, walking away with the first ever Pacifico S.K.A.T.E. trophy. Following the event, Pacifico will host a social media poll allowing viewers to cast their vote to bring The Downtown Open to their city the following year. A post-event sweepstakes will also offer the audience a chance to attend next year’s event with a VIP package. Tune in for this first-of-its-kind event! Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for... read more

“Trestles Has Been Saved (For Good, This Time) – AB 1426 PERMANENTLY PROTECTS SAN O STATE BEACH FROM ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine

A near two-decades-long battle to permanently protect San Onofre State Beach from road development came to an end on Friday night when California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1426, prohibiting the development of any roadway(s) that might impact or encroach upon the state beach. Behind this bill are countless efforts by the Surfrider Foundation and the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC), including everything from packing the house at public hearings, organizing paddle-outs and other surf events, and lobbying legislators. “We’re thrilled that Governor Newsom and the Legislature agree that protecting Trestles and San Onofre State Beach from damaging road projects is a clear state priority,” Surfrider Foundation’s Coastal Preservation Manager Stefanie Sekich-Quinn said in a press statement. Apart from harboring some of Southern California’s most hallowed surfing grounds, San Onofre State Beach, established by then-Governor Ronald Raegan in 1971, is home to San Matteo Creek watershed, the last remaining ‘undeveloped’ one in Southern California. As such, it’s among the last vestigial habitats for 11 endangered and threatened species. It also happens to be the site of over 2 million annual human visitors (and over 6 million dollars in state revenue), and roads, of course, are required to get the majority of us there. But in 2005, after plans were rolled out for a six-lane toll road off Interstate 5 that would have cut right through the state park (and also through a sacred site of the Acjachemen people), The SSOC, of which Surfrider Foundation is a part (along with Audubon California, The Sierra Club, and 9 other environmental organizations), quickly banded together. Over 1,000 activists showed up to a Parks and Recreation... read more

“Rest In Peace Keith Hufnagel – Words and photos from the skate world remembering our icon” via Transworld Skateboarding

Keith was the embodiment of raw East Coast power. His pop, style, and speed influenced the 90s generation and beyond. His skate career had no end in sight. He was a global icon. As a veteran on Real and with his own brand HUF, he mentored some of the greatest skaters of our time. Keith, you will be a part of skateboarding forever. Thank you. Rest in peace.—TWS Here’s an official statement from Huf WorldWide via Instagram:“We are absolutely heartbroken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away. Keith battled brain cancer for the past 2.5 years. And though he beat the odds and fought back much longer than his diagnosis permitted, he ultimately and unfortunately lost the fight. Keith was not only the ‘HUF’nagel in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought together a community of people like no one else could. Keith paved the way for all of us – as a respected professional skateboarder, shop owner, brand founder, footwear and apparel designer, creative director, and industry leader. He showed us how to do it, and how do it right. Keith loved skateboarding and the culture around it. He did things his way and did them for the right reasons. He inspired so many of us across the globe. But above anything else, Keith loved and supported the people around him. He would do anything for his friends, family and children. He passionately wanted to see others succeed. And we all loved him for it. Keith’s legacy will continue to live on at HUF. Today, tomorrow and forever. Rest in... read more

“The Untapped Opportunity That COVID-19 Created for Store Associates” by Oscar Sachs via Total Retail

The retail landscape looks completely different today compared to the beginning of 2020. COVID-19 has caused stores to shut down and employees to be furloughed. Retailers were already challenged before the pandemic began, and now many consumers are wary of returning to stores. Furthermore, social distancing regulations limit the number of people allowed in a store at the same time. This results in less opportunities for consumers to interact with brand and store associates. However, sharp declines in store traffic have also presented new opportunities for store associates. Technology is helping them bridge the online-offline service gap in a whole new way with clienteling. While there may be less customers than usual in stores, there are more customers shopping online than ever before. Associates working in-store or remotely are now providing online shoppers with personalized services and experiences, similar to what we would expect from shopping in a store. Virtual Associates Are Meeting Customers Online as They Browse Customers shopping online are looking to be served in a personalized way while they browse. In fact, Salesfloor’s data shows a 3x increase in customer engagement online since the beginning of the pandemic, and retailers are seeing up to a 700 percent lift in sales attributed to clienteling. Retailers that are using clienteling solutions leverage their associates as virtual product experts or stylists that can assist customers on their site, offer fit and style recommendations, and answer specific questions. This makes the online shopping experience feel less about just making an e-commerce purchase, and more like the in-store experience where they’re browsing and shopping. Giving consumers the ability to initiate digital conversations with an associate from a... read more

“Jeremy Jones Talks About ‘Purple Mountains’ and Finding Political Common Ground on Climate Change” by Will Sileo of The Inertia

According to the film’s description, Purple Mountains is, “One man’s journey to find common ground in the mountains — one voter at a time.” That one man is snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones. Jones is one of the greatest freeriders of all time, helping to pioneer professional big mountain snowboarding (especially human-powered big mountain snowboarding). More recently, he’s also made a name for himself as a climate activist. In 2007 Jeremy founded Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit dedicated to activating the outdoor sports community in the fight against climate change, and in 2010 he swore off using helicopters and snowcats, making a personal commitment to earning his turns. Named for the need to influence key swing states in the upcoming election (and perhaps an ode to the line from the song America the Beautiful), the film follows Jeremy on a journey to understand why the U.S. is so divided on climate change and how we can find common ground through the American love of the outdoors. In doing so he hopes to energize the ‘Outdoor State’ – the 50 million people in the U.S. who identify with the mountains, the rivers, and the sea. The film is a must watch for any American, especially those who fit the ‘Outdoors State’ description. As he was driving home after a surf trip to Santa Barbara, I grilled him about the film: What are your hopes for the movie? What do you want it to inspire in people or bring about as a result? It would be kinda naïve to think some far right climate denier will change their ways, but I’m hoping that someone... read more

“What Does the Reaction to Tyler Wright’s Stand Say About Surfers? SURF CULTURE, RACIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL MEDIA’S POISON PILL” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Ryan MillerTyler Wright, standing up for Black lives on her way to victory at the Tweed Coast Pro. On Sunday morning during the WSL’s Tweed Coast Pro pandemic-era specialty event, two-time world champion Tyler Wright made the biggest news (see: only news) of the otherwise lackluster surf comp when she kneeled next to her board painted with “Black Lives Matter” for 439 seconds, each second representing one of the First Nations people who have died in police custody in Australia since 1991. It was always going to be impactful, as Wright was the first World Tour surfer to use their platform to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, but I never would have guessed that it would also be so controversial. After all, Wright may be the first World Tour surfer to take this stand, but she’s far from the first pro athlete. Players in the WNBA, the NBA, the MLB and the NFL have been publicly supporting the movement for months, recently culminating in a historic, multi-league strike in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police. Just last week, a Washington Post poll of Americans showed that 62 percent of participants believed that athletes “should use their platforms to express their views on national issues.” And that poll was taken from a random national sample—coastal surf fans would skew even more progressive than that, right? Apparently not. Or at least that’s not what the reaction by surfers would suggest. At the time of this writing, the comments on the WSL’s post of Wright kneeling total nearly 5,000 – perhaps the most ever for a non-shark-attack-related post on the... read more

“Do you know what your missing?” by Dan Pankratz of Exchange Collective

When only 23% of US retailers use people counting devices to measure traffic, how do you know what you are missing?  Reports from Footfall and ShopVisible state that only an average of 20% of your stores traffic will make a purchase, meaning 80% of your traffic is walking out the front door. Yet about 55% of the people walking out of your store were there to make a purchase. So for every 10 people that come in to your store, you are only making 2 sales, and 4 potential sales are walking out the door.   What are you doing to find out what the 4 people wanted? Are you letting customers leave to buy somewhere else? Will those 4 potential customers ever come back? Empowering your sales staff in this day and age is more important than ever. The consumer now has more information about the products they want to buy than any other time in retail history. This drives the need for your sales staff to be equipped with the right set of skills and tools to be able to give customers the best service possible. If a customer walks into your store you have a chance to make them a customer for life or let them fall in to the abyss of online shopping. It may seem simple to say good customer service is what your sales staff needs, but what does that really mean. Originally this would be a good greeting of each customer, an open ended question to break the ice, and then finding out why they came into the store and help them... read more

“SES to Interview Industry Leaders During Surf Expo Connect” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Clockwise from top left: Paul Naude, CEO of Stokehouse and owner of Vissla, Amuse Society and Sisstrevolution; Linsey and Karly Cottrell, who own Island Water Sports with their brother, Cheyne; Pura Vida Founders Paul Goodman and Griffin Thall; and Patrik Schmidle of ActionWatch. By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Sep 15, 2020 We are excited to announce that we have lined up lots of big names for a series of video interviews we are doing for Surf Expo Connect, the virtual trade show that launches on Wednesday. Here’s the schedule and what I’ll be talking to industry leaders about. Interviews will be available on the Surf Expo Connect platform live and on-demand. Retailers can register to attend at no cost. Register here. Booming Sales for Boardsports and Water Business – Wednesday 7am PST/10 am EST When the pandemic first hit, everyone worried if independent industry retailers would survive. For many, business rebounded much more strongly than expected. We talk to eight retailers around the country about the unexpected boom in business and how they are feeling about the rest of the year. Retailers we talk to include Surfside Sports in Costa Mesa, Ron Jon in Florida, Hansen’s in Encinitas, WRV and 17th Street in Virginia Beach, Hi-Tech in Maui, Wanderlust Land & Sea in New Jersey and BuyWake.com in Georgia. Navigating the Pandemic: Opportunities and Concerns with Vissla CEO Paul Naude – Wednesday 12 pm PST/3 pm EST A conversation with Paul Naude about how his company has managed through the pandemic, where he sees openings for the industry and where he sees potential trouble ahead. Big Opportunity: Surging Hardgoods Sales and Participation Numbers... read more

“African Kids From São Tomé Build Their Own Skateboards By Hand A True Skateboard Story” | Interview With Photographer Greg Ewing by Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

Last week, an image of some barefooted kids riding on very primitive looking, makeshift skateboards went viral across the skate “social-verse”. It instantly put a smile on your face like, “Yes! This is amazing. And where is this from?” The picture captured the raw and pure innocence of these kids’ ingenuity for homemade skateboards, and the stoke on their faces was something that we all could relate to. Fortunately, we were able to touch base with South African photographer Greg Ewing about his amazing photo and get some background on this crew of skaters that live off the Western Coast of Africa. Hey Greg thanks for taking the time, can you give me a little background on you and your photography?I’m a bit of an old school South African based surf and travel photographer, been doing it for over 20 years. I grew up in Cape Town and then moved to Durban to work at our local surf magazine Zigzag where I was staff photographer for many years and then Photo Editor. These days I’ve gotten into printing and I own and run an online Ocean Art Gallery called Ocean Collective where I print and sell local surf photographers’ work. “These images are very personal to me and it’s special to see them getting new life and hopefully doing good.” The image that sparked off a sharing frenzy in the skate social media world is actually a few years old. Can you talk about how you got that image and story behind the trip?Most of my trips, if not all, were inspired by a story of waves or a picture I... read more

“MY DOORS ARE OPEN and I survived the summer…NOW WHAT??” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

Now that summer is over, I’ve been chatting with specialty retailers across the nation on ways to boost profits, manage inventory & orders, keep customers coming through the doors and much more, as we head into 4th quarter. With uncertain consumer spending, retail closures, bankruptcies & job losses, and a consumer who wants an engaging retail experience along with quality, value and competitive pricing, the savvy specialty retailer will be looking ahead to see where all of these factors will lead 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.  Consider the following questions as you strategize and plan–“how have my customers changed over the past six months, and what can I learn from it?”, “what products might my customers be interested in that I am not currently stocking”, and “how can I improve their customer experience when they walk into my store”. Here are some areas that, I believe, require focus and commitment in the months ahead: 1)  Manage  orders & inventory levels to maximize sales of high margin items &  private label/shop-logo goods             Many shops this summer were selling record numbers of surfboards, skateboards, accessories and more, often causing shortages and lost sales.  Meanwhile, sales of high margin soft goods overall were down, compared to prior summers.    While such hard good sales boost monthly numbers quickly, their low margins are usually below the cost of doing business, thus jeopardizing true profitability.              NOW is the time to focus and prioritize on high profit, high margin items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, some accessories and certainly your shop-logo/private label items. Display and merchandise high margin items in the... read more

“Democratizing retail is all about broad participation” by Mike Massey Founder / CEO of Locally

My partners and I started Locally 5 years ago with a vision of helping online shoppers find and complete their purchases with their favorite nearby stores. We saw that consumer behavior was shifting to online product research and feared that local stores would increasingly be cut off from shoppers’ decision-making process. The initial effort was relatively small. We had 13 retailers participating after the first year, and all we could do for them is try to help them win natural search results in their town. At the time, the idea of local stores winning the SEO battles was seen as landing somewhere between futile and irrelevant. Adoption was slow. But things change. Over the next couple of years, we built more point-of-sale (POS) connections for retailers to use when joining, and we started building tools for brands to use in their own marketing and on their sites. As we drove more consumer engagements, more businesses joined the platform. More retailers started sharing inventory, more brands started displaying local ways to buy things. And, we kept iterating. First, we added Reserve-Online-Pay-In-Store (ROPIS). A year later we built Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS or Click-and-Collect). Last year, we added support for Same-Day Delivery via third party couriers like Postmates. Today, we’re working on Ship-to-Store (which lets brands and stores work together on full-service local pickups). Soon, we will offer local returns for online purchases, even further closing the loop between stores, brands, and shoppers. 1.9 Billion Shopper Engagements in December Over the 5 year arc of adoption, we’ve gone from 13 participating stores to almost 10,000 in over 3,500 cities. We’ve gone from 25 founding brand partners... read more

“Should retailers get their workers and customers out to vote?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Retailers have at least three paths to join in on the upcoming elections: giving their employees time off to vote, encouraging customers to go to the polls and selling election merchandise. More than 700 companies, including Walmart, Macy’s, Starbucks and Nike, have joined the nonpartisan coalition Time to Vote and committed to making it easier for their employees to vote. Walmart is giving U.S. workers up to three hours paid time off to vote. J. Crew is closing its stores and corporate offices on Election Day. Some have called out the importance of voting in the wake of the racial injustice protests and other challenges facing the country. “Who you vote for is a very personal decision that you make as a citizen,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a letter to employees. “It is one way for you to be heard. It is how democracy works. Yet we know that barriers exist, notably in Black and Brown communities throughout the nation, that lend to systemic racism and require greater voter access and protections.” Starbucks’ has also added features in its app to help customers learn how to register to vote, and ”Rock The Vote” and other consumer campaigns, as usual, are ramping up their campaigns. On Monday, Old Navy said it will pay store employees who serve as poll workers to help offset a national poll worker shortage. The chain is inviting eligible consumers who want to be poll workers to participate, as well. “Every voice in this country matters and deserves to be heard at the polls, and if we at Old Navy can be even a small part of... read more

“Roy Turner on How Virtual Surf Expo Will Work, Committed Brands” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article about this month’s Surf Expo connect Virtual Show from the perspective of Surf Expo Show Director, Emerald SVP and OG BRA Founder:  Roy Turner on How Virtual Surf Expo Will Work, Committed Brands 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

“Why A Protection Plan for Surfboards Might Be The Next Big Thing” by Vipe Desai via PropagandaHQ.net

Challenging times are prime for innovation and during the pandemic and it’s great to see new ideas find their way into the industry. One new innovation that caught my attention was Surfcare, the world’s first surfboard protection plan. Where if your board gets dinged, they’ll fix it for free. And if they can’t fix it, they’ll replace it. Now before you roll your eyes and dismiss this idea, take a moment to think about the things you might insure already – like your cell phone, home, car, etc. We already look to protect our purchase of expensive items so it makes a lot of sense that a service like Surfcare would be valued when purchasing a new surfboard – especially as costs of surfboards have risen over the years. I not only had a chance to catch up with the two founders, Nick Stolz and Rhett McNulty, to get more details of their new service but got some feedback from one of their retailers and a customer. Here’s what they all shared with me. Now that Surfcare has been available in the market for a period of time, what have you learned about the service based on retailer and consumer feedback? From the consumer standpoint, all of the protection plans whether monthly, annual, or 2-year, have been getting purchased evenly. It’s difficult to say which one will become the favorite this early on. We do expect that we will need time to change buying behavior even if people think Surfcare is great. Surfers aren’t used to adding that extra cost to their boards so the increased visibility and education on the... read more

“SKATERS RECOMMEND THEIR FAVORITE SKATE PANTS” via Jenkem Mag

While it’s nearly impossible to remember all the skating you see everyday across your screens, something that never gets by us is a good pair of pants. We’ve been guilty of freeze-framing clips just to screenshot a pair of perfectly baggy pants or a pair that falls just so over a pair of Vans, hoping to hunt the same pair down to add to our repertoire. To help you all in your hunt for pant perfection, we decided to list some of our favorite finds from years of hunting. To make things even more spicy, we also hit up some of our favorite skaters known for their pant selections to see what their favorites are to round out the bunch. Check all the picks out below, or just ignore them and keep skating in the same cardboard-ass Dickies like everyone else. JUSTIN HENRY‘S PICKS Vans Authentic Chino Glide Pro: Classic chino skate pant. Straight to it, these pants can last the test of time and are still extremely comfy. They are lightweight, easy to wash, and solid, so not much more to say. In my opinion, the khaki ones are the winner. These pants sit at $70 bones, so jump on that. QUASI Fatigue Pant: The first time I got these pants I wore them every day for a month straight. The tapered leg fit is always my favorite in a pant. These are a rare one too with the stretch moleskin material. Makes them so good for skate and kicking it but they’re so clean you can run these eating fancy at a steakhouse. Swipe the card for $92 and... read more

“How Retailers Can Compete in a Free Shipping World” from Retail Right Now Podcast by Joe Keenan and Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

How Retailers Can Compete in a Free Shipping World Click the link above to view this episode In this episode of Retail Right Now, Total Retail’s Joe Keenan and Kristina Stidham discuss Total Retail’s latest research report, How to Make Free Shipping Profitable. The report is the compilation of a 10-part article series that Total Retail published on the topic earlier this year. The report is intended to educate retailers on how they can offer free shipping, helping them to remain a viable option in a saturated and ultracompetitive e-commerce market, without it becoming a money-losing proposition. This has taken on even more significance given the COVID-19 landscape, and consumers increasing penchant to shop online. The report addresses various buttons that retailers can push to offset the cost of offering free shipping on online orders. Within the report, insights are shared on such things as comparing carrier rates to find the best provider for your business, the role of marketing in offering free shipping, how product returns factor into the free shipping equation, among many others. You can download the complimentary report, How to Make Free Shipping Profitable, by clicking here. Total Retail is the go-to source for executives looking for the latest news and analysis on the retail industry. Be sure to bookmark this helpful and relevant site: https://www.mytotalretail.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

“Facebook adds shopping section, expands Instagram checkout” by Robert Williams via Mobile Marketer

Brief: Facebook added a shopping section to its main social networking app and plans to offer more software tools to help businesses set up online stores. Facebook Shop is a dedicated place for merchants to show product catalogs to shoppers who can buy items directly through the app, the company announced in a blog post.The company also plans to offer Instagram Checkout to all U.S. businesses, letting them sell products directly through the photo-sharing app. To use the service, businesses must have a shop in the app and use Facebook Commerce Manager or e-commerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce. Facebook plans to support other platforms soon. The company is waiving selling fees through the end of 2020 to help small businesses during the pandemic.Facebook and Instagram Shops are integrated with the company’s messaging apps, letting businesses answer questions from shoppers before they make a purchase. A messaging button connects shoppers with businesses through Messenger or Instagram Direct, while a test with WhatsApp will begin soon. Following recent pilots, the company also introduced a “live shopping” feature on Facebook and Instagram, letting merchants livestream a shopping session to customers. Instagram Live Shopping is available to all businesses and creators that use checkout in the U.S., per Facebook’s blog. Insight: Facebook aims to help mobile marketers sell directly through its family of apps, including its main social network and Instagram, with this week’s expansion of e-commerce features. The recent jump in e-commerce activity during the pandemic has hastened the company’s move into online shopping, letting businesses convert Facebook and Instagram users into paying customers. The features are especially useful for small businesses or creators with limited financial and technological... read more

“Surfboard Insurance Is Now A Thing – An Ingenious Idea To Insure Your Stick Against Breaks, Dings And Damage” by ZANDER MORTON via Surfer Mag

New surfboards, as we all know, are expensive. And, unfortunately, they’re also easy to break. Snapping or dinging a brand-new fiberglass investment has happened to every surfer at least once — and when it happens, it’s a shitty, sinking feeling. Enter Surfcare. Straight out of the why didn’t I think of that department, Surfcare is a new insurance company that protects the hard-earned cash you spend on your very fragile surfboards. How does it work? Well, it’s pretty straightforward, actually: Buy a Surfcare plan directly from the surf shop where you purchased the board, or (within 30 days of buying the board), sign up for Surfcare by uploading a photo of the surfboard and the receipt on the Surfcare website, and choose a plan there. 10 bucks monthly gets you coverage against breaks, buckles and fin boxes. 12 bucks and you also get ding repair. And for 14 dollars your removable fins are insured as well. (Yearly plans are discounted further.) “We created Surfcare off that feeling that you get when you break your favorite board on the first session while it’s pumping,” says founder Nick Stolz. “It’s always been our goal to help people surf happier and to eliminate some of that bad, board-break feeling.” Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Whether you break your board on your first wave, or two years later (the max protection period), so long as you’re still insuring that board Surfcare will work with the surf shop or manufacturer where you purchased it and replace it with a brand new replica. In either scenario, all you’re on the hook for is a... read more

“Industry Veteran on Why Giving Back is Good for Society and The Bottom Line” by Vipe Desai via PropagandaHQ.net

They say that good is the new cool and it’s definitely catching on with more brands and people in the action sports industry. One effort that caught our attention is that of industry veteran, Melissa Martinez-Booth where she’s focusing on doing good for retailers and her Laguna Beach community with 4SOCIETEE. She’s proving that you can have a positive impact and support local businesses at the same time. And in these uncertain times, collaboration with your community is welcome news. Can you give our readers an overview of your background and how it inspired you to create 4SOCIETEE? The surf industry was definitely not part of the plan when I started studying fashion design in NYC.  A West Coast vacation …turned into a year of maybe…and eventually a life here.  With Cali living centered around the beach and surfing, I naturally gravitated towards the action sports industry, designing for OG surf brands like O’Neill and Quiksilver. I met my husband – a former pro surfer at Quik, during my time as a design director there…and early on, our family became pretty set in a groove of surf-related activity – my son and daughter growing up competing as well.  When we learned that surfing was the only sport, not scholarship represented through their high school, we sat out to change this – creating a map tee of our own beach town to use as a fundraiser. This tee shirt launched the Laguna Beach Surf Team Scholarship, now in its 5th year, has raised $50k in helping to send graduating surfers to college.  We often thought of extending this give-back concept into other causes, and when COVID... read more

“The Fin Box, Its History, and Why It Changed Surfing Forever” by Sam George via The Inertia

Downing’s original inlaid wooden slot, and the modern box courtesy of Futures. Editor’s Note: Welcome to our new series, Ride This, where we look at innovations in the world of surfing and beyond that changed the pursuit forever. In this edition, Sam George looks at the fin box, where it came from, and how it’s become an intricate part of surfboard design and wave -riding progression.  The Fin Box A slot or plug that in the surfboard manufacturing process is laminated flush to the bottom section of the tail into which fins of various designs can easily be inserted and removed. Where’d it Come From? The history of the fin box begins, like so many other surfboard innovations, with the late George Downing of Hawaii. The youngest member of a crew of hardy big wave pioneers experimenting with the narrow-tailed, finless “Hot Curl” boards back in the 1940s, Downing was relentless in his press for greater performance. This led to the creation of the first modern big wave surfboard, a remarkably sophisticated balsa-wood pintail he shaped in 1951, dubbing it “The Rocket.” In terms of template and foil The Rocket was at least 30 years ahead of its time, yet the design leap most quantum was the inlaid wooden slot into which a fin could be wedged, allowing Downing for the first time to experiment with various shapes and positions. Ironically, this innovation ultimately slowed the development of the fin box: once Downing found the optimum positioning, and having by then adopted the use of fiberglass, he began glassing the fins on, pointing to increased torque against the base. This obvious advancement preceded... read more

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

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article (about BRA Retail Member Val Surf):   Retail Check In: Val Surf A Val Surf skate section. Val Surf has four stores in the Los Angeles region that sell surf, skate and snow goods. Photo courtesy of Val Surf. 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

“What does the pandemic mean for mobile pay?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

While there’s no evidence COVID-19 can be transmitted by cash or credit cards, the use of mobile payments and contactless cards has taken off in recent months over concerns about touching surfaces, according to research from the National Retail Federation’s “State of Retail Payments” study. Among the findings: Sixty-seven percent of retailers now accept some form of no-touch payment.Fifty-eight percent accept contactless cards that can be waved past a card reader or tapped on the reader, up from 40 percent last year; Fifty-six percent take digital wallet payments on mobile phones, up from 44 percent;No-touch payments have increased for 69 percent of retailers surveyed since January. “Retailers are putting health and safety first and have rolled out a variety of no-touch payment options in order to err on the side of caution,” said Leon Buck, NRF VP for government relations, banking and financial services, in a statement. A separate consumer survey found 19 percent made a digital payment in a store for the first time this May and 57 percent would likely continue to do so once the pandemic has subsided. Of those, 62 percent used their phone and 56 percent used a contactless card. Visa’s just-released “Back to Business” study likewise found consumers significantly prioritizing contactless pay, while Mastercard just reported strong quarterly growth in contactless and digital transactions. On the downside, according to NRF’s study, higher costs, including fees for processing transactions, are the top concern for 67 percent of retailers that accept no-touch payments. Banks charge a fee averaging about 2.5 percent when a credit card is used for an in-person purchase, and the fee climbs slightly higher for transactions made online or... read more

“American Airlines Completely Demolished This Guy’s Quiver and They’re Protected by the Fine Print” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

Three of the boards in question. How, exactly, does this level of damage occur? Photos: Thompson If you’ve traveled on an airplane with surfboards more than say, twice, it’s likely you’ve found a ding or two when you get to your destination. It’s a common story, and it’s not one that’s only common to Average Joe traveler. Bob Hurley and Kelly Slater famously took Hawaiian Airlines to task, calling board bag fees a “default profit racket.” Kanoa Igarashi opened his board bag to find every last one snapped in half. American Airlines completely demolished Alex Gray’s surfboards. The level of damage airlines can do to surfboards can make one wonder what, exactly, is going on in the dark recesses of airports. The saving grace for pro surfers, however, is that they’re not short on surfboards. For Average Joe traveler, finding a whole quiver wrecked is a disaster. Such was the case for Greg Thompson, who recently unzipped his bag to find his quiver so broken it appears it went through a wood chipper. Thompson, who is from Durban, South Africa, flew to California pre-COVID. The plan was a good one: to help sail a boat down to Mexico and do some surfing while he was there. “I figured I’d be surfing down in Mex come the south swell season,” he explained. “It sounded perfect, so I spent a decent chunk of change getting some good boards.” Then, of course, COVID began its global sweep. “Everything started going crazy about a week after that,” he told me, “and most places like South Africa are still not accepting any international flights yet.” So plans changed. Thompson... read more

“Retailers Turning to Gift Cards as Promotional Tools” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

Gift cards, both physical and digital, have often been viewed (mistakenly) by retailers as strictly a transactional product — in most cases to be rolled out during the Q4 holiday shopping season. However, gift cards hold a lot more value to a retail organization than simply as a product that’s purchased in-store or on an e-commerce site. For example, they can be used as a tool to incentivize consumers to take other preferred actions, such as signing up for an email and/or loyalty program, downloading an app, submitting a customer review, among other actions. As part of the 2019 Merchant Gift Card E-Commerce Evaluation, a comprehensive report produced by Blackhawk Network, a company that delivers branded payment solutions through the prepaid products, technologies and network that connect brands and people, in partnership with NAPCO Research (NAPCO Research and Total Retail both are brands of parent company NAPCO Media), a cross-platform evaluation was done to assess 150 leading brands across 108 unique criteria. How merchants are leveraging gift cards as a promotional tool was just one of those 108 unique criteria. Related story: Report: Merchants’ Investments in Digital Gift Card Programs Paying Off In the 2019 assessment, 40 percent of the 150 merchants evaluated were credited with points for the use of gift cards as a promotional tool. However, when looking more closely at the data, for the 95 brands that were analyzed in both 2018 and 2019 (the sample size increased from 100 in 2018 to 150 in 2019), 43 percent received points for their use of gift cards as a promotional tool. So while brands are beginning to use gift cards... read more

“V-shaped June recovery for US skate and surf but concerns remain” via Action Watch

June 2020 US core skate and surf sales grew +15% When we first saw the preliminary June 2020 sales data for the ActionWatch US retailer panel, we had a hard time believing the results. The first set of data indicated that year-over-year sales grew by 20% or more. By the time we received all the data, the store sales for all categories increased by +15% when compared to last June. This resulted in an almost perfect V-shaped recovery after a disastrous March, an even worse April, and a promising May. Source:  Same-Store ActionWatch Panel 2019 to YTD June 2020 On the surface, this V-shaped recovery is encouraging, not just for the short-term recovery of the core surf and skate channel, but for the long-term health of the industry. While the Covid-19 pandemic forced store closures in March, April, and May, it also had a positive impact. As schools and team sports activities were shut down, kids and adults were looking for alternative ways to engage in sports while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Skateboarding not only fits this description, but is inexpensive and can be done just about anywhere. While water sports tend to require a larger investment in equipment and access to beaches, lakes, rivers, and boats, they are easy to participate in while practicing social distancing. Source: (C) 2020 Physical Activity Council (PAC Study). The PAC study is the most comprehensive study of sports participation in the USA, conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys USA – contact info@sportsmarketingsurveysusa.com. Once core stores were able to reopen, malls were still closed, and consumers received stimulus checks it represented a perfect... read more

“What the Great American Outdoors Act Means for Our Oceans and Beaches CONGRESS PASSES BILL IN A SHOW OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT” by OWEN JAMES BURKE via Surfer Mag

Last week, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) with sweeping bipartisan support, which President Trump is expected to sign after tweeting his support back in early March. “When I sign it into law,” the president’s tweet reads, “it will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands.” If signed by the commander in chief, the GAOA, as proposed, would annually (and indefinitely) deliver $900 million in energy development tax revenues garnered from federal land and water to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), as well as $6.5 billion over the course of 5 years to the Restore Our Parks Act. “The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is a major win for our beaches and all of us who enjoy them,” Pete Stauffer, Surfrider’s Environmental Director, told SURFER. Supporters of the bill say that it will create at least 100,000 jobs while restoring national parks and repairing trails and forest systems. According to Surfrider, the act is a desperately needed win for our exploited public land and water, and the communities thereabout. “When President Kennedy signed the LWCF into law, his vision was based on a simple concept: take revenues from offshore oil and gas production to protect parks, open spaces, sensitive habitat and to improve recreational opportunities across the U.S,” explains Surfrider in a recent blog post. “Surfrider is adamantly opposed to new offshore drilling, but we believe it makes sense to direct a percentage of royalties from leases issued in the past to help support conservation. Unfortunately, the program has never been fully funded over the past 55 years. “For over 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has... read more

“BLACK SKATERS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES IN SKATEBOARDING” by Larry Lanza via Jenkem Mag

As skateboarders we all know there’s nothing in the world that is more freeing than the going out and skating with your friends. All of the issues of the world seem to fall to the wayside when we’re skating. Unfortunately as our friend Neftalie Williams says, “Skateboarding is of the world.” Meaning that all the good and bad issues and problems that affect the world, affect the skateboard community and industry too. Racism is one of those issues, and we’ve seen skaters across the world band together and take a stand during the Black Lives Matter protests. To continue learning how to be better allies and friends to our black brothers and sisters, a few skaters were kind enough to share their experiences with race and if being black has had an effect on their place in skateboarding. The first step to long-lasting change starts with listening which will hopefully lead to empathy, understanding, and an urgency to see equality of treatment for all. RASHAD MURRAY As skaters, we deal with police and security guards quite a bit, what have your interactions with police been like while skating?Usually, not good. Security guards can be extremely hostile and the police are quick to step out and ruin your day. I’ve noticed that the cops are way more respectful and polite to the white skaters I was with. I think when the cops see a white face it makes them feel more comfortable. But when they see me, they feel the need to ask questions and antagonize me. If a white skater and friend see that happening, what should they do?Stand... read more

“Surf Expo Moves to Virtual Show for September” via Shop Eat Surf and Surf Expo.com

Please click on the following link to view this informative Shop Eat Surf announcement and interview with Roy Turner (SVP of Emerald, Surf Expo Show Director and co-founder of BRA):  Surf Expo Moves to Virtual Show for September Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf The following appears on https://www.surfexpo.com/ Since 1976, Surf Expo has united the watersports and beach lifestyle community twice each year to provide an unmatched marketplace and opportunity to share our passion for the industries we serve. Driven by our responsibility to serve your best interests, we regret to announce that we are cancelling this year’s Surf Expo, which was scheduled to take place September 10-12, 2020, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Recent developments have made it impossible to bring our community together safely and successfully. This is due to the ongoing progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest government data, measures, and guidelines on the phased reopening plans in the U.S.; current restrictions on congregating and large gatherings imposed by states and other government and public health authorities; the inability of Surf Expo’s international community to travel to the show due to travel restrictions and bans; and the various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees affecting attendees and participating companies. The health and safety of our customers, partners, and employees remains of paramount concern to us. Though we are so disappointed we won’t see you all in person this summer, our team remains committed to offering new ways to keep the industry connected. We... read more

“U.S. Postal Service Announces its First Loyalty Program” by Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

The U.S. Postal Service announced a loyalty program designed to help smaller businesses, according to a press release obtained by Total Retail. Registered business users of USPS Click-N-Ship will earn credits by purchasing postal products they’re already using for their shipping needs. Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage purchased online through Click-N-Ship will generate credits that can then be applied to future purchases of these products. Click-N-Ship business account users will earn $40 credits for every $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express labels. The program will launch nationally on Aug. 1. Existing business accounts will be auto-enrolled in the program. New Click-N-Ship business account users will earn a one-time $40 Welcome Bonus for the first $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage. In addition, the Postal Service is offering a one-time $20 Introductory Bonus for any registered Click-N-Ship business user for $500 spent in August and September this year. Loyalty tiers recognize and reward existing Click-N-Ship users for their ongoing business throughout the year. They provide increasing levels of benefits that users can access as they grow their business and shipping volumes. All participants will be enrolled in the Base Loyalty Tier when the program begins Aug. 1. Assignment to the tiers begins Jan. 1, 2021, and will continue annually thereafter. Total Retail’s Take: The USPS Loyalty Program is geared towards business customers rather than consumers, making the program attractive to retailers shipping hundreds, if not thousands, of packages to customers each day. Earning credits to reduce cost on future shipments could potentially save retailers thousands per year. This loyalty program could have major impact on commercial mailers, and... read more

“Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative?” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of Steve Dennis’ recent Forbes article. Steve is president & founder of SageBerry Consulting and a senior Forbes Contributor. His first book — Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Digital Disruption  — came out earlier this year. The COVID-19 crisis has led to tremendous innovation and experimentation on the part of just about every retailer. From curbside pickup (and other forms of contactless delivery) to appointment shopping, hyper-online growth and more, so much change has occurred in such a short period of time. Legacy retailers are being applauded for embracing the notion that most customer journeys are digitally-driven and that online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores can work in tandem to produce remarkable results. To this I say, “Really?,” adding: “Glad you finally woke up, Rip Van Winkle.” (Note to Millennials: look him up.) Clearly, some shopper behaviors (and resulting retail responses) are very much of the moment and it’s uncertain to what degree they’ll continue. Yet there’s no denying the retail industry witnessed an epic revolution during the past two decades, much of it driven by digital technology. In turn, the power has shifted to the consumer and the underlying bases of competition have been upended. Even in the pre-COVID world, shifts were happening faster and faster all the time. Many retailers — from Home Depot to Lululemon, Best Buy Nike and many more — were keenly aware of the shifts and responded in remarkable ways well before a crisis. Their commitment to innovation and agile business models explains their better than average performance thus far during... read more

“WHAT’S FUELING SKATEBOARDING’S CURRENT BOOM?” by Ian Browning via Jenkem Mag

Do you get the feeling that there are a lot more people skating lately than ever before? And I’m not just talking little kids, it seems like all sorts of folks are suddenly rolling around. At my local, Brower Park, where the basketball courts were stripped of hoops, skaters filled the absence. The usual locals were there, but there were also new faces: middle schoolers on brand new completes, dads mongo pushing back to the glory of their youth, and college girls learning how to tic-tac together. The pandemic was quick to silence cities, but the snaps and screeches of skateboarding seemingly got louder. A few friends who own or work at skateshops confirmed my suspicion that hardgoods sales are up higher than they’ve ever been, with people buying boards who haven’t set foot in a shop in years, if ever. That got me wondering: Why the sudden boom, and how did it come to be so diverse? Of course, this rise isn’t a product of one specific influence, like when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater or Rob and Big came out. There isn’t a singular marketing campaign or industry initiative reminding people who used to skate or who never started that it’s fun and they should do it. But there was a powder keg slowly filling across the country, all it needed was something to set it off. For many, the $1200 stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and sudden change in routine due to COVID shutdowns were the spark. “With the stimulus checks and the unemployment money, people are spending,” said Gary Smith, who owns Vù skateshop in Baltimore. “Skateboarding is... read more

“How Digital Signage Can Improve The In-Store Experience” by Bobby Marhamat via Independent Retailer

Prices matter, but for the consumers of today, numbers are less important than the experiences that surround them. In the new age of commerce, both online and in stores, shoppers usually have several options for where to buy. Using their smartphones, they can stand in front of products in stores and find the best price online within a few seconds. In some cases, they can even limit their searches to local options. This evolution of price and product access means retailers cannot compete solely on price to keep customers coming through the door. Better in-store experiences attract customers to retail locations in situations when they might have otherwise shopped online. Retailers don’t have to host carnivals and concerts to offer great experiences, though. In most cases, factors like cleanliness, organization, and staff helpfulness make a bigger difference than additional entertainment. The experience isn’t about adding bells and whistles to the shopping but about making the shopping easier and more meaningful. Advantages of Digital Signage Today In pursuit of this ideal retail experience, digital signage empowers brick-and-mortar stores to offer the kinds of conveniences that today’s customers prioritize. Let’s explore a few of the ways that digital signage can appeal to shoppers in 2020: 1. Adding an Interactive Element Static signs are just that — static. They don’t respond to customer presences, and they certainly can’t personalize their content to match the tastes of the people in front of them. Their messages stay the same no matter what. Digital signage, however, offers something much more interesting. With digital alternatives, retailers can boost shoppers’ brand engagement by using video or personalized... read more

“Derek Ho, first Hawaiian male world surfing champ, dead at 55” by Dennis Romero via NBC News plus “ONE OF SURFING’S ALL-TIME GREATS DIED AFTER SUFFERING A HEART ATTACK” and “The Surf Community Remembers Pipe Legend Derek Ho” via Surfer Mag

Derek Ho at the Azores Airlines World Masters Championship on Sept. 20, 2018, in Praia de Santa Barbara, Sao Miguel, Portugal. Laurent Masurel / World Surf League via Getty Images He belonged to a noted Hawaiian family that included brother Michael, also a top pro surfer, and second cousin Don, the entertainer. Derek Ho, the first Hawaiian man to win professional surfing’s world championship, has died at 55, authorities said. The cause of death was not disclosed by the Honolulu medical examiner’s office. He was reported dead Friday. Surf forecaster and news site Surfline reported Ho had a heart attack and slipped into a coma before his death. The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, California, posted a memorial on Facebook. “Godspeed Derek Ho. Your presence and spirit at Pipeline will be missed,” the statement said. “The first Native Hawaiian man to be crowned world champion, your passion, drive and good nature inspired generations.” The surfwear brand and Hawaiian locals’ organization Da Hui said on Facebook, “Mahalo for all the Many Classic Moments. Ride On.” Ho became the first Hawaiian man to win the world tour’s championship late in his career, in 1993. Among those he beat out for the title was Kelly Slater, the winningest surfer in the sport’s history, and past champion Martin Potter. He also won the Pipeline Masters and Hawaii’s Triple Crown of surfing, which includes the Masters, and big-wave contests at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach multiple times. According to the Encyclopedia of Surfing, Ho was a second cousin to entertainer Don Ho. Derek Ho’s brother, Michael, is a two-time Triple Crown winner who has been described as the... read more

“How the COVID-19 Coin Shortage is Affecting Retailers” by Ashley Chiaradio via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Getty Images by Chuck Cross / EyeEm Some brick-and-mortar retailers are obligating customers to allow cashiers to keep their change as the U.S. experiences a coin shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PYMNTS reported. Recently, grocery chain Kroger has been temporarily refusing to give coins out as change to customers. In these instances, customers have three options: round up their bills to the nearest dollar; donate the excess to charity; or get their change stored on a loyalty card. According to pymnts.com, Kroger announced via Twitter that the Federal Reserve is experiencing a significant coin shortage and it’s impacting store operations. COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. Over the past few months, coin deposits have declined significantly and the production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect U.S. Mint employees. In addition to Kroger, Giant Food and Wawa have also made changes to deal with the coin shortage. Giant Food is reportedly doing the same as Kroger, and Wawa is reportedly requesting that customers pay with exact change, debt or credit cards, or the Wawa mobile app if possible. Total Retail’s Take: While consumers who prefer to pay with cash may disapprove of this situation, it does provide retailers the unique opportunity to promote their loyalty programs. Consumers who don’t already have loyalty cards may sign up just to prevent losing their change. The retailer will gain the customer’s personal information, which is beneficial for personalizing future customer experiences, but also the customer may revisit the retailer in the future to spend their unused change. Paying with cash was... read more

“Wakesurfing: Tips on How to Get Started” via Discover Boating plus a message from our friends at the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) about #PassTheHandle Day (this Sunday)

One of the greatest things about wakesurfing is that the wave is yours—all yours. You don’t need to battle with other surfers for territory or stake your claim to a wave by “dropping in first.” In wakesurfing, you own the wave for as long as you care to ride it—and as long as you #wakeresponsibly. How to Wakesurf Find the right boat—generally a wake boat designed to throw out the biggest wakes.Choose the right board—beginner’s boards are readily available in today’s market.Get a wakesurf specific rope.Understand your boat’s ballast system.Make sure your driver keeps the speed at around 10 MPH.Lay back in the water with your feet laying loosely on the board.Dig your heels into the wakesurf board and pop it up vertically.Keep your feet shoulder width apart, with your back foot anywhere from 6 to 18 inches from the tail of the board. Explore Wake Boat Brands & Manufacturers How to #WakeResponsibly Learning how to wakesurf goes hand-in-hand with learning how to wake responsibly. To wake responsibly means that you’re not only having a good time on the water, but you’re doing so in a way that respects other boaters and local homeowners. A little courtesy and respect can go a long way in keeping our waterways open and wake-friendly. Be sure to follow these three key pillars whenever you are wakesurfing: 1. Minimize repetitive passes. We all seek the calm, protected shorelines and once we find it, we claim it as ours. However, repetitively driving back and forth in the same line can damage shores and docks. After a few passes you’ll have churned up the water anyways. Take... read more

“What’s Selling at Heritage Surf?” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Heritage Surf in Sea Isle City, New Jersey – Photo courtesy of Heritage Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article containing commentary from Jamie Heritage of BRA Distinguished Retail Member Heritage Surf: What’s Selling at Heritage Surf? 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

“ActionWatch Shares Results From Recent Retailer Survey” with Vipe Desai via PropagandaHQ.net

We had a quick chat with Patrik Schmidle from ActionWatch where he shared key takeaways from a recent survey with retailers across the country.  Business was good for board sports retailers in 2019 and that momentum carried over to the first 2.5 months of 2020. But then the pandemic came and the industry was hit with store closures, concerns whether they would receive emergency funding, and how long could they survive. Fast forward to July and the trends show a strong recovery with hardgoods leading the way, consumers are excited to get outside and many retailers have at least 4 months of cash on hand to ride out the pandemic. Many are cautiously optimistic but are also taking safety measures to ensure survival. Highlights from this recent survey include: A large majority reported June 2020 was up vs June 2019 – half reported 26% or higher growth4th of July holiday weekend sales strong, prompting optimism through the end of July#1 action brands should take:  Have ‘open to buy’ inventory, #2 is to maintain pricing integrity3 Biggest concerns are that they have to close doors again, that they don’t have enough inventory and that the consumer stimulus endsTop 3 safety measures are more vigilant sanitation, masks for employees and masks for customers70% increased hardgoods inventory, 35% decreased apparel inventory2/3 are either at pre-COVID staffing levels or aboveMore than half have 4 months or more of cash on hand,  confident they will survive Reach out to patrik@actionwatch.com to get more details behind this survey and to learn more about the Project United program for Core Retailers through Action Watch. Be sure to visit the Propaganda HQ website to view... read more

“8 ARTISTS RE-IMAGINE THE INDEPENDENT LOGO” by Christian Kerr via Jenkem Mag

Have you ever heard the debate about the Indy logo? It’s been a conversation inside the skate community for years, if not decades. Some say it looks strikingly similar to something the Nazis used to rock, while others argue the symbol has a significance that predates and supersedes its use in WWII. This has been an especially sharp topic as of late, as questions of racism, bigotry, and antisemitism have forced their way to the forefront of our lives. With all the controversy surrounding the icon, we can’t help but wonder: What would an Independent rebrand even look like? A quick primer on the Indy logo’s origins: According to the logo’s designer, Jim Phillips, the concept came from “toying with the iron, or Maltese cross,” rounding its corners before taking it to his bosses. They initially thought it was “too Nazi,” so Jim, determined to use that design, scoured his sources until he found a photo of the Pope wearing a similar-looking cross. The higher-ups were satisfied. If it was good enough for the Pope it was good enough for them, and the rest is recent history. They turned the design into the iconic image seen on baseplates, shirt backs, and tattoos all over the world today. Whatever you might personally think about the logo, there’s no question that the sight can strike a sinister chord with some. We’re not privy to the inner workings of the NHS marketing department, but figured it’d be interesting to hit up a handful of designers to reimagine Indy’s image as an exercise in what is possible for them in the future if they were... read more

“Keys to Understanding Flat-Rate Shipping Options” by Rob Zaleski via Total Retail

As of November 2019, all three major carriers — USPS, FedEx, and UPS — now offer flat-rate shipping options. This begs two questions: One, should you be using flat-rate shipping? And if so, which carrier’s flat-rate shipping options should you choose and when? Below are some of the pros and cons of using flat-rates shipping, along with some examples of when you should and shouldn’t use these options. First, let’s examine what options each carrier provides. Related story: How to Make Free Shipping Profitable, Part 3 Credit: ShippingEasy Benefits of Flat-Rate Shipping One of the immediate benefits of flat-rate shipping is predictable shipping costs. If you plan to ship 20 items that would all fall within the specified weight ranges, you can easily plan your anticipated costs. A great example of this would be one-pound bags of coffee. Let’s say you fulfill many orders of 12 bags and 16 bags, and you can pack both order sizes in a large USPS Priority Mail Flat-Rate box. It’s easy to predict that your shipping cost for any order of either size will be $18.30 (USPS Commercial Rate), and you can budget accordingly no matter how far that order is shipping. Flat-rate also avoids the surcharges that are typically imposed by UPS and FedEx (e.g., fuel surcharges and residential delivery fees). USPS doesn’t charge these fees. Another benefit is that dimensional weight doesn’t apply with flat-rate shipping. Dimensional weight bases weight on the amount of space a package takes up rather than its physical weight. USPS doesn’t apply dimensional weight to any package below one cubic foot, but FedEx and UPS apply it... read more

“Live Wire” presented by Building The Revolution via www.PropagandaHQ.net

Click on the following links to listen to a recent recorded updates (each recording is under six minutes long) from a variety of board specialty retailers: Live Wire presented by Building The Revolution – July 13th Live Wire presented by Building The Revolution – July 6th Live Wire presented by Building The Revolution – June 29th Live Wire presented by Building The Revolution – June 22nd After listening, feel free to provide your own Retail Update message containing stokes and challenges related to your specific shop that may be included in an upcoming “Live Wire” by calling and leaving a message at 949-402-7253. Be sure to visit the Propaganda HQ website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly. 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

“Core Retailers Much More Optimistic After Big Rebound – Action Watch has been surveying core retailers during the COVID-19 crisis” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article containing statistics and commentary from BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch:   Core Retailers Much More Optimistic After Big Rebound 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

“Challenging Times in Hawaii for Those that Cater to Tourists” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article (mentioning BRA Distinguished Retail Member Hi-Tech Surf):  Challenging Times in Hawaii for Those that Cater to Tourists 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

“The Reopening of Retail: Which Pandemic Changes Will Stores Keep?” by Bobby Maharmat via Total Retail

The COVID-19 pandemic drove customers away from stores, shut down businesses, and ground the global economy to a screeching halt. Now that the world has begun to return, retailers must think strategically to prevent temporary disruption from becoming a permanent end. When we talked to more than 400 retailers about how they adapted to the coronavirus pandemic and the regulations that followed, we found a group of people who were both flexible in their strategies and optimistic for the future. Our Reopening of Retail Report, released in June 2020, found that 80.5 percent of retailers believe sales will be no worse than slightly lower than usual for the first 90 days of reopening, while 22 percent expect higher-than-average sales in the first 90 days. How do retailers expect that optimism will translate into revenue, though? Which changes from the pandemic do they think will help them, which changes will they scrap, and which of their new processes and policies will be codified into permanent practices? Let’s take a closer look at what our research discovered. Related story: How Retail is Evolving and Where it’s Headed in 2020 How Retailers Responded to COVID-19 Restrictions Of all the changes retailers made, total store closure topped our findings at 51 percent. A little more than half of our survey population reported closing their stores entirely for at least a period of time. This should come as no surprise, given the prevalence of shelter-in-place orders at the height of the pandemic. While some retailers managed to stay open due to their status as essential businesses, most spent at least some of the time with their doors... read more

“How to run a store in a pandemic – It’s possible to safely operate brick-and-mortar retail, experts say. But with that comes great responsibility, and some consumers aren’t making it easy” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

As the United States marked a subdued Independence Day last weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge in many places, prompting governors of several states to implement or reinstate strict protocols meant to combat it. Most of the latest restrictions are on bars and restaurants, which are proving to be potential hotspots for the virus to spread. But in certain areas, political leaders made it mandatory to wear a mask while shopping, even, as in Maine, forcing retailers to enforce that, along with social distancing. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decreed that indoor malls must also have specialized filters in their ventilation and air conditioning systems in order to reopen. A 360 Look at the People, Processes and Data of Re-Opening Retail in 2020 Explore what it means for retailers and restaurants that are re-opening and how they can ensure they start off strong while being safe.Learn more These measures stop short of closing down nonessential retail, a tactic that for about a month and a half, starting in mid-March, helped to decimate retail sales in most categories, especially in apparel. A major rebound in May as stores have reopened is nevertheless well short of a full recovery. The reopening has also been rocky, as customers in some areas pointedly refuse to wear a mask or keep their distance from others, leaving store associates in the position of enforcers. But while there have been high-profile instances of recalcitrant shoppers, most Americans remain wary of shopping in the COVID-19 era. Nearly three-quarters said they wouldn’t feel very comfortable shopping in a physical store in the next three months, according to a survey from workplace... read more

“Outdoor Retailer SVP on Launching First Digital Show” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this important Shop Eat Surf Article about the next OR Trade Show:  Outdoor Retailer SVP on Launching First Digital Show 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

“The Tony Hawk Foundation Is Now THE SKATEPARK PROJECT” by TWS

The Tony Hawk Foundation has announced a change in name, but not in focus. Now known as The Skatepark Project, the organization continues its award-winning work to support community skatepark projects across the U.S., and skatepark-based programming internationally. Its mission is to help under served communities create safe and inclusive public skateparks for youth. The Skatepark Project envisions thriving, healthy and sustainable communities throughout the United States in which young people have equitable access to safe outdoor spaces for creative expression, physical activity and a sense of belonging. Head to skatepark.org to learn more about how to support public skateparks through The Skatepark Project or get help with your local public skatepark advocacy project. L to R: Leticia Bufoni, Tony Hawk, Thalente Biyela, Jack Black, Sky Brown, Eric Koston, Samarria Brevard, Cher Strauberry, Killer Mike, Lizzie Armanto Transworld Skateboarding is an excellent source of skateboarding news and related content. Be sure to bookmark: 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

““She Surf” Is An Enlightening Look at Women’s Surfing – A NEW BOOK SHINES A BRIGHT LIGHT ON SOME OF SURFING’S MOST INSPIRING WAVE SLIDERS” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

“Women now make up between 20 to 30 percent of surfers, and that number continues to grow,” writes professional surfer/writer Lauren Hill, in the foreword to her new book, “She Surf”. “As girls are given the opportunity and support to engage with the sport, and accessibility to boards and beaches increases, we will make up for lost decades in getting back to surfing’s legacy of inclusivity. As we work to catch up — not to men’s surfing — but to what our own minds, hearts, and bodies are capable of and long for in the water, we are witnessing the depth and diversity of a truly global women’s surf culture.” “She Surf” is a celebratory look at women’s surf culture and history. It’s 250 pages of inspiring photography and storytelling, featuring chapters on a wide variety of subjects, including historical vignettes and profiles on the likes of 7x World Champ Steph Gilmore, “National Geographic” Adventurer of the Year Emi Koch, environmental activist Belinda Baggs, Brazilian logger Chloe Calmon, expert photographer Sarah Lee, all-around inspiration Bethany Hamilton, the founding mothers of pro surfing, female board builders and many, many more. “This isn’t a book just for women and girls,” Hill tells us. “It’s also for men who have an interest in the lives, perspectives and experiences of women. Which is all men, I hope?” A 250-page look at the past, present and future of women’s surf culture Read below for an interview with Hill, and then Read below for an interview with Hill, and thenclick here to purchase her bookto purchase her book. For starters, how did this book go from... read more

“WHAT YOUR GRIPTAPE STYLE SAYS ABOUT YOU” by MAX OLIJNYK via Jenkem Mag

If you’re anything like me, you’re itching to skate that shiny new board you impulse-bought online. And with every new board comes the question: how should I grip it? With all this spare time on your hands, you should set aside an hour or so to do something special, right? Personally, I’ve been considering subscribing to the Dan Drehobl method. My reasoning? Firstly, he’s arguably the most enjoyable skateboarder on earth to watch. It varies from board to board, but Dan’s grip seems to follow a common ratio or coded pattern. It’s unclear whether it serves a practical purpose (foot placement guidance, perhaps?); perhaps it began as a way to ration out a sheet of grip on wider boards, or maybe it goes much deeper than that. Knowing Dan Drehobl (I don’t know him), it probably doesn’t mean shit. The whole thing got me thinking about grip jobs, and how all of that stuff matters, even if we pretend it doesn’t. Here’s my analysis of a few key approaches. PS. I realize I’m going crazy. THE SPEED STRIPE A cult favorite amongst the progressive crowd, the speed stripe (a vertical stripe running down the center of the board) tips its hat to skateboarding’s surfing lineage while thumbing its nose to the normies. “Stripers” can do every trick, but prefer to try weird combinations of things that look easy but actually aren’t – or are they? It’s all a big joke, anyway. And if you think it looks wack, the joke’s on you. Home turf: A spot that isn’t really a spotSoundtrack: Pop punk party hits of the ’90sBoard brands: Frog, WKNDKey offenders: Jesse Alba, Austyn Gillette THE ENDORSEE There’s... read more

“Global Skateboard Sales Surge Outstrips Supply” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   Global Skateboard Sales Surge Outstrips Supply 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

“Will Online Appointments Replace Face-to-Face Shopping?” by John Federman via Total Retail

The whole state of retail is in flux — and it’s anybody’s guess what the future holds for consumers, retailers and shopping, especially as the holiday season approaches. All we know is that consumers and retailers alike want to get back to normal. But what will normal be? Will consumers ever feel truly safe shopping face to face, or will online appointments become the next normal? The truth is it will be both, at least for the time being. It will boil down to the consumer, their age, health, personality, and how they feel about the COVID-19 pandemic itself. How retailers engage these different dynamics as consumers contemplate their future shopping habits is crucial. No doubt, consumers and retailers would like to go back to February, when shoppers could brush against each other without gasping, touching fabrics wasn’t frowned upon, and Clorox wipes weren’t a luxury. However, for most consumers, feeling comfortable returning to physical stores comes with many caveats and rules. And for the elderly and the health-compromised, it’s a confusing, if not daunting, time. Related story: Omnichannel: The Future of Retail Getting Back In-Store To gain consumer confidence in getting people back in-store, retailers will have to take stringent precautions like providing a means to manage queuing, in-store capacity and foot traffic, as well as provide frequent cleanings and enforcing social distancing requirements. Lack of contact will force personal service. Once the parameters are in place, it will be up to the consumer to “play by the rules.” Will we? Or will the rules be so overwhelming that we throw our arms up and opt for a different... read more

“Rolling For Rights Recap | San Diego” photos by Blair Allie and Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

Wow! First and foremost I want to give a major shout out to everyone involved in making this possible: Tyrone Olson, Shuriken Shannon, Brandon Turner, Alfonso Huey, Zack Dowdy, Khalid Alexander, Xpress it, and the San Diego skateboard community. What a great success! We came together to spread our messages and bring awareness to the issues that have needed attention for far too long: Racism, white supremacy, police reform, police brutality, equality, human rights and justice for all! We had an amazing turn out and we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone for keeping it peaceful and organized. Huge thank you to all that donated and to all of our volunteers, on the frontlines or in the background. Without everyone’s help and cooperation none of this would have been possible. Once again to the San Diego skateboard community, this is just the beginning, we have a lot of work to do. Let’s educate ourselves on every platform in order to attack the issues at hand and be able to make an effective change that will last for generations to come.—Tommy Sandoval The Rolling for Rights movement event we were all a part of in San Diego was epic to say the least. I believe we got our message across as skateboarders representing our city for the Black Lives Matter movement and justice for all. SD showed up for a peaceful protest with no violence and no vandalism. I’d like to thank everyone who was able to make it out to hear our stories and voices to unite as one. This doesn’t end here… One love.—Brandon Turner A day to... read more

“Surf Expo Learning Labs -powered by Retail X and #StandUp4Retail (complimentary live and on-demand webinars)”

This series of complimentary webinars led by experts is designed to help Retailers combat and navigate through the challenges that COVID-19 has posted, and find success despite the obstacles ahead. We have partnered with Outdoor Retailer, RetailX, ASD Market Week and NY NOW to provide this comprehensive series. Upcoming Webinars: The Future of CBD Retail and Other Cannabinoids Tuesday, June 23 | 11 AM PT | Register > CBD is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in hemp and each cannabinoid has their own unique qualities. As quickly as CBD exploded, other cannabinoids are expected to be extracted and developed into new products with similar retail potential. From broad spectrum to isolates, join this webinar to learn about: – The latest cannabinoids and their potential– Which cannabinoids are most likely to grow as popular as CBD–  And how retailers can expect the hemp-derived product industry to grow and change. Pivoting During a Pandemic: Aligning Ecommerce Marketing Functionality with Profitability Thu, Jun 25, 2020 12:00 PM EDT | Register > Over the past three months, ecommerce marketers have been faced with unprecedented challenges. While historically low CPMs may have led to lower CPAs, AOVs also have fallen, fewer companies are placing large trade orders and foot traffic, for the most part, has not been walking into showrooms. (In non-marketing-geek terms, that means it’s cheaper than ever to advertise online and capture new visitors to your site, but your conversion rates are falling.) How do companies navigate this new landscape with an eye toward profitability? What marketing levers can be turned off and on, and what items need to fall by the wayside during this downturn? Learn how... read more

“Copy-writing Masterclass: Captivate Your Customers with Compelling Copy” webinar on-demand via PropagandaHQ.net

In this webinar, content marketing experts Peter Abraham and Phat X. Chiem the marketing brains behind the brand communications agency, Marlowe, will show you examples of superb copywriting and explain why they work.  You’ll learn how to tap the power of brand storytelling to convert customers from browsers into buyers. More than ever, brands need to reach customers on an emotional level. And in this masterclass, Phat and Peter will show you: ✔︎ How to engage consumers with emotive storytelling ✔︎ How the experts use the Shopify blog tool ✔︎ How to put together an awesome product description ✔︎ How to avoid common copywriting mistakes Click to watch the webinar! Be sure to bookmark this brand new Action Sports trade and news resource: https://propagandahq.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

“Why the Surf Industry Is On the Cusp of a Surprising Upturn Despite a Battered Economy” by Sam George via The Inertia

The surf shop has always been at surfing’s core. And the core, it seems, is what has made it through this pandemic. Photo: Ocean Hut Surf Shop Surfers have long cherished the conceit that simply by stepping off the shore and paddling out into the waves they leave terrestrial cares and woes back on the beach with their sandy shoes and smelly towels. This illusion was shattered when, during the initial three months of the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our exulted tribe was lumped in with the rest of civilian America under orders to stay at home, avoid virus-wafting group gatherings and, in our case, stay out of the water. Outrage was immediate and fierce, with most serious surfers adhering to the sincere belief that surfing is an absolutely essential activity. How dare a government, however well meaning, tell us that we can’t surf? Yet how few surfers, existentially unable to imagine a future beyond their next go-out, gave much thought to what their surfing lives would look like when these restrictions would inevitably relax.  Because in addition to the many hundreds of thousands of ‘mainstream’ businesses across America dramatically — and in most cases negatively — affected economically by nation-wide pandemic shutdown measures were the surfboard manufacturers: wetsuit and surf wear brands, makers of fins, leashes, wax, board bags, skateboards, all the items that are absolutely essential to a surfer’s life. Right along with the surf shops that sell them. Deep down, we all knew the waves would be there after COVID-19 restrictions eased. But would the surf industry?  And, if so, what was it going to look like? “I feel... read more

“U.S. Retail Sales Rebound More Than Expected in May” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   U.S. Retail Sales Rebound More Than Expected in May 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

“The Southern California Surfing Community Gathers En Masse for Racial Justice – A CELEBRATION OF GEORGE FLOYD’S LIFE AND A CALL TO END RACISM” by KATIE RODRIGUEZ via Surfer Mag

“This has been the hardest week in my 48 years on this planet. This has been the hardest week to exist in my skin, and in my blackness. It has been that way for all of us, to have this skin: to wonder what it is … and ask whether or not we get to be Americans like everyone else.” Sal Masekela’s poignant words above reverberated across a silent crowd of over 3,000 people who gathered together at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas Wednesday evening for the “Paddle Out for Unity in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter” demonstration. The event, organized by Textured Waves, Kindhumans Movement, Changing Tides Foundation and Masekela, was held to honor the life of George Floyd and other black lives lost to police brutality, as well as to take a stand against systemic racism in America.  From right to left, Danielle Lyons from Textured Tides with friends Olga Diaz and Shelby Tucker People came together adorned with flowers, signs listing the names of lives tragically lost to racial injustices, surfboards spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter”, and yes, masks, with respect to COVID-19. The ceremony was backed by genuine community support and an earnest commitment to do the work necessary to fight racism. While the fight for equality expands much larger than the surfing community, we all have a larger role to play in ending racism. “For all of the surfers that happen to be black, we’ve known and experienced challenges in this community that would probably shock you,” Masekela says. “It’s been very hard for people to perceive [that] people [who] don’t look like them, can love the ocean as much as... read more

“Core Store Sales Better than Expected in May” by Action Watch via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article from BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch:  Core Store Sales Better than Expected in May 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

“Fighting Racism and Becoming Better Allies” by Melissa Campanelli via Total Retail

Welcome to this week’s Retail Resources. This week, I’m dedicating this post to what I believe are valuable resources to help retail business leaders fight racism and become better allies. If there’s anything you would like me to share in a future post, let me know by dropping me a line at mcampanelli@napco.com. LinkedIn has made its seven-course learning program “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All” free through the end of June. Courses include “Unconscious Bias,” “Skills for Inclusive Conversations,” “Bystander Training: From Bystander to Upstander,” and more. Check it our here.Korn Ferry is hosting a series of webinars this week called Race Matters. Topics range from how whites can become authentic allies in addressing systemic racism through structural inclusion to creating a racially equitable future as inclusive leaders, and more. For more information and to register, please click here.This Fast Company article discusses a plea from Aurora James, founder of the Brooklyn boutique Brother Vellies, for major retailers across the U.S. to commit to buying 15 percent of their merchandise from black-owned businesses. The campaign is dubbed the 15 Percent Pledge. “So many of your businesses are built on black spending power,” James wrote on Instagram. “So many of your stores are set up in black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15 percent of the population, and we need to represent 15 percent of your shelf space.”The Female Quotient has put together a webinar series around how to “turn words into action, become true allies, and address racism head-on.” You can register for the series, called the “Virtual Equality Lounge®: Moving From Conversation to Action,” here.In this profound, thought-provoking and often... read more

“Training Sales Associates in the Post-COVID World” by ENDVR via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article about BRA Supporting Vendor Partner ENDVR:    Training Sales Associates in the Post-COVID World 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

“HOW TWO SHOPS ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC” by LARRY LANZA via JENKEM MAG

It’s no secret that, prior to the pandemic, one of the greatest things about a skateshop was its fixture as a hub for the community, serving as a place to hang out, talk shit, and ask for a pivot cup or spare bearing or something. But with the shutdowns, shops have to find new ways to keep their local skaters and new customers hyped on the shop and invested in their survival.Gary Smith, the owner of Vù Skate Shop in Baltimore, and Ben Jones, owner of Kinetic Skate Shop in Wilmington, just 60-minutes apart from one another, recently released a shop collaboration deck and shirt. Two shops working together on a joint promotion is extremely rare in the skate biz, even though skaters will collab with just about anything. The ongoing pandemic has put skate shops in a weird place because, even though their storefronts are closed, they are still selling boards, more than ever before in some cases. There’s no set business model in place to weather a pandemic, but shops like Vù and Kinetic coming together to support one another gives one way forward for shops struggling to make it alone. This is one of the few times we’ve seen shops collaborate like this, where did the idea come from? Ben: Gary told me about this maybe three years ago. It was one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard. Especially since owning a skate shop has changed in the years that we’ve both been doing it. When we first started doing this, I feel like there were more rivalry between the shops. Now, we’re all friends and we’re all in the same fight together.... read more

“Five retail experts—from Nike, Athleta, and more—on how stores and brands can survive the COVID-19 era” by Elizabeth Segran via Fast Company

10 MINUTE READ For Fast Company’s Shape of Tomorrow series, we’re asking business leaders to share their inside perspective on how the COVID-19 era is transforming their industries. Here’s what’s been lost—and what could be gained—in the new world order. Heidi O’Neill, president of consumer and marketplace, Nike When COVID-19 hit, we accelerated our digital capabilities and focused on what matters most to consumers now. At the very core of that is working out from home. So we made our NTC—Nike Training Club—premium subscription service available for free for everyone in the United States. We started showcasing and even building the kind of workouts that people need, like yoga and mindfulness, and we’re adjusting big workouts for small spaces. Then we adapted our Nike Run Club and our audio guided runs feature to a treadmill experience. I was just looking at some of our consumer feedback. The runners are saying that the audio guided runs are a way to run alone—but not really feel alone. We had launched [a] buy-online, pick-up-in-store , but we are now accelerating that. We had launched self-checkout and scan-to-try services [in stores]. Those were cool in a pre-COVID world, but post-COVID, those two things become contactless [features]. One service that we’re launching this summer was already on the road map, but we’re accelerating it. It’s Nike Fit on your Nike app, which allows you to scan your foot at home and know your exact size. That information will be threaded through your shopping experience. We’re thinking a lot about the reopening of stores and how we create safe environments. But we flipped it and we’re not saying, Okay,... read more

“Facebook and Instagram Launch Shops for Businesses” by Kristina Stidham via Total Retail

Facebook and Instagram have launched a new Shop feature, allowing consumers to make purchases directly on businesses’ Facebook pages or Instagram profiles, reports TechCrunch. The social network’s (Facebook own Instagram) new tools go further than its previous support of e-commerce, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop. The release of the new feature is a global test, with nearly 1 million businesses already signed up. Those businesses will be able to create a Facebook Shop for free — they just upload their catalog, choose the products they want to feature, then customize it with a cover image and accent colors. Visitors can then browse, save and order products. Facebook’s Vice President of Ads Dan Levy described this as a “build once and render anywhere” solution. What will differ is how consumers discover the shops, whether it’s via the Facebook Marketplace or a product tagged in a photo on Instagram. The company also plans to launch another experience this summer called Instagram Shop, and there will also be ways for merchants to feature and link to products in their live videos from their Facebook Stores, as well as for consumers to connect loyalty programs to their Facebook accounts. Total Retail’s Take: As social commerce continues to grow, it only makes sense that platforms would move to make the purchasing experience more seamless. It stands to reason that by adding more frictionless shopping features, consumers will spend more time in the app discovering and purchasing from brands. Facebook and Instagram are also creating additional advertising opportunities as they move toward being an e-commerce marketplace. Instagram had already moved in this direction in 2019 when it launched... read more

“Bright Spots Emerge at Core Retail” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article (about BRA Distinguished Retail Member Hi-Tech Surf Shop):   Bright Spots Emerge At Core Retail Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf Not already a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member? You can easily opt in via this super simple join form:... read more

“Reopening Your Store after Covid-19: The Things You Are Not Yet Thinking About” – Relevant Webinar (Now Available On Demand) brought to you by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys and Board Retailers Association

In this valuable webinar, Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys (https://www.retailsmartguys.com) will provide some guidance for independent retailers like you to help open your stores after Covid-19. This super informative webinar will cover store layouts, staffing, marketing, selling, merchandising, and financial steps that retailers need to take in order to successfully reopen your stores after having been shut down. Board Retailers Association specially arranged for Dan to present this helpful and relevant webinar to our retailers. When?: Dan originally presented this valuable and relevant webinar on Thursday, May 21, 2020 but is now available on demand anytime. Where?: Right here. Just push play. Why?: Because Board Retailers Association is a nonprofit that cares deeply about specialty retailers and provides resources like this to not only help specialty retailers like you to reopen your doors but also to lower your day to day costs, increase your profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. Not already a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member? You can easily opt in via this super simple join form: https://www.boardretailers.org/join-bra/ BONUS In addition to the video, we received some other materials from Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys related to the presentation to share with you upon request including: A copy of all the slides of the presentation A Checklist to do the things that are mentioned in the presentation! Management One’s 12 Week Cash Flow Plan – A great tool to ensure that you know where your cash flow is headed.  It will help you make the important decisions you need to make to keep your cash!Management One’s PPP Planner – For... read more

“See Which States Are Reopening and Which Are Still Shut Down” By Sarah Mervosh, Jasmine C. Lee, Lazaro Gamio and Nadja Popovich (Updated May 21, 2020)

Since late April, when the first states began to lift restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus outbreak, a new pattern has played out across America: The number of new cases of the coronavirus continues to grow, as does the number of people returning to public life. In Oregon, retail stores are flipping their window signs to “Open.” In Oklahoma, people can go out dancing at nightclubs again. More than half of the states have started to reopen their economies in some meaningful way. Several more are letting certain counties or regions reopen while keeping the areas worst-hit by the virus shut down. The lifting of restrictions has represented hope in some quarters and deepened fear in others. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, testified before Congress last week that reopening too soon could trigger a new outbreak and lead to “some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery.” The New York Times is tracking when orders to stay at home are lifted in each state, as well as when broad reopenings are allowed. A state is categorized as “reopening” once its stay-at-home order lifts, or once reopening is permitted in at least one major sector (restaurants, retail stores, personal care businesses), or once reopening is permitted in a combination of smaller sectors. A state is categorized as “regional reopening” if, by and large, the governor permits certain counties or regions to open while others remain closed. States may shift categories as conditions change, or to account for changes... read more

“Facebook debuts Shops e-commerce initiative for small businesses” by Robert Williams via Retail Dive

Brief: Facebook unveiled Facebook Shops, a new feature to help small businesses in the U.S. turn their social media profiles into digital storefronts. Businesses can set up a single online store for customers to access on Facebook’s core social network and photo-sharing app Instagram, according to an announcement and details shared by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a livestream Tuesday.Shops will let businesses have online conversations with their customers via the WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct messaging platforms. Facebook introduced privacy controls that won’t identify which individuals visit a digital storefront, unless they give permission to do so. The company is currently testing Facebook Checkout to handle sales transactions, CNBC reported.Shops also will let businesses tag products shown in Facebook and Instagram livestreams, letting customers see a product order page after tapping on those tags, Zuckerberg said during the livestreamed event. The company is working with e-commerce partners including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to support small businesses with Facebook Shops. Insight: Facebook’s introduction of Shops expands on past efforts to bolster mobile commerce, while the coronavirus pandemic has added urgency to helping small businesses whose brick-and-mortar stores were ordered to temporarily close. Facebook has previously said that its core ad business is seeing weaker demand due to the pandemic, but e-commerce is on the rise among quarantined consumers who can’t go to physical stores to buy goods. Shops could help Facebook capitalize on this opportunity and accelerate adoption for the shoppable features it’s been steadily building out over the past several years that look to give a stronger competitive edge against companies like Amazon. The social networking giant plans to expand the... read more

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