Celebrate All Season Long with these 7 Retail Holidays

For most people, the holidays are an opportunity to slow down and spend time with friends and family. Unless, of course, you’re a business owner or retailer. In that case, buckle your seatbelt and hold on tight, because things are about to get crazy. As most of us in the industry know, Black Friday is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shopping holidays. In fact, there are actually 7 “holidays” you can highlight in order to celebrate the season and leverage sales. We’re presenting them now, so you can get a head start on planning your best year yet. Gray Thursday—November 26, 2015 Also known as Thanksgiving Day, more and more retailers are opening their stores after the feast and before the official madness of Black Friday begins. While some people bemoan this trend, claiming it takes away from the holiday, the truth is that for many, shopping for gifts is a fun way to spend the evening and work off some calories. If you don’t want to open your doors on Gray Thursday, an online sale is a good compromise. Black Friday—November 27, 2015 This shopping holiday needs no introduction, so how about a little history instead? Black Friday originally became a big deal because it was an unspoken rule that no retailer would advertise Christmas sales or events until after the Thanksgiving parade had concluded. (Hard to believe now, when Christmas decorations immediately take the place of Halloween candy—my, how things have changed!) Even though there are other marketing holidays, Black Friday remains the biggest. Make sure you’re prepared! Small Business Saturday—November 28,... read more

5 Creative Holiday Promotions to Try This Year

In the retail world the holiday season starts early. Thanks to big box stores and free online shipping, small independent businesses have to try harder than ever to attract and retain customers. This means getting creative and figuring out what your store offers that others can’t. To help you out, we’ve rounded up five creative holiday promotions that are effective for small businesses in particular. Check them out, give them a try, and then get ready for your best season yet.   Buy Now, Save Later Have you ever gotten home from a day of shopping, pulled your shiny new purchases out of the bag, and found a slip of paper or coupon, promising you exclusive savings to be redeemed at a later date? Usually, these promotions are only given to people as they buy something, so it’s both a way to get customers back into the store, as well as a reward for their loyalty. If you decide to use a promotion like this, choose a short window of time during which it can be redeemed, such as the week before Christmas, and gear it toward those pesky last minute gifts.   Be Social When you’re a small business, your number one goal is selling enough product to pay your bills (and give your loyal employees a sweet end-of-the-year bonus). In the rush of retail, however, we sometimes forget the real meaning of the holidays—peace, goodwill, and giving back. Embrace these universal truths by heading to social media and hosting a fun giveaway that has nothing to do with getting and everything to do with giving. A fun... read more

Why Your Business Needs a Google+ Page

When it comes to social media, Facebook is usually the first thing that comes to mind, followed closely by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and maybe LinkedIn. You probably don’t think of Google+, and that’s a shame. It turns out this platform has some great perks, especially if you’re a business, brand, or retailer. Wondering what Google+ can do for you? Allow us to explain. Send the Right Message When you create a Google+ page for your business, it serves as your public identity and a central place to share your expertise and knowledge. Google+ has approximately 300 million monthly active users, but the level of engagement isn’t all that high—on average, users spent about 7 minutes per month on the site. While 7 minutes might not seem like a lot, what they’re doing during that time can make or break your business. Searching for goods and services. Looking up business hours. Reading reviews. Google+ automatically creates a page for your company, but until you step in and take control, that page will look barren, empty, and closed for business—not exactly the message you want to send to potential customers and clients. Improve Your SEO Google+ is a Google product. Seems obvious, right? Something that might not be quite as clear is the fact that Google indexes Plus pages almost as soon as they’re published. It can also index more information, because data isn’t blocked or hidden within another social network, such as Facebook or Twitter. This means having an active and robust Google+ business page will help you rank higher in search results. In many cases, a business’s Google+ page... read more

Surf Expo September 2015 Highlights

Earlier this month, BRA representatives attended the much-anticipated Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. For three days, we met awesome brands, attended great seminars, and had an amazing time. Here are some of the highlights: The Neighborhood This year, Surf Expo set up “The Neighborhood,” which was a lounge area that combined like-minded brands and amazing handcrafted coffee—a wonderful pairing, especially at such an intense trade show! Located at the heart of the surf section, it was the perfect way to keep energy high and connect with some of our favorite companies while exploring the Expo’s extensive offerings.  Two of our favorites were the Wake section, which made a standout appearance this year thanks to incredible displays and top-of-the-line wakeboard boats, and the Freaker brand, which hail from our hometown of Wilmington, NC. They traveled with their band, the Harmonica Lewiniskis, whose tunes wowed the crowd at the end of each day. The Seminars As usual, Surf Expo hosted an exceptional series of educational seminars. With three seminars on Thursday and Friday and one on Saturday, attendees had many opportunities to sit in and listen to the speakers. In case you missed it, here were some great takeaways: Retail Innovation Panel – Selling an Experience This great seminar was moderated by Glenn Brumage and included Todd Canipe, George Leichtweis, and Lee Elliot. Together, they discussed the power of “experiential retailing,” or the idea of selling an experience rather than a product. Offering in-store events and VIP parties are a great way to create loyalty and encourage community among your customer base. Optimize your Online Presence for the 2015 Digital Landscape... read more

5 Reasons to Join SIA Today

The Board Retailers Association is dedicated to promoting and supporting the world of board sports in every possible way. One of our methods is by connecting our members to other organizations with a similar mission. Today, we want to draw your attention to SIA. SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the only non-profit, member-owned trade association that represents suppliers and service providers of consumer snow sports. Founded in 1954, it counts constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities among its members. The organization offers its members a number of amazing benefits, which can help your individual business and the snow sports community as a whole survive and thrive. These benefits include: Research As a member of SIA, you’ll enjoy free access to the latest and greatest industry research. From important marketing trends to hidden opportunities, SIA will give you the knowledge you need to make a difference in your community and industry. Resources SIA has a comprehensive media database and directory that can help you increase your visibility—and your sales potential. The organization also offers public relations assistance, which can be especially useful for smaller businesses that don’t have a dedicated PR department. Snow Show SIA’s Snow Show is the only trade show dedicated to the snow sports industry—and it’s only open to SIA members. Each year, over 18,000 industry members attend it, making this an event you can’t afford to miss! Discounts SIA offers great discounts to its members on everyday costs, such as FedEx shipping, freight, car rentals, booth warehousing, and more. They also offer exclusive package exhibit booths. These discounts make it easier to accomplish your... read more

Less Than One Month Until Surf Expo!

Surf Expo is the largest and longest running watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow in the world. It’s been around since 1976 and last year’s September show sold out, which isn’t surprising in the least. When you consider the fact that Surf Expo is the best place to identify new trends, preview new brands, and get business done, it makes sense that everyone wants to be there! As we gear up for the 2015 event (September 10-12—less than one month away!) we’re already getting excited. Here are some numbers to help you see the scope and power of this iconic trade show: 2,600 booths 7,500 store fronts 26,000 attendees $2 billion in buying power #1 in award-winning trade shows In addition to these impressive numbers, there’s another bonus to Surf Expo that we’re particularly excited about. It’s called Board Demo Day, and it takes place on September 9, from 11AM to 4PM. Board Demo Day supports the stand up paddle, wakeboard, and wakesurf markets, and it’s amazing opportunity for retailers to test drive new products before stocking them in their stores. It’s also a lot of fun. Check out this slide show of last year’s event to see what we mean. Whether this is your first Surf Expo or your 39th, we’d love to hear what you’re most looking forward to this year. Let us know on Facebook. In the meantime, we’ll be busy packing our bags and getting ready for a great show. See you... read more

SHACC To Present Lifetime Achievement Award To Cecil Lear

Cecil Lear Co-Founded Eastern Surfing Association in 1967 And Played A Key Role In Introducing Surfing to Eastern United States. Award Will Be Presented At the SHACC National Luau, Friday August 21st at the Reagan International Trade Center in DC. The Public is invited and tickets are available at   Surfing Heritage and Culture Center announced today that Cecil Lear has been selected to receive the SHACC Lifetime Achievement Award for a career spent spreading the love of surfing across the Eastern United States.  A natural salesman, Cecil’s first step before riding a wave came a little closer to home. “It took me a little while to talk my wife into letting me spend $125 for the first surfboard in our area of New Jersey,” Cecil Lear explained.  “Once it arrived in the mail from Hobie, and I learned to ride it, I knew this was a sport everyone needed to try.” Shortly after learning to surf, Cecil began to work with his friends to organize the sport into a community that spanned the Eastern United States and ultimately founded the Eastern Surfing Association in 1967.  With Cecil vision and leadership, the ESA grew to become the world’s largest amateur surfing organization. “From helping set up the first surf friendly beaches, to co-founding the ESA, Cecil has worked tirelessly to build the sport and community of surfing,” said Dick Metz, Co-founder of the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center.  “Cecil is a legend of surfing and we here at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center are honored to recognize his achievements on behalf of thousands of surfers.” First given to... read more

Demystifying the EMV Liability Shift

As a member of the Board Retailers Association, you receive exclusive access to services and information provided by our Associate Members. Today, Heartland Payment Systems, an independent payment processor, offering credit and debit card processing, payroll processing via offices located throughout USA, shares the inside scoop on the EMV Liability Shift. If you’re already lost, don’t worry, our friends at Heartland will guide you through it. The acronym EMV stands for the European MasterCard Visa consortium that developed payment card technology utilizing embedded chips. EMV is a set of standards designed to protect debit and credit cards that are accepted at the point of sale, as well as ATM transactions. The EMV standards were formed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa in 1993. Today, there are more than 1.5 billion EMV cards deployed in more than 120 countries on four continents. “By the end of 2015, 70% of U.S. credit cards and 41% of U.S. debt cards will be EMV enabled”, says Aite Group. The United States will be the last developed country to migrate to EMV. Businesses that implement an EMV solution may benefit from a reduction in card present fraud, decreased requests for copies, and fewer disputes, as well as the unrelated but valuable opportunity to update terminals for other capabilities like Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless acceptance. As part of the US migration to EMV, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have mandated liability shifts for fraudulent transactions effective October 1, 2015. Generally, liability will shift to the party using the least secure technology. Let’s look at counterfeit card fraud liability first.  When a Visa branded card is in question,... read more

Periscope and the Power of Live Streaming Video

Since Periscope, the latest live streaming video app, was launched a few months ago, brands, businesses, and regular users have been experimenting with its possibilities. After all, the ability to broadcast live video to the Internet from your smartphone is unique, exciting, and rife with opportunity. Cindy Whitehead, of Girl is Not a 4 Letter Word, says Periscope is especially important for female skateboarders. “Next time there is a demo or a just few girls skating in a mainly guys contest and the girls are not included in the live feed, it will give all of us the ability to shoot video LIVE from the event and share it as it happens on the Periscope app,” she explains. “There’s no 15 second cut off like Instagram or uploading after the fact, like Facebook. It’s like your own personal webcast that goes out worldwide and that is powerful.” While many people are embracing the freedom and power that live streaming video provides, others in the sports industry aren’t so enthused. As GeekWire explains, “Given the insane amount of money networks spend for TV broadcast rights, are sports teams even allowed live stream their own games with an app like Periscope? Can fans do the same from their seats? And what other impacts will Meerkat and Periscope have on the sports world?” It’s an interesting question, one that will take some time to answer. As for retailers and business owners, the opportunities are different. There are a number of ways you can promote your store via live streaming video—here are just a few. How-To Videos. Live demonstrations and informational videos are a great way to use Periscope to connect... read more

Agenda Expands Emerge

Two weeks ago, representatives from Board Retailers Association traveled to sunny Long Beach, CA to attend the much-anticipated Agenda Show. Since 2003, Agenda has emerged as the premier destination for brands and retailers to converge, where passion becomes profit and the business of creativity is conducted in a truly authentic environment. Buyers, brands, investors, distributors, and media hail from around the globe, gathering at Agenda to build partnerships, participate in the community, grow their businesses, and score some truly awesome swag. (Hey, we’re just being honest!) While Agenda is always an amazing experience, this year’s event was extra special, thanks to the continuously evolving Agenda Emerge conference, which was established in 2013. Agenda Emerge is a public portal into the creative process that was created to inspire the next generation of innovators and to reignite the passion of the veterans. Through unprecedented access and insightful narratives, it explores how mavericks of industry have adapted to, overcome, conquered, disrupted and influenced their fields of work. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn, grow, and connect, especially for people who are new to our industry and those looking for a dose of fresh inspiration. Did you attend the Agenda Show in Long Beach and/or check out Agenda Emerge? If so, let us know what you learned on Facebook or Twitter! And who knows—maybe we’ll see you at one of the upcoming shows in Las Vegas and New York. We can dream,... read more

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