PROTECTING RETAILERS AND A LIFESTYLE

SURF SKATE SNOW SUP WAKE

Board Retailers Association Position Paper on Blank Skate Decks

It is the majority opinion of the Board Retailers Association’s membership that specialty retailers need to work together with manufacturers to eliminate the sale and distribution of blank skate decks.

By definition, BRA retailers do not consider shop boards to be blank skate decks or blank boards because like manufacturers, specialty retailers sponsor teams, flow product and support demos and events.

Together, retailers and manufacturers need to promote pro and shop boards as more than just the paint, logo and graphics they entail. Skate decks represent the lifestyle, history and passion of this sport. They are the basis for which ads are bought, articles are written and heroes are made.

It is the responsibility of manufacturers, distributors and retailers to eliminate “cheap” product and promote quality equipment that can maintain a higher margin and a better return on investment. We need to promote the safety durability, and responsiveness of a quality board vs. a cheap blank both in manufacturers’ ads and specialty retail education.

Retailers acknowledge the need to show pride in their shop’s image, reputation and contribution to the skate industry by maintaining retail prices on shop decks within a reasonable range of typical manufactured deck prices. Manufacturers can help retailers reach this market balance by cutting unnecessary expenses and reducing the “cost” of their boards. By allowing retailers to make a better margin on their products, manufacturers would reduce the incentive to promote shop decks.

With that said, there is great concern by BRA’s membership that distributors and manufacturers exhibit very little scrutiny on who is allowed to sell skateboarding product. Whether it be a chain store, a “box store,” or just anyone with a checkbook wanting to open a specialty retail skate shop, there needs to be boundaries and limitations on distribution so that specialty retailers are not driven to carry blank boards as an alternative to compete in an over-saturated marketplace.

BRA would like to continue working together with IASC and skate manufacturers to resolve these issues and maintain the health of the skate industry. We plan to keep the lines of communication open so that we can better understand each other’s concerns and work together collectively on continuing to turn the world on to the sport that we are so passionate about.

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the article.

    I completely agree, we are a new shop and have chosen not to carry blanks. We have been rewarded by companies like zero by discounted boards sales and tremendous support for all of our events.

    We do get the occasional kid coming in to buy a blank, but a simple explaination of why we don’t seems end up in a shop deck sale every time.

  2. Thanks for the article.

    I completely agree, we are a new shop and have chosen not to carry blanks. We have been rewarded by companies like zero by discounted boards sales and tremendous support for all of our events.

    We do get the occasional kid coming in to buy a blank, but a simple explaination of why we don’t seems end up in a shop deck sale every time.

  3. Way to be a jerk to skating. “Skate decks represent the lifestyle, history and passion of this sport. They are the basis for which ads are bought, articles are written and heroes are made. ”
    It’s turned into commodity right?
    Go ahead and make money on skateboards, run your ads and make your heros of skating. To take out blank decks though? Man a blank deck is the one thing that people shouldn’t hate. They dont advertise, when you ride them your not a walking ad, and they’re cheap. Not every skaters rich. Those kids who “occasionally come in to buy a blank” probably has either no money or realizes the better deal.

  4. Way to be a jerk to skating. “Skate decks represent the lifestyle, history and passion of this sport. They are the basis for which ads are bought, articles are written and heroes are made. ”
    It’s turned into commodity right?
    Go ahead and make money on skateboards, run your ads and make your heros of skating. To take out blank decks though? Man a blank deck is the one thing that people shouldn’t hate. They dont advertise, when you ride them your not a walking ad, and they’re cheap. Not every skaters rich. Those kids who “occasionally come in to buy a blank” probably has either no money or realizes the better deal.

  5. What can manufacturers do specifically to help the retailer cut unnecessary expenses? What does that entail? Do you have any tips for helping them reduce the cost of their boards?

  6. What can manufacturers do specifically to help the retailer cut unnecessary expenses? What does that entail? Do you have any tips for helping them reduce the cost of their boards?