BRA’s New Chairman and New Future

BRA’s New Chairman and New Future

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing more than 600 independent owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers is pleased to announce that it has elected a new chairman, Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport, for the 2017 term. Having previously served as Co-Chair from 2011-2014, Cromartie is primed to take the reins of the organization. Cromartie opened the original BC Surf & Sport in 1977. In 1986, he and a partner opened a store in Littleton, Colorado just as snowboarding started to gain popularity. Since that time, BC has grown to 15 stores, primarily located in the Rockies and Florida. As a multi-sport industry veteran, Cromartie has the industry relationships and experience to connect with members, develop new partnerships and unify retailers. “Being a member of BRA has been a great experience for me,” says Cromartie,“and I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to help keep our initiatives moving forward. There have never been more challenges in our industry, and we all have a lot to gain by working together to be sure the surf, skate and snowboard business stays strong.” In addition to this change, the Association also shared the news that Mike Duncan will step down from his position as President at the end of 2016. After founding the organization with Surf Expo’s Roy Turner, Duncan has run the Association for over 13 years.  He will remain a key resource for the organization and join its Board of Directors. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be a founding member and serve as the President of this remarkable...
5 Things to Check Out at Surf Expo 2016

5 Things to Check Out at Surf Expo 2016

It’s almost here! Surf Expo 2016 kicks off tomorrow for another year of the largest and longest-running board sport and beach/resort lifestyle trade show in the world. With the best and brightest industry vendors in attendance, an array of intriguing speakers, and endless exhibits to visit, this event is guaranteed to be a success! Here are just a few things that we are excited to see and do: Demo Day Surf Expo’s Annual Demo Day takes place the day before the tradeshow kicks off! Demo Day allows retailers the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with SUP, Wakeboard, Kayak, and Canoe market leaders. Demo new products before they hit the market! 2500+ booths Attendance records will be broken at this year’s Surf Expo! More than 2500 booths will be displaying incredible products that will definitely add value to the watersports industry. In fact, more than 250 new brands will be featured at the tradeshow. Buyers will be in heaven as they get first dibs on the newest coastal products to hit the market. 9500+ store fronts Easily find what you are looking for at Surf Expo 2016! The event will feature nine different categories of products, including: swimwear, resort, surf, wake, wind, skate SUP, kayak/canoe, boutique, footwear, coastal gift, and performance. With over 9,000 store fronts under one roof, you are sure to find products that will exceed your expectations. 27,600+ attendees Surf Expo 2016 is the industry’s largest trade show in the world, with exhibitors and buyers attending from all over the world. This event is also a trade only event and not open to the general public. Therefore,...
How to Start a Twitter Chat for Retailers

How to Start a Twitter Chat for Retailers

Why can’t people just hang up and hang out? Many assume that with the rise of the smart phone comes the fall of actual human interaction. But that might not always be the case, especially with engaging and educational social media features like Twitter chats. Twitter chat allows users to schedule discussions with other Twitter users through a shared hashtag. This creates an online space where questions can be answered, conversation can be started, and loyal relationships can be built. At the touch of a finger, a simple hashtag can lead you directly into a targeted conversation topic. Because the hashtag for each chat is topic-specific, this can add tremendous value and growth to your business. Not only will a successful Twitter chat increase your social media following, it will also allow an opportunity to build community building and get helpful feedback. You can start your own Twitter chat with just a few simple steps: Plan Ahead Prior to the chat, ensure that you have a clear idea of what you hope the conversation will accomplish. Set your own professional goals, and make certain that it will benefit your consumers too. Pick Your Topic Choose a conversation topic that is relevant to both your business and your audience. Make it industry-related, packed with questions for your followers. This will give them a chance to provide helpful ideas and feedback. It is important that the topic you choose appeals to your listeners and generates an open discussion. Choose a Hashtag The hashtag that you choose will be the door for people to enter your discussion. An ideal Twitter chat hashtag...
5 SEO Tips You Can Do Right Now

5 SEO Tips You Can Do Right Now

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, might seem like an impossible-to-crack code. Yet SEO is incredibly important if you want your business to be found online. If your website is optimized for search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing will view it as a good source and offer it up to users who are searching for your products or services. If your website isn’t optimized, then it might as well be invisible. For many people, SEO is a full time job. You may think that due to your full-time job as a board retailer, you don’t have time to add SEO to your plate. This is where you’re wrong. Sure, you won’t be able to do all the things a digital marketing professional can accomplish, but everyone has time to make a few small tweaks to their website that will yield big results. Below are five things you can do this week to improve your SEO and make your website rise in the rankings. Try them out and see what a difference they make. 1. Create unique content that people want to read and share. While filling your website with rich content isn’t exactly something you can do overnight, it is something you can start today. If you don’t have a company or business blog, it’s time to launch one! You can write “how to” posts, new product launches, behind-the-scenes information, or gift guides for various holidays. Use specific keywords in the title and first paragraph of your post so readers (and search engines!) immediately know what the post is about. 2. Create internal links within your website. Internal linking helps...
How to Target Tourists This Summer

How to Target Tourists This Summer

When you’re on vacation in a brand new city, you want to experience the local color of the place, which means eating at the best restaurants, visiting the most beautiful beaches, and seeing the famous sites. You also want to shop at interesting stores for souvenirs or to outfit yourself for adventures at your destination. As board sports retailers, this last point is important. Whether you sell surfboards, skis, or skateboard gear, there’s a good chance you have products someone visiting your city wants and needs. If your store is located in a tourist destination, then there’s an even better chance that many of your potential customers aren’t locals—they are in town for a few days or a few weeks, and they can be a great source of revenue. So how do you reach these tourists and convince them to shop at your store? By tweaking your marketing strategy just for them. These tips will help. Set up a booth at or sponsor a big local event. Whether it’s the county fair, a festival, a concert series, or a competition, the chances are good that someone is traveling from out of town to attend. Tabling at these events and/or getting your logo onto various marketing materials can help you reach this target audience. At the very least, they’ll see your name and think of you later, when they need something you happen to sell. Partner with tourism agencies and services. Get to know the owners of the best hotels in town, talk to the hospitality branches of your local government, and get in touch with your favorite restaurants, attractions,...
The Pros and Cons of eCommerce

The Pros and Cons of eCommerce

When most people think about starting an eCommerce store, they get excited about the possibilities. We don’t blame them—eCommerce can seem, for many small business owners, like the answer to their dreams. While it’s true that online stores have benefits, they also present some unique challenges, and it’s important to be aware both sides before diving head in. At Board Retailers Association, we believe retailers can be successful in a variety of ways, as long as they’re informed and make good choices. To help our members launch successful eCommerce businesses, we’ve rounded up a few pros and cons about going this route. Read them, consider them, and then make the choice that best for your business. Pros of eCommerce You don’t need a physical store. One of the refrains we hear when we’re buying a house or starting a business is, “Location, location, location.” And it’s true—if your store is on the wrong side of town or on an inconvenient street, it could cut down on customers. eCommerce stores, which live on the Internet, don’t have that problem. And while you do have to pay hosting fees for your website, they’re usually much cheaper than rent or a mortgage. You have access to a bigger market. This is especially true for businesses that sell niche products, where their audience is already limited. When you have an eCommerce store, it’s easier to reach the people who will love your products, without worrying that your immediate city will be able to support you. You’re open for business 24/7. In today’s world, people want what they want when they want it. Waiting...