Leveling the Retail Playing Field

Consolidated Skateboards writes:
Why is it that the large chain stores receive a helping hand by being given volume discounts when it’s the small “mom and pop” stores, the heart and soul of the skateboard industry, that are the ones that need it the most?
Though volume discounting has long been a standard in business, it has come to be exploited, with business models being based around it. Consolidated believes this current pricing structure is backwards. We need to break out of this paradigm in order to foster a healthier and more competitive environment.
We feel that for a company to ensure its longevity, the foundation of a distribution channel should be more balanced. As our distribution channel becomes more and more polarized, our industry becomes even more fragile.
When the actions of one chain store can so heavily influence your company, it is a sign that we are entering into dangerous waters. By putting too many eggs in one basket and giving the large chain stores the discounts they demand, manufacturers are basically forfeiting control of their distribution. Though the short term gain is enticing, the long term result will be detrimental, especially in a volatile industry such as ours.
Because it’s the little guys who built this industry and who now need the helping hand, Consolidated feels the time has come to flip the pricing structure, and to “level the playing field.” We know this is something Consolidated cannot do on its own. We encourage other companies and skate shops to work together for the betterment of our industry.


  1. Jay Moore of World Boards writes:

    Amen and pass the ammunition. There are many out there who talk and claim and complain. There are a few people out there who understand how this whole thing called retail works. Whether it is Surf, Snow or Skate the basics are still the same. It is so refreshing to read this statement as it strikes squarely on the head the problem nail of the industry, namely distribution.

    Leticia needs to be encouraged and commended for her stance that she has placed here in writing. VIVA Consolidated and Leticia and everyone else who speaks out for the real retailer who built this thing we call “the industry”.

    Whoever reads this may or may not agree but you cannot deny the truth. Try as you may you cannot deny the truth. The small shops support like nobody else. The “real” shops are the life blood. I personally totally agree and have spoken out many times in the past for us, the real retailer. So for anybody who cares, remember where we came from, where we are going and learn from our history. Take a stand and support those who support you. Be wary and deal carefully with those who “sell out” to the big stores and chains.

    If you want kooks to tell us what to do in the future then remain silent and take no action. If you wish to remain alive doing a good job and having fun while doing it all the while progressing the activities we love, then take action. Leticia cites the backwards way in which our industry does business. We need to boycott those who empower the competition unfairly in this backwards fashion. I am not talking a blanket blind boycott but a case by case careful handling of each vendor/partner. Don’t forget that our collective dollars have a huge effect and we are in charge of our destiny.
    Don’t just complain, act!


  2. I agree with you, but I think that in addition to speaking with our purchasing dollars/brand support that we might need to (and this is likely quite a difficult task) try to get the attention of some major industry players and plead our case with them and try to get skate headed back in the core direction. It seems like manufacturers (not just hardgoods, but shoes and clothes) have all but abandoned us in search of the next big revenue stream (which usually, it seems, happens to live at the mall).