PROTECTING RETAILERS AND A LIFESTYLE

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BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – updated Sept. 30, 2020

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 daily. 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

“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

“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

“What If We Told You 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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Hi-Tech Owner on Business Trends Since Hawaii Opened Up” 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):   Hi-Tech Owner on Business Trends Since Hawaii Opened Up 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

“New Survey Results Show Core Retailers As More Optimistic” provided by Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Thanks to Action Watch for supporting BRA as a Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing the following intel directly to our organization. The following survey results represent the status for independent surf and skate specialty retailers during the first week of May 2020. All respondents participated anonymously, and the data has been aggregated to reflect: • Emergency Funding• Current Store Status• Business Health Thanks again to Action Watch for supporting BRA as Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing this intel directly to our organization. As a reminder, BRA Distinguished Retail Members benefit from our relationship with Action Watch by receiving quarterly reports upon request. The data in the reports are from the ActionWatch Retail Panel, which is made up of over 250 U.S. surf and skate retail stores.  These are made available to you as a benefit to BRA Distinguished Retail members so that you can compare your store against other similar stores (shop names and other confidential info is not shown). If you are a BRA Regular Retailer and would like to receive links to quarterly Action Watch Data reports as well as a number of additional special offerings and discounts by upgrading your Membership to Distinguished, simply email doug@boardretailers.org and he will email you an invoice for the $99.00 Annual Membership Fee. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via the link to the super simple join... read more

“Introducing The Shop Local Project” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf Article:   Introducing TheShopLocalProject.com BRA note: This helpful non-profit initiative was created by BRA Supporting Vendor Partner ENDVR.io and is backed by Board Retailers Association 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

“COVID-19 is Spurring a New Kind of Localism – FOR ONCE, DISCOURAGING OUT-OF-TOWN SURFERS IS ABOUT MORE THAN LOCALS’ WAVE COUNT” by ZANDER MORTON via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant Ellis – As beaches reopen, some surfers try to regulate their local lineups to avoid overcrowding during the COVID crisis In March, coastal communities around the world closed their beaches in an attempt to curb group gatherings and stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, as certain governments begin to relax restrictions and reopen beach access, some areas are showing a resurgence in a different kind of enforcement, with some surfers trying to regulate their lineups as a means to keep their spots overcrowded by visitors. This week, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that in parts of Sydney, Australia, surfers have invoked a bit of old-school localism, posting signs near the beach saying things like “If you don’t live here, don’t surf here”, “If you decide to come out anyway, it’ll be a short surf anyway”, and “You’re putting our community at risk.” Some signs were even mocked up to resemble official council notices. “There’s definitely been some grumbling because there [have] been a heap of people surfing,” says Sydney-based surfer and longtime surf writer Nick Carroll. “So many people are working from home, etc., plus every kid is homeschooling. That’s meant a lot of people in the lineups.” When asked if he’s seen more signs than usual, or witnessed any aggressive behavior, Carroll continues: “There have been a few of those signs around, ‘If you don’t live here, don’t surf here, respect our community’ whatever, but they feel pretty feeble to me, they’re always anonymous, so it’s kind of pathetic.” Outside of Sydney, other “locals-only” signs have been less aggressive — like in a town south of... read more

“Ron Jon President on Store Openings” 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 Ron Jon’s Surf Shop):   Ron Jon’s President on Store Openings Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“Retail Recovery Playbook” – Courtesy of Retail Smart Guys and Management One

Click the following link to view this excellent strategic retail resource courtesy of Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys and the awesome people at Management One: Retail Recovery Playbook If you would like access to more resources that help you to lower day to day costs, increase profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences, you should opt in to a BRA Regular or Distinguished Retail Membership. Regular (no cost) BRA Retail Members have a voice, benefit from BRA relationships and you have access to BRA programs and resources.  All Regular Retail Members will be included in periodic member surveys, receive regular communications (Bi-monthly newsletter and exclusive partner emails detailing the latest issues, products and services affecting the industry and independent retailers), receive a number of BRA Vendor Partner discounts as well as limited Brand Partner offerings, quarterly educational webinars and free access to most BRA sponsored Gatherings, Trade Shows and Retailer Roundtable Events. Distinguished BRA Retail Members have all the benefits of Regular Membership and so much more.  You will receive even more discounts on the latest vendor services and products that as an individual shop you might not otherwise be able to access.  Our Distinguished Members are provided with training and education opportunities and occasional invitations to exclusive industry events. We also provide you with industry and retail statistics via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch—and the opportunity to participate in action-sports specific research programs.  We stand together as a voice in the industries that we serve to ensure our members are a part of the innovation and evolution of the board specialty retail. You can opt in to either... read more

“Skateparks Filled With Sand, So What, Shut Up And Skate – Venice and San Clemente skateparks get filled in with sand, here’s why it’s okay” by Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

When videos of the San Clemente and Venice, CA skateparks getting filled with sand went viral last week, many in the skateboarding population and beyond had real negative reactions – the outrage was fast, extreme, and polarizing. There was a lot of online screaming about personal freedom being take away. There was even a line of screaming about sand damaging the parks. The parks. Which are made of concrete. Being damaged by sand. For those of you who were up in arms about this, I’m here to tell you: everything’s gonna be fine, just fine. The parks were filled in because skaters weren’t obeying local ordinances mandating social distancing or respecting the clearly posted “No Trespassing” signs. Was it an extreme measure? Yes. Was it warranted? Probably, because what skater do you know who respects “No Trespassing” signs? I surely have skated right past my fair share or thousands. Having your local skatepark filled with sand is a bummer, I feel you, particularly when you have no clue when it’s going to get cleaned out. But the moral of the story is,  I don’t really give a shit and neither should you. San Clemente is my local park, and I want to skate it as badly as all the skaters who freaked out about the sand, but it’s still there. They didn’t bulldoze the damn thing, and one of these days it’ll be skateable again (no, Johnny, sand can’t hurt the concrete). But, more importantly, when did we let our skateboarding get regulated by whether some skatepark is open or not? There’s so much other shit to go skate, and... read more

“See Which States Are Reopening and Which Are Still Shut Down” By Sarah Mervosh, Jasmine C. Lee, Lazaro Gamio and Nadja Popovich via The New York Times

After weeks of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation is beginning to slowly open up. Beaches and state parks are reopening to visitors, spurring concerns about overcrowding. The first barbers have returned to work, masks over their faces. Even some restaurants are getting ready to serve customers again. The reopenings — which in some cases have gone against the advice of public health experts — are happening piecemeal even as the number of new cases increases or remains steady across many states, leading to both pushback and confusion. 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 in public spaces, such as restaurants, retail stores, salons, gyms and houses of worship. In some cases, stay-at-home orders are lifting separately from restrictions on businesses. This page will be updated regularly. To view this entire article and the interactive map (both updated regularly), click on: NY Times States Reopen... read more

“LIBERATING SKATE SPOTS WITH THE KNOB BUSTER” via Jenkem Mag

Skate stoppers are an unfortunate reality for skaters, but if you live in Southern California, you now have a masked hero who is alleviating these pains by unknobbing spots all across Los Angeles County for skaters to enjoy. The Knob Buster, as he’s known, prefers to stay anonymous, but he’s still actively sharing his handiwork with the skate world via social media. He’s got an Instagram account cataloging the spots he’s freed up, and you can even tag posts on Instagram with #calltheknobbuster to let him know of a spot you think deserves to be freed from its shackles. Chances are he might make your dreams come true. We had our friend Bobby Bils follow The Knob Buster for a day as he hit a couple of rails. After some close calls with onlookeres and a little elbow grease, LA was left with two more skateable spots (as if they needed any more). Check out The Knob Buster’s adventures in the player above and make sure to call him if you know of a spot in need — within reason, of course. Video by: Bobby BilsShare this with a vandal on FacebookReport this as destruction of property on Instagram and Twitter For even more outstanding skateboarding related content, visit http://www.jenkemmag.com/ Please note that Board Retailers Association does not condone any acts of vandalism or destruction of private property, but it is good to know this valuable customer resource... read more

“What’s Selling at Aqua East?” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article:  What’s Selling at Aqua East? Please note that this article featuring BRA Distinguished Retailer Aqua East Surf Shop 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 clearly 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... read more

“U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Victory for the Clean Water Act!” by Angela Howe via Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation and our co-plaintiffs in the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui case are celebrating an important victory today with the decision to protect water quality and the intent of the Clean Water Act by the United States Supreme Court.  In a 6-3 ruling, the majority of the court refused to allow a large loophole in the Act and found that liability for pollution exists “when there is direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge.”  This litigation was filed to stop polluting discharges from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Maui that discharges 3-5 million of gallons of treated sewage each day into the Pacific Ocean via the groundwater beneath the facility, devastating a formerly pristine reef and recreational resources, including at Kahekili Beach.  In April of 2012, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club-Maui Group, West Maui Preservation Association and Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, as represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court to address water quality violations of the County and the resulting intense threat to beachgoer health and safety posed by contaminated nearshore waters. The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires those who discharge pollutants into navigable waters from pipes or wells to obtain a federal permit.  The district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the plaintiffs, but the County appealed to the Supreme Court. The question presented to the Supreme Court was whether the CWA requires a permit when pollution originates from a point source (like the wastewater plant on Maui) but is conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater here.  The November 6, 2019 oral argument at... read more

“Core Retailer Survey on Ability to Survive Crisis” provided by Action Watch (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Thanks to Action Watch for supporting BRA as a Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing the following intel directly to our organization. Thanks again to Action Watch for supporting BRA as Supporting Vendor Partner and for providing this intel directly to our organization. As a reminder, BRA Distinguished Retail Members benefit from our relationship with Action Watch by receiving quarterly reports upon request. The data in the reports are from the ActionWatch Retail Panel, which is made up of over 250 U.S. surf and skate retail stores.  These are made available to you as a benefit to BRA Distinguished Retail members so that you can compare your store against other similar stores (shop names and other confidential info is not shown). If you are a BRA Regular Retailer and would like to receive links to quarterly Action Watch Data reports as well as a number of additional special offerings and discounts by upgrading your Membership to Distinguished, simply email doug@boardretailers.org and he will email you an invoice for the $99.00 Annual Membership Fee. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via the link to the super simple join... read more

“Jeff Kearl on How Pandemic May Change Industry Going Forward” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article:  Jeff Kearl On How Pandemic May Change Industry Going Forward Please note that this particular 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 clearly 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... read more

“Businesses Look to Government Lifelines in Order to Survive” by Andrew Asch via Apparel News

Like thousands of other businesses, Pocket Square Clothing, a maker of suiting accessories and bespoke clothing, had to furlough its staff because of the COVID-19 crisis. PSC co-founders Rodolfo Ramirez and Andrew Cheung saw their business come to a sudden halt just one year after they had acquired a 10-person sewing shop, Top Hand MFG, near the University of Southern California. But a few days later the city allowed PSC to reopen and the clothing company was able to bring its staff back. The local government had found a quick resolution to some of the company’s problems. The City of Los Angeles deemed PSC an essential business after it signed up for L.A. Protects, an initiative to mobilize Los Angeles apparel businesses to make face masks and personal protective equipment. PSC received no funding from the city; however, the city provided a database where companies needing face masks could contact manufacturers making the protective equipment, Ramirez said Getting involved with the L.A. Protects program meant that they had to rearrange the factory’s layout and bring it to the social-distancing specifications required by the Centers for Disease Control. Ramirez and Cheung are also working more than 12-hour days sourcing fabrics and materials to make face masks, Cheung said, “You have to start from scratch, and everyone is looking for the same thing you are,” he said of his new responsibilities. PSC is one of the few companies that has avoided a shutdown during the current crisis. Many shuttered companies had to suffer through massive furloughs and layoffs. Many of them don’t see quick fixes ahead, despite federal, state and local governments offering loans and stimulus... read more

“Complimentary Webinars hosted by the good people behind Surf Expo and Outdoor Retailer” via SurfExpo.com

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, ASD Market Week and NY NOW to provide this comprehensive series. *Please note: Seating to the live webinars is limited. On-demand versions will be posted here shortly after the live webinars end.  Webinar 1: Redefining Retail: 5 Realities Retailers Can Do Now to Help Protect their Business LaterThursday, April 16, 2020 | 4:00 PM EDT Register Here> The world has experienced unexpected change when it comes to commerce and that includes how retailers engage with customers, how consumers shop with brands, and what connects them in-between their purchasing decisions. While COVID-19 continues to cause challenges for retailers online and offline alike, this webinar will unveil actionable steps commerce-focused companies can make in order to help protect their business longevity. Join Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder at Retail Minded, and learn 5 ways to help your business despite the challenges of COVID-19 PLUS gain resources and actionable insight to help you navigate the future of retail in the world of coronavirus. Featured Speaker: Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Author of ‘Retail 101: The Guide to Managing & Marketing Your Retail Business’ and Founder at Retail MindedNicole Leinbach Reyhle is recognized as a global retail thought leader from companies that include IBM, American Express, Vend and more – including having been recognized as #3 out of 100 worldwide retail influencers. Reyhle regularly contributes to media outlets that include Forbes, Entrepreneur, NBC and others – as well as speaks at worldwide events with a core concentration... read more

“Brain Floss: Paul Kobriger” via Transworld Skateboarding

April 10, 2020 This one’s amazing and special to us. Paul worked as our Marketing Director for several years and rediscovered his love and talent for illustration while at Transworld. We saw his hobby turn into a full blown artist’s awakening, and he even penned our Dylan Rieder tribute cover. His pro skater and musician portraits are displayed across the country in the traveling Punk Rock and Paintbrushes shows, and are favorite pieces of the skaters themselves. For more outstanding skateboarding related features and videos via the following link: 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

“Coastal Breeze Can Carry COVID-19 More Than 6 Feet, Says Virus Expert – IN CASE YOU NEEDED ONE MORE REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Grant EllisA perfect example of what not to do. Malibu crowds, sometime before the COVID-19 pandemic. Between stay-at-home orders, threats of fines for surfing and the off chance of getting shot at (if you happen to live in Costa Rica), there are plenty of reasons to steer clear of the beach right now. But if the sum total of those is somehow still not enough to keep you from paddling out, consider this: coastal breezes don’t care about our social distancing protocols and can carry the COVID-19 virus distances greater than 6 feet. That’s right, according to UC San Diego atmospheric scientist Kim Prather, who studies how viruses and bacteria can be transmitted in the ocean, your 6-foot safety bubble is burst when you enter a breezy environment, as the ocean and beaches frequently are. “Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay 6 feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving,” Prather told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.” In the UT article, Prather compares the way virus-carrying droplets travel in the breeze to the way cigarette smoke travels downwind. While you’re not gonna smell someone’s ciggy from very far away when the air is still, you can pick it up from a good distance with the wind. So what would be considered safe social distancing amid an ocean breeze? Pretend you’re standing 6 feet away from someone at the beach. OK, now back up. Keep going back. A... read more

“Jeff Grosso R.I.P. 1968-2020” via Transworld Skateboarding

Today, legendary ’80s vert skater and host of Vans’ ” Loveletters To Skateboarding” Jeff Grosso passed away at his home (1968-2020). We don’t have any details right now, but our deepest condolences go out to his family, close friends, and all his fans around the world during this heavy time. Jeff was a unique, funny, opinionated motherfucker that loved skateboarding and always kept the true spirit of it alive. His Love Letters show was a way for him to educate the youth and future generations of where that spirit and attitude came from so that it could carry on in some fashion and not be forgotten, and we loved him for that. He always spoke for the outcast, misfits, weirdos that made skateboarding so great and special. He was the people’s champ! Man, this one hurts. Here are some words from around the industry: “Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation. I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans “Love Letters” series. Jeff had a genuine love of skateboarding and a renegade attitude. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age. I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great... read more

“Why Are Surfers Getting Shot At By Police In Costa Rica?” by Zander Morton via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Instagram – A frame from the viral video of a surfer being shot at by a police officer in Playa Hermosa., Costa Rica. LOCAL NOE MAR MCGONAGLE ON THE RECENT DRAMA AMID THE COUNTRY’S COVID-19 LOCKDOWN We’re all in this COVID-19 crisis together. Isn’t that wild? Wherever you’re at right now you can relate. It’s as if a Category 5 hurricane is bearing down on the entire world, and we have no idea how or when it will ever dissipate. Last week countries everywhere began ordering residents to stay at home. And then they started closing beaches and lineups. From South Africa to Indonesia perfect waves are currently going unridden for the first time in 50-plus years. J-Bay is on lockdown. Surfers in LA are getting $1,000 fines. And in Costa Rica, cops are firing guns at surfers — well, at least one cop did. Wanting to hear more about the COVID-19 situation down in Costa Rica, we called Noe Mar McGonagle, after he’d been “arrested” for surfing at the same beach (his local beach) where a surfer had a gun fired at him (or at least in the vicinity of him) a couple days earlier. We saw the photo of you being escorted off the beach in cuffs from the other day. Walk us through that situation. Did you know it was illegal to surf? Yeah, we’d been banned from surfing — the whole country, all beaches — for a couple of weeks already. But everyone was pushing it, still surfing. That day I was just surfing totally by myself, and I had 10 cops rock up on me... read more

“MY DOORS ARE CLOSED…..NOW WHAT??” by BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

(aka how to stay stoked during these crazy times!)In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had numerous conversations with specialty retailers across the nation to brainstorm ways to keep revenue flowing, customers happy, employees paid and much more. Here are a few ideas that may help you during these unprecedented challenges: –COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS—keep them coming to you!Send messages to keep them stoked and positive via email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, direct mailAnnounce the “special” services that you are offering i.e. free local board delivery, free t-shirt with any online purchase, etc. Create online videos of new products arriving in the store, review of latest surfboard or finsPartner with local gym, physical therapist, yoga studio on how to stay in shape for surfing/paddlingRaffle off a high-ticket (but slow moving) item—surfboard, paddleboard, paddle, wetsuit –DO A PHYSICAL INVENTORYCompare/update physical numbers to those on your POS systemIdentify products to go on sale –REVIEW/UPDATE POS/POP SYSTEMUpdate, correct any numbers, based on physical inventoryCreate a 1 page “hot sheet” which identifies top sellers, slow movers, low inventory levels –REVIEW ALL PENDING ORDERS NOT YET RECEIVEDRevamp 2nd quarter sales projections, and adjust open-to-buy accordinglyAdjust ship dates or cancel orders if necessary –RE-MERCHANDISE THE STOREGreat time for new paint, more lighting, revamped dressing rooms, expanded window displayMove racks around—move departments around—make it look new and fresh! –DEVELOP NEW ART/LOGOS FOR YOUR PRIVATE LABEL GOODSGood time to focus on high quality, high margin productsAdd a new category –DO SOME EMPLOYEE TRAININGCreate “what if” scenarios and have them act them out with each otheri.e. how to handle refunds, how to upsell without pressure, how to cross-merchandisekey questions... read more

“How U.S. Surf Shops Are Trying to Adapt During COVID-19 Pandemic” by James Burke via Surfer Mag

IT’S FAR FROM BUSINESS AS USUAL AT OUR CULTURAL WATERING HOLES Many surf shops that have been around for decades, like Hansen’s Surfboards, have taken a big hit in sales this month due to the COVID-10 outbreak. Photo credit: Hansens It’s hard times all around as we all batten the hatches and hunker down for the storm caused by the novel Coronavirus. Small businesses, in particular, are feeling the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis we’re in. And surf shops — our culture’s brick-and-mortar watering holes — are no exception. Shop owners in the U.S. are bracing for the long haul, turning to their e-commerce sites and offering free shipping and sitewide discounts to remain afloat — but they’re not losing hope just yet. “It’s like Groundhog Day around here. A few of us come to work, we get some work done,” says Josh Hansen, of Hansen Surfboards, one of San Diego’s oldest surf shops. “We’ve been shut down now for seven days, and quite frankly, the seven days prior to that we were seeing maybe an 80 percent falloff in business. Our March business will be down probably 60 percent, and we’re anticipating probably not being open in April. So, yeah, it’s challenging. We’re rationing our cash and just trying to understand the small business loan that’s coming out through this new bill that Congress just signed. We should have details on that soon, and be able to make a decision on which direction to go from there. But, we’re blessed to be financially strong, so we feel like we can get through this. If we can’t get through... read more

“Some Landlords Offering Rent Relief to Retailers” via Shop Eat Surf (plus rent relief request form letter template resource from Board Retailers Association)

Please click on the following link to view this absolutely relevant Shop Eat Surf Article:   Some Landlords Offering Rent Relief to Retailers Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf Note from Doug Works (BRA Executive Director): We, at Board Retailers Association, are pleased that Shop Eat Surf reported on this important topic. BRA recently developed a Rent Relief Request form letter template for our Regular (no cost) and Distinguished Retail Members upon request to help start this much needed conversation and communicate your request for rent relief in a reasonable and eloquent manner to your Landlord. Please email doug@boardretailers.org if you would like us to send you this customizable template as well as some links to relevant articles that back up your position, which you can send along to your Landlord with the... read more

“2020 Tokyo Olympics Will Be Postponed Due To Pandemic, According to IOC Member “ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION THE IOC HAS, POSTPONEMENT HAS BEEN DECIDED”” via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Moran Kolohe Andino might have to wait another year to chase gold. Just a month ago, at the end of February, rumors began circulating about the possible cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games if the coronavirus continued to spread worldwide. A long-time senior official at the International Olympic Committee by the name of Dick Pound estimated that the committee had until the end of May to decide whether or not to call off the Games. A spokesman for the Japanese government, however, said that the IOC was continuing with preparations for the Games as scheduled. But much has changed over the past few weeks, with countries going on full lockdown, sporting events of all sizes canceled and the number of COVID-19 cases climbing each day, and now it seems that the IOC is having to make a difficult decision. In response to the ongoing outbreak, Pound told USA Today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.” Pound’s comments came on the heels of the IOC’s announcement Sunday that they were considering postponing the event to a later date. A complete cancellation of the Games was ruled out, with the board noting that doing so would “destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes”. According to CNN, the IOC has been... read more

“FREE DROP SHIP COMMERCE FROM EXCHANGE COLLECTIVE”

BRA Supporting Vendor Partner, Exchange Collective, is here to help our BRA Retail Members BELOW IS A MESSAGE FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE EXCHANGE COLLECTIVE. With retailers having to shut down, Exchange Collective wants to help be a part of a proactive solution to what is going on.  We believe if we work together with brands and retailers during this uncertain time, we can build a better retail landscape now and for the future. We are offering a free drop ship commerce solution for retailers that don’t have anything right now.  We are also onboarding brands for free, to provide this drop ship capability for the retailers. This will increase the number of brands a retailer can offer their customers. What we need from you is to spread the word. Please, share this with all the brands and retailers you are connected with. Here is a link you can share. We will work with all retailers and brands to get them going as fast as we can. We are dedicated to making a positive change to how brands and retailers work together. Lastly, if you or someone you know wants to get involved please let us know.  There are many ways to be a part of this. We cannot do this alone and it will take a collective effort to provide customers the best experience possible. ThanksDave and Dan PankratzCo-FoundersLearn more by clicking this... read more

“Brand Leaders Paint Grim Picture of Current Challenges” via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Photo courtesy of CDC Please click on the following link to view this somewhat disturbing Shop Eat Surf Article: Brand Leaders Paint Grim Picture of Current Challenges Please note that this particular article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for SES Executive Edition access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the Executive Edition Membership clearly 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... read more

“Olympics Postponed and Hierarchy Breakdown” by Dave Carnie via Transworld Skateboarding

Editor’s Note: USA Today just confirmed that the Olympics have been postponed until 2021. This story highlights the cancellations prior to this news and the Hierarchy of the Olympics. On March 13, 2020, the World Skate site provided an update regarding the Olympic qualifying schedule. As you would expect, all of their events are either cancelled, or suspended, or are under consideration to be cancelled or suspended: “Following the recent increased provisions around the world to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please find a new update below on Skateboarding Olympic Qualification Events planned before the end of April 2020.” 1. SLS – STREET PRO TOUR – LAS VEGAS (USA) Date: 24 – 29 March 2020 SUSPENDED 2. LIMA OPEN – STREET & PARK 5 STAR EVENT – LIMA (PERU) Date: 5 – 11 April 2020 SUSPENDED 3. RIZIN ARK LEAGUE – STREET 5 STAR EVENT – SAMUKAWA (JAPAN) Date: 21- 26 April 2020World Skate is currently assessing with the Local Organizer the impact of the new provisions on the event, and the ability for athletes to enter the country, practice and compete. 4. SLS – STREET PRO TOUR – BEIJING (CHINA) Date: 28 April – 3 May 2020 CANCELLED First, is there even going to be an Olympic Games this year? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not cancelled them yet, and I’d be surprised if they do, so, probably. I base this on evidence that everyone involved with the IOC is so greedy and corrupt that even a nuclear holocaust wouldn’t be cause to cancel. (The IOC’smost recent statement says that they “remain fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”) Second question: if there is an Olympic Games in... read more

“How to Save your Local Gear Shop” via SNEWS

The coronavirus crisis has hit independent retailers hard. Let’s make sure they (you) can weather the storm. Spread the message and help us save local retailers. As the coronavirus crisis spreads, independent retailers are hurting badly. (Even before this pandemic, many were losing business to Amazon and other direct-to-consumer competition.) Shops are now empty, workers have been sent home, and cash flow is drying up. At the same time, retailers still have bills to pay, inventory to move, and payroll to meet. We all love our local gear shops. They are the lifeblood of outdoor recreation at the community level, providing everything from expert advice to gathering places for our fellow adventurers. Without them, the outdoors—and our lives as lovers of the outdoors—would be vastly different. Editor’s note: Supporting local retailers, from the Editor-In-Chief of SNEWS Right now, independent specialty retailers need your help. Keeping the lights on requires one simple action on your part: buying gift cards. Like a cash advance, visit your local retailer’s website and offer these funds as a credit against your own future purchases. Buy gift cards for yourself, your friends, as birthday or graduation gifts—anything. It’s a small act, but for your local shop, it will make all the difference. And at some point, you will need a new jacket, a new pack, or a new water bottle. Finally, please share this page and spread the hashtag #SaveYourLocalGearShop. When you buy a gift card, tag the shop, too. Our local retailers are counting on us. It’s time to step up and help. For more informative outdoor news related articles, visit:... read more

“IS IT SAFE TO SKATE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS?” via Jenkem Mag

by CHRISTIAN KERR  Just a few months ago, when the first person died of a mysterious new form of the coronavirus in China, we were still arguing over the pretentious poetics of Verso. But now, with over 173,000 confirmed cases and nearly 7,000 deaths attributed to that virus across the globe, we’ve been arguing over something else: What should skaters be doing during the pandemic? COVID-19, the name given to this particular strain of coronavirus, is no normal flu, and drastic measures are being taken to stop its spread. The suddenly empty sidewalks and open schoolyards seem like a skater’s dream scenario (so much is obvious even to skater moms). But given all the uncertainty surrounding this virus and how contagious it seems to be, should we even be skating? There’s a complicated ethical calculus necessary here and the math is pretty hard. To help make some sense out of the confusion, we rounded up some tips and resources so you can make the right decision for you and the people around you. Dumbass Disclaimer: We at Jenkem are not medical professionals. In fact, we’re barely professionals. Still, we compiled this information to the best of our limited knowledge from the most trustworthy sources we could find. Talk to your doctor (if you have one), stay on top of the news, and always act out of an over-abundance of caution for the most vulnerable amongst us. The Godfathers of Skating’s lives depend on it. IS IT OKAY TO GO SKATEBOARDING? via @quartersnacks There isn’t a simple answer to the question of whether it’s okay to go skating, but if you wanted the hardline, most-responsible answer,... read more

“Updated: Store Closures Mount, Independents Get Creative” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this informative Shop Eat Surf Article:  Updated: Store Closures Mount, Independents Get Creative Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat... read more

“SIMA Award Winners Announced (including Retailers of the Year)” via SIMA email announcement

WINNERS FROM THE 16TH ANNUAL SIMA AWARDS More than 300 attendees from surf companies, specialty retail shops and friends of the industry attended the 16th Annual SIMA Awards on March 11, 2020 to cheer on and celebrate the outstanding innovations and contributions made to the industry by the 86 finalists. Be sure to scroll to bottom of page to see PHOTOS of winners, finalists and attendees of the awards ceremony.  Congrats to the Winnersfrom the 16th Annual SIMA Awards! PRODUCT CATEGORIESAccessory Product of the YearWINNER: Surf Sessions by SurflineOther Category Finalists:FinPuller by FinPullerSearch GPS2 Watch by Rip CurlSurf Boot Mid by VansThe 4ocean Bracelet by 4ocean Environmental Product of the YearWINNER: The 4ocean Bracelet by 4oceanOther Category Finalists:Billabong Recycler by BillabongMen’s & Women’s Yulex Wetsuits by PatagoniaAlgae Traction by Slater DesignsUpcycled Coconut Boardshort Collection by Vissla Footwear Product of the YearWINNER: UltraRange Hi DL MTE by VansOther Category Finalists:Alapa Li by OlukaiRivi Slide by QuiksilverCushion Bounce Collection by ReefPair O Dice by Sanuk Eyewear Product of the YearWINNER: JJF12 by ElectricOther Category Finalists:Sampan by Costa SunglassesRob Machado Resin Collection by DragonOMAR by Otis Eyewear Wetsuit of the YearWINNER: Infiniti LTD by XCEL WetsuitsOther Category Finalists:Hyperfreak Series by O’Neill WetsuitsFlashbomb Heat Seeker by Rip Curl7 Seas Wetsuit Collection by Sisstrevolution7 Seas Wetsuit Collection by Vissla Surfboard CategoriesPerformance Shortboard Model of the YearWINNER: Cymatic by Slater DesignsOther Category Finalists:Seaside by Firewire SurfboardsBlack Baron by JS IndustriesAstro Pop by Pyzel419Fish by Rusty Surfboards Alternative Surfboard Model of the YearWINNER: Shadow by PyzelOther Category Finalists:Monsta Box Hyfi by JS IndustriesThe Blade by Rusty SurfboardsFRK by Slater DesignsDisco Inferno by Surftech x Sharp Eye... read more

“The WSL Cancels First World Tour Stop Due to Coronavirus” via Surfer Mag

ALL OTHER WSL EVENTS IN MARCH WILL ALSO BE CANCELED AS COVID-19 FEARS ESCALATE MARCH 12, 2020 BY ASHTYN DOUGLAS Photo Credit: Chachi The World Surf League just announced that due to the quickly escalating situation surrounding the COVID-19, all events slated for the month of March will be canceled, including the first stop on the ‘CT, the suddenly-ironically-titled Corona Gold Coast Open. The decision came as a preemptive move out of “caution for the safety of our athletes, fans, and staff.” Continue reading for more from the WSL on their recent decision: This decision is based on guidance from the World Health Organization, who has declared that COVID-19 is now a global pandemic, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, governments and local public health authorities where our events are being held. “Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount. From the standpoint of social responsibility, we also take very seriously the role our events might play in accelerating the spread of the virus. We’ve been in close contact with our athletes and we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do right now.” “The fluid nature of this situation is forcing us to evaluate things day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour,” Logan said. “As this continues to evolve, we’ll continue to adapt, endeavoring to make the... read more

“AN INTERVIEW WITH A SKATER UNDER CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE IN CHINA” via JENKEM Mag

MARCH 10, 2020 /NIC DOBIJA-NOOTENS  Unlike most world news events, the COVID-19 coronavirus has already been affecting the skateboarding world. But in between wondering whether the Olympics will be postponed and whether we’ll even have to go to work anymore, no one’s really talked to any skateboarders living in quarantined areas.Through a friend, we were able to connect with a young woman named Coretta living in China who’s been under quarantine since January. She’s a skateboarder and usually works teaching kids how to skate at an academy in China, but for the past several weeks she hasn’t been able to skate or do much else. We chatted with Coretta to get a firsthand account of what things are like under a coronavirus quarantine. Her situation obviously doesn’t speak for everyone everywhere, but if your newsfeed and local gossip circles got you feeling overly anxious, hopefully this can offer a little perspective to keep you grounded as you continue scrubbing your hands with bleach. How long have you lived in China and what you do for work?I am in Ningbo, it is a second-tier city about two hours away from Shanghai. I have lived here for close to a year and a half now working as a skate coach at the Skateboard Supercross Academy. The SBSX skatepark is on the campus of the Zhicheng school where we offer skateboard physical education classes to the students as well as weekend lessons for anyone who wants to ride outside the school. How is the quarantine affecting you on a daily basis?Since returning to China from vacation at the end of January, I have seen many stages of the... read more

“Is the Coronavirus Threatening Surfing’s Olympic Debut? IOC SENIOR OFFICIAL SAYS GAMES MAY BE CANCELED BECAUSE OF SPREADING VIRUS” via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Craig – Kolohe Andino The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to open in five months on July 24. Japan is reportedly spending at least $25 billion to put the games together, twice what they budgeted for the events. 11,000 athletes are gearing up for Tokyo. Housing has been built, media camps are in planning stages, billions of bucks in broadcast contracts long ago signed and budgeted. Surfing, finally for some, regrettably for others, will have its largest mainstream audience, maybe, just maybe, taking its place along snowboarding and skating as an action sport with a handful of marketable names and the occasional weekend contest on network TV. Then along comes the virus. Fears of a coronavirus spread into Japan from neighboring China is on the minds of the International Olympic Committee, prompting one longtime senior official at the IOC to say the unthinkable: The games may have to be canceled. “I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo, or not?’” said the IOC’s Dick Pound. Pound estimates that the IOC has three months to wait and see what happens with the virus, meaning they could put off their decision about what to do until late May. He figures two months would be sufficient to ramp everything up in time to put the games on appropriately. A refresher: As of this week, over 77,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide with more than 2,600 dead, the vast majority in China. Japan has, thus far, seen 5 deaths. Though the virus and the illness... read more

“HOW NIKE SB’S DUNK CULTURE AFFECTS SKATE SHOPS” via JENKEM Mag

MARCH 5, 2020 /IAN BROWNING  The Travis Scott Dunks, which were released in skate shops last weekend, were a financial blessing for skate shops but also a headache for employees. Although shops posted detailed info on social media about how the shoes would be raffled, they were inundated with calls, emails, DMs, and comments from people dying to find a pair. Some shops, like Andrew in Miami, had a laugh making people rap Travis Scott lyrics over the phone just to get in the raffle. Other shops, fed up with the hype, posted their release info and unplugged for the week, turning their phones off and disabling comments on Instagram. Crushed in DC received over 100 calls in one day. Of course, because these $150 shoes sell for over $1,000 online, there’s also a tangible financial incentive to get a pair. StockX, the main shoe resale website that handles these transactions, is funded by venture capitalists and valued at over a billion dollars. Reselling sneakers has grown from an eBay hustle into an industry, and skate shops have become inadvertent players in it. the cause of the commotion Nike’s latest entry into the skate shoe market was initially successful in part due to hype built around limited Dunk releases. Some skaters were into the shoes, but so were people that had nothing to do with skating. “SBs were sort of a way where legit skaters and sneakerheads, who were sort of adjacent to skaters, met in the middle,” said Jian DeLeon, editorial director of Highsnobiety. “It was this trojan horse that brought fuckboys into skate shops.” For a handful of years,... read more

“Introducing Team USA’s Olympic Skateboarding Uniforms via Transworld Skate” by Dave Carnie

As you surely know, Nike released their Olympic Skateboarding uniform collection last week for the four Olympic Skateboard Federations they sponsor: Brazil, France, Japan, and USA. Nike delivered a handsome apparel collection, but not everyone is pleased with it. The decision to not protect apparel as “performance equipment” has potentially negative consequences for the future of skateboarding’s ecosystem. THE UNIFORMS It’s interesting that there’s not a single uniform, but rather plural: uniforms. It’s a snazzy collection that boasts a variety of options for the skaters to wear in competition. “It’s more of a kit of parts than an actual uniform,” Kelly Bird at Nike said, “because we were really cognizant about the fear of the Olympics and that skateboarding would have this homogenized look through a standard uniform. So we created a giant collection of apparel that included anything that we could picture anyone being into. At the beginning, I think it was like upwards of 20 skus. We want people to be individuals when they’re skating. If someone doesn’t want to wear, say, a pair of track pants, then they can wear the khakis. So we created a kit of parts, basically, instead of a single uniform, like, ‘Here’s your three piece outfit,’ and everybody has to wear it and look like the Sims team in the 70s, you know?” For those who decry the very idea of a skateboard uniform (which seems to be the angle in most stories I’ve read about these uniforms), may I remind you that uniforms have been a part of skateboarding since the very early days. Back in the 70s most teams... read more

“CHRIS HASLAM LAUNCHED A NEW BOARD BRAND FOR CHARITY” via JENKEM Mag

BEN STODDARD & MIKE BRADLEY /VIDEOS Like sub-prime mortgages in the mid-2000s, there are way too many pro-skater-owned board brands today. So when we heard Chris Haslam was starting one to kind of stave off retirement, we didn’t think much. But unlike most brands, Brainchild Skateboards has more of a purpose, in that a portion of all proceeds go to charities. Since the passing of his friend and former Dwindle teammate Ben Raemers, Chris decided to start off donating to Project Semicolon, a non-profit that works to prevent suicide by providing better access to information and resources. Chris also runs his brand from a van that he lives/sleeps/pees(?) in. That means he travels with stacks of up to 100 boards and piles of T-shirts in custom storage containers, ready to pack and ship stuff wherever he is. Interested in his brand, and deeply curious about his #VanLife, we got one of Chris’ friends to make this video profile on everything he’s been up to. His van seems to be pretty tricked out, but if you want to brainstorm any ideas to make it faster or more profitable, hit us up in the comments and we’ll print ’em out and mail them forward. For more interesting and informative articles, visit: http://www.jenkemmag.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

“Skateboarding improves mental health, helps build diverse relationships, USC study says” via LA Times

Julian Jeang-Agliardi jumps a ramp at Vans Off the Wall Skate Park on May 9 in Huntington Beach (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)By LA Times CITY NEWS SERVICE February 26, 2020 USC researchers have found multiple benefits in skateboarding, ranging from mental health to education and careers, the university announced Wednesday. A first-of-its-kind study of skateboarding culture found the sport improves mental health, fosters community and encourages diversity and resilience, according to USC. The study, conducted by the Pullias Center for Higher Education at USC’s Rossier School of Education and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, also indicated that gender and race matter in the skateboarding community. “Skateboarding is embedded in youth culture today,” said skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, whose Tony Hawk Foundation funded the study. “Until now, little attention has been directed toward truly understanding who skateboarders are, what they think or why skateboarding becomes such an integral part of their identity. We at the Tony Hawk Foundation are proud to have sponsored this work in order to highlight these young people.” Researchers created a survey that targeted 13- to 25-year-olds and received more than 5,000 responses, including a significant number from skaters who identified as female and/or as a person of color. Interviews also were conducted with 120 skaters and skate community stakeholders in seven cities across the U.S. The findings fly in the face of commonly held misconceptions around skateboarding culture, according to the Pullias Center’s Zoe Corwin, the study’s principal investigator. “Skateboarders are prone to being labeled by society as rebels, social deviants or rule-breakers,” Corwin said. “Stereotyping masks an array of valuable skills obtained through skateboarding.... read more

“Skateistan Documentary ‘Learning to Skateboard in a War Zone (if you’re a girl)’ Wins Oscar” by Transworld Skateboarding

Skateistan Documentary Wins Oscar February 14, 2020 By TWS  This past Sunday night, “Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If you’re a girl)” a documentary about Skateistan’s operation in Kabul, Afghanistan won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject and the skate world rejoiced! Watch the trailer to get a glimpse of what it’s all about. We’ve been following Skateistan’s movement and it’s founder Oliver Percovich since it’s inception and have been impressed and moved by how they’ve been changing lives through skateboarding in some of the poorest areas of the world especially with girls. We even gave Skateistan and Oliver our Eric Stricker Memorial Award back in 2015 for all the hard work he and his crew had put in up until that time, which you can watch below. We continue to be inspired Skateistan’s mission and are so proud that their work has been put into the global spotlight and can’t wait to see what else they’re able to achieve! You can help their cause by donating to their website: here Congrats Skateistan! For more news and resourceful articles as well as a ton of ripping skateboarding, visit: Transworld Skateboarding Here is another story from the good people at Jenkem that sheds light on why this is important to skateboarding:... read more

“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – FAQs & more

What is Skate Shop Day? Skate Shop Day, like Record Store Day and Comic Book Store Day, is the day that the skateboard 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 a whole. Go Skateboarding Day is meant to get skaters OUT skating. Skate Shop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops to show love to the unsung heros that do so much for skating the other 364 days of the year. We support skateshops every day but we celebrate them on February 19th. Who is behind Skate Shop Day? Two old friends who grew up 3,000 miles apart loving skateboarding and music and spending much of their formative youth dreaming of the world just past their town’s boarders thanks to the images were shared in the magazines found in their local shops, Surf Styles in Mission Viejo, CA and Ollie Pops, (Now called Pro Skateshop) in Howell, NJ. (Read Scotty’s story HERE.) Scotty pursued a life dedicated to music while Chris dedicated his to skateboarding, ultimately opening NJ Skateshop in 2003 with his two childhood friends, Steve Lenardo and Troy Jankowski. The most beautiful part is there is a collective of skate shop owners from all over the world that will help steer Skate Shop Day so that it can be as impactful and inspiring as possible. Where is Skate Shop Day heading? In 2020, Skate Shop Day was born. In 2021, it’ll start to take shape thanks to some to some very special projects from a number of our... read more

“Never Mind the Internet. Here’s What’s Killing Malls. Yes, the internet has changed the way we shop. But taken together, other factors have caused greater harm to traditional retail stores, an economist says.” by Austan Goolsbee in The New York Times

By Austan Goolsbee  Published Feb. 13, 2020 It has been a tough decade for brick-and-mortar retailers, and matters seem only to be getting worse. Despite a strong consumer economy, physical retailers closed more than 9,000 stores in 2019 — more than the total in 2018, which surpassed the record of 2017. Already this year, retailers have announced more than 1,200 more intended closings, including 125 Macy’s stores. Some people call what has happened to the shopping landscape “the retail apocalypse.” It is easy to chalk it up to the rise of e-commerce, which has thrived while physical stores struggle. And there is no denying that Amazon and other online retailers have changed consumer behavior radically or that big retailers like Walmart and Target have tried to beef up their own online presence. But this can be overstated. To begin with, while e-commerce is growing sharply, it may not be nearly as big as you think. The Census Bureau keeps official track. Online sales have grown tremendously in the last 20 years, rising from $5 billion per quarter to almost $155 billion per quarter. But internet shopping still represents only 11 percent of the entire retail sales total. Furthermore, more than 70 percent of retail spending in the United States is in categories that have had slow encroachment from the internet, either because of the nature of the product or because of laws or regulations that govern distribution. This includes spending on automobiles, gasoline, home improvement and garden supplies, drugs and pharmacy, food and drink. Collectively, three major economic forces have had an even bigger impact on brick-and-mortar retail than the internet has. In no particular order, here they are: Big Box Stores: In the... read more

“Evo is paving a new kind of future for outdoor retail” by Amelia Arveson via SNEWS

Evo is paving a new kind of future for outdoor retail By investing in real estate, adventures, youth, and its fellow retailers, evo founder Bryce Phillips is building a cohesive and complete adventure community. by AMELIA ARVESEN  FEB 10, 2020 Evo’s story starts like many outdoor endeavors: Bryce Phillips as a college student was slinging ski gear out of his apartments in Seattle and Whistler in the ‘90s and launched the website evogear.com in 2001. The former professional skier’s startup business merged outdoor, fashion, culture, and community into a single lifestyle brand that has grown into a major player across many industries. And this year, the business comes full circle with the opening of multiple storefronts in Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort’s village. Along with its large online presence, evo also has locations—better known as “experience and community centers”—in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; and in the coming months, Salt Lake City. “It’s not a coincidence that we’re opening locations in places we all love to be,” Phillips said. Whenever we scout somewhere new, there’s always recreation woven into all of it. We don’t go to Utah and not get outside. We don’t go to any of these places and not have something baked into the calendar where we’re really getting a chance to go outside with coworkers, friends, and customers in those places.” Bryce Phillips, now 42 years old, founded evo as a typical online retailer when he was in college, but today the company defies labels, blending retail with food, lodging, and adventure experiences like bouldering and skateboarding. We’ve kept tabs on evo for years now and we finally called Phillips... read more

Register for free webinar – Retail Outlook: Improve, Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with Analytics (Feb 25th)

As the retail industry rapidly changes, a company’s ability to exceed customer expectations—from browsing experiences to delivery—continues to determine profit and sustainability. Join us for a webcast to learn how successful retailers are using advanced data to create a focused view of their customers. In this session, we’ll cover key trends in the retail industry for 2020 and ways your company can leverage these trends to enhance customer experience and stay competitive. START TIME: February 25, 2020 10:00 AM PST DURATION: 1 hour LOCATION: Online CONTACT: Marci Reynolds, Moss Adams, 916-503-8206 COST TO ATTEND: Complimentary Please click on the following link to register for this complementary webinar via this link: Retail Outlook: Improve Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with Analytics Improve Engagement, Profit, and Sustainability with... read more

“Thoughts from Outdoor Retailer / Snow Show” by Jeff Harbaugh

Thoughts from Outdoor Retailer/Snow Show February 6, 2020 in Market Watch Column, Trade Shows by Jeff Harbaugh The first thing you think when you walk into the show is what an incredibly great idea it was to consolidate The Snow Show with Outdoor Retailer.  The second thing you think is, “What took them so long?”  I imagine the answer to that is quite a soap opera. The next thing I thought was whether I’d gone to the dog show by mistake.  I like dogs, but the sheer number was rather remarkable this year. For the two days I was there, it was a vibrant and active show.  Not so sure about the third day, given the number of attendees who were on the Friday morning flight back to Seattle with me, but that’s what happens at trade show; the last day is typically slower. What the hell did we do when the show was even longer?   Oh, that’s right- we were younger and it was a lot more fun.  It was amusing when the people who were supposed to show up first thing in the morning didn’t make it till noon because they’d been out “networking” all night.  Somehow, it made you credible. Before the world (inconveniently) changed on us, shows focused on retailers writing orders and brands “getting paper,” whatever that is, from them.  Now, as a show veteran pointed out to me, buyers want to get on their computers, put orders from all their brands into their systems, and see how things look over all before finalizing orders given their sell through and new brands they may have discovered. Which is how... read more

“Danny Harf wins the Legend Award, the latest in wakeboarding’s most exclusive club, there has never been another Legend like Harf” by Wakeboarding Magazine

Danny Harf Wins The Legend Award The latest in wakeboarding’s most exclusive club, there has never been another Legend like Harf By Wakeboarding Magazine The Legend Award is arguably the biggest honor a wakeboarder can receive. Created at the inception of the Wake Awards to honor those who paved the way and had the biggest impact on the sport, the list of winners is a who’s who of wakeboarding. And it is not awarded annually. In fact, it is only given out when the time is right. Since 2004, the list of winners now includes the following: Scott Byerly, Shaun Murray, Darin Shapiro, Parks Bonifay, Zane Schwenk, Erik “Gator” Lutgert, Greg Nelson, Thomas Horrell, Gregg Necrason, Cobe Mikacich and Randall Harris. For 2019, we at Wakeboarding felt it was time to add another member to this esteemed club, and one name in particular deserved it. Let’s cut around the semantics and superlatives of Danny Harf’s career and just call it like it is: one of the most influential and successful in history. Simply put, you could make the argument that Danny is the best all-around wakeboarder ever. Beyond the basic checklist of wakeboarding career accolades like contest results, media coverage and progressive riding (which he has in spades), Danny has been an influencer unlike any other. Fans and fellow pros alike followed his lead for over a decade because he was much more than just the best. His style set trends, his pro-model boards have been top sellers year in and year out, and his easygoing personality attracts fans across all spectrums. Based on accomplishments and impact alone, Danny could have won... read more

“Could Statistical Analysis Predict Who Will Win the Next ‘CT Event? HOW A PROFESSOR OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE USED A PREDICTIVE MODEL TO WIN FANTASY SURFER” by RAY BERGMAN via Surfer Mag

Could Statistical Analysis Predict Who Will Win the Next ‘CT Event? HOW A PROFESSOR OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE USED A PREDICTIVE MODEL TO WIN FANTASY SURFER JANUARY 31, 2020 BY RAY BERGMAN Each year since 2003, thousands of Fantasy Surfer players attempt to predict the success of World Tour competitors at each WCT event. Those with the best strategies (or perhaps a really lucky Magic 8 ball) accumulate enough points by season’s end to be crowned Fantasy Surfer Champion. Past FS victors have been software gurus (Kevin PriesterOpens in a new Window.), ex racecar drivers (Luca FioravantiOpens in a new Window.), former top-tier professional surfers (Shea LopezOpens in a new Window.), and several industry insiders. Dan Walters–this year’s winner who outsmarted 13,600 other Fantasy Surfer players–used analytics, statistics and a keen eye for who’s surfing well and who’s not to climb his way to the top of the 2019 rankings. Walters, who works as a professor in behavioral sciences, used predictive data to choose winning teams and accumulate the most points by year-end. We recently caught up with Walters for a quick back-and-forth regarding his Fantasy Surfer success. How long have you been playing Fantasy Surfer? I’ve been playing Fantasy Surfer for 7 years. My strategy centers around weighing the factors that are most predictive of surfer success at each venue. What do you do for a living? Something that might tend towards analytics? I’m a professor of behavioral sciences so I spend a lot of my time trying to predict human behavior using modeling and statistical analysis. I attempted to bring the same level of rigor to my Fantasy Surfer predictions. In... read more

“Brands that Won at Core Stores in 2019” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article: Brands that Won at Core Stores in 2019 Please note that this particular 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 Executive Edition Membership clearly 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... read more

“A Talk with Ron Jon Leaders at New Disney Springs Store” via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this excellent Shop Eat Surf Article: A Talk with Ron Jon Leaders at New Disney Springs Store Please note that this particular 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 Executive Edition Membership clearly 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... read more

“Shaping Icon Maurice Cole on Racism, Cancer and the Power of Surfing – The Australian Legend in his own words” by JUSTIN HOUSMAN via Surfer Mag

Shaping Icon Maurice Cole on Racism, Cancer and the Power of Surfing THE AUSTRALIAN LEGEND IN HIS OWN WORDS JANUARY 18, 2020 BY JUSTIN HOUSMAN Short film by Peter Baker The often cloistered, impenetrable surf world could use a lot more figures like Maurice Cole. Doesn’t take much poking to get Cole to hold forth with hours of surf stories, many told from a vulnerable and deeply personal place. He’s a man quick to open up to a stranger, commiserate with what you’re dealing with, and share a knowing wink. A refreshing blast of honesty in a surf environment often too blasé to offer anything of substance. In this moving short, we learn about Cole’s run-ins with the law, with his health issues both physically and mentally, and what surfing has meant to him through it all. In it, we find a surf legend no different from us plebes. Just one with way better stories. For more outstanding Surf related content... read more

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