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Specialty Retailers and the Board Sports Lifestyle
Surf | Skate | Snow | SUP | Wake

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Specialty Retailers and the Board Sports Lifestyle
Surf | Skate | Snow | SUP | Wake

“The One-Legged Snowboarder Who Built an Ingenious Prosthetic for Himself—and His Opponents” by John Rosengren via GQ

Mike Schultz riding in the adaptive banked slalom final during the 2017 Dew Tour Ezra Shaw / Getty Images After a horrific accident took his leg, Mike Schultz invented a high-tech artificial limb that action sport athletes quickly adopted. And now, to win gold at the Beijing Paralympics, he’ll have to beat them. They called him Monster Mike. For the way he threw his sled around on the professional snowmobile circuit and muscled his dirt bike over motocross courses. Arms of steel, gut on fire. Unstoppable. Until that day in December 2008. He was in Ironwood, Michigan, the second stop on the International Series of Champions tour, what they called the NASCAR of snowmobile racing. On a downhill stretch of the course, Schultz charged from the back of the field, gunning his machine to 40 miles per hour. Then he caught a hole. His snowmobile shimmied from side to side, kicked, and bucked him into the air. He slammed feet first, full force, into the packed snow, flipped, and landed on his back. The impact so mangled his left knee that he stared down at the sole of his boot. When the EMT arrived and slit open his pant leg, a gallon of blood gushed out. That’s what his wife, a registered nurse, saw when she arrived with a race official: her husband lying in snow stained red. She dropped to her knees by his side. “He was in agony,” Sara Schultz recalls, “making a low, moaning sound.” Mike was going into shock. She tried to help him focus on his breathing. They loaded him onto a toboggan and transferred... read more

“How to Enhance Recruitment and Retention Through Employee Engagement” by Chad Jensen via Total Retail

COVID-19 continued to make its presence known across industries in 2021. While businesses successfully adapted their work environments, many struggled to keep employees engaged, or even retain them, as well as find new employees to hire. Eighty-five percent of employees now feel unmotivated in their current roles, and 64 percent are job searching. Employees want to feel connected to their workplaces, and they’re searching for opportunities that offer such an environment. To adapt to this current employee need, business leaders must create better environments for people to work in. A pivotal step in doing this is enhancing employee engagement and company culture. Create a Culture of Service A 2019 Glassdoor survey found 77 percent of adults consider culture before applying for a job, highlighting the importance of a strong company culture. One step in attaining this is creating a culture of service. A culture of service is designed for company executives to serve their employees the same way employees are expected to serve customers. The hope is that employees take the positive experiences they receive from leadership and apply them to customer interactions. When employees feel valued within the company, they’re more likely to make sure each customer feels valued as well. Strategies to create a culture of service can include an open-door communication policy that extends from your leadership team to every part of your employee base. This enables constant lines of communication throughout the organization and ensures complete transparency. Another idea is expanding mentorship programs for employees, allowing them to continue to grow professionally and personally, showing the organization cares about their development. Related story: Place Employee Experience... read more

“The Rise Of African Surf Culture With Selema Masekela And Mami Wata – special exhibit at Surfing Heritage and Culture Center” via SHACC Newsletter

Coming to SHACC this month, we’ve partnered up with Selema Masekela and the incredible people at Mami Wata to bring you a very special exhibit that celebrates the rise of African surf culture. Featuring images and artifacts from Ghana to Mozambique and beyond, opening night is March 19 and you’re not going to want to miss it. Selema will be on hand signing copies of the book AfroSurf. We’ll also be hosting a panel discussion, as well as have other enlightening entertainment lined up to make this a truly special evening. Admission is free, just bring the good vibes and be ready to have a good time. Hit is up if you want to get involved. More details to come, stay tuned. More at: https://www.shacc.org/events/the-rise-of-african-surf-culture-with-selema-masekela-and-mami-wata/ Check out: https://mamiwatasurf.com/ About SHACC The Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) exists at the intersection of surfing’s past, present and future. We Explore, Enlighten and Celebrate. SHACC houses the world’s most important and authoritative archive of surfing artifacts, surfboards, memorabilia, photography, video, periodical and scholarly works. Our collection comes from all corners of the globe and reflects the spirit of exploration and adventure that is core to surfing’s ethos. Our educational programs and events focus on bringing surfing’s rich history and stories to the world. Through it all, we celebrate what it means to be a surfer and why surfing has captured hearts and minds since the first time someone rode a wave. We, at Board Retailers Association, love the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC). We absolutely appreciate the entire staff for everything that they do to preserve the remarkable culture and history of... read more

“SHOP TALK AT NJ SKATE SHOP IN JERSEY CITY” by via JENKEM MAG

We’re back with another episode of Shop Talk! After hearing from some young New Yorkers, and some obvious New York transplants, we figured that if we wanted to continue to hear from the everyday skater we had to leave New York. So we took a trip to the foreign land of Jersey City to visit NJ Skate Shop to hear from some locals. Although it’s only a 45-minute drive from where we filmed our last episode, the locals at NJ Skate Shop were much more critical and willing to talk shit. The guests go from telling us that Ishod doesn’t claim Jersey enough to saying that Tik Tok is just for single moms in their 30s. I guess shit-talking runs deep in their blood. If you want us to stop by your favorite shop or skatepark and interview the local heads, all you have to do is buy us a plane ticket out there and convince us it’ll be a good time. Fuck it, we’ll probably do it. Hosted by: Larry LanzaFilmed by: Tristan MershonEdited by: Max SeegerShare this with Bon Jovi on FacebookReport this as too harsh on Instagram and Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Remarkable BRA Distinguished Retail Member shipping benefit plus video elaborating on this significant savings opportunity” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

Push play to learn more about PartnerShip (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) and how you can benefit BRA strives to be the definitive resource for active sport retailers and we’re always looking for ways to help your business be successful. We’re excited to announce a brand-new benefit available to BRA Distinguished Retail Members that will save you money by spending less on shipping. With the BRA Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip®, you save 50% on FedEx Express and 30% on FedEx Ground. If you’re receiving inbound freight shipments from your vendors, you’ll also have access to competitive rates with UPS Freight, YRC Freight, XPO, and many others. To take advantage of this free benefit, enroll now. To learn more about the BRA Shipping Program, call PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.     If you are not yet a BRA Distinguished Retail Member, please complete the super simple join form (choose the Distinguished Retail Membership option).  Immediately after you submit your completed join form, you will receive a prompt with payment instructions for the $100 Annual Dues (100% tax deductible). Shortly after receiving the completed form, we will email you the the link to access the BRA Office Depot Preferential Pricing Program and summary of additional Supporting Vendor Partner benefits for BRA Retail Members. Once your payment is received in our system, we will notify the good people at PartnerShip who will approve your enrollment and enable you to take advantage of the savings in a timely... read more

“Fenty’s New Mall Stores Have a Lot to Teach Us” by Jasmine Glasheen via The Robin Report

Rihanna’s intimates brand, Savage X Fenty, opened its first physical store at Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, Nevada in January. Four more locations are scheduled to open in the next few months in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Houston. The Las Vegas store has five rooms with a dollhouse-inspired aesthetic that’s constantly changing. There are different “vibe settings” in each fitting room so customers can experience their boudoir apparel in the proper atmosphere. Rihanna’s physical Fenty experiences will set a new precedent for physical retailers. Most existing mall stores will pale in comparison to the technology, visual experience, customization and inclusivity of Fenty’s newest offerings. It’s a new era and Rihanna’s stores will put those that are falling behind into even starker contrast. Fenty stores function both as a place to make brick-and-mortar sales and as an interactive experience to draw social media traffic. While there are many elements that put Fenty in a league of its own, that still doesn’t guarantee its physical expansion will be successful. Let’s take a look at the elements of Rihanna’s stores that mall-based retailers should hastily implement into their own stores, in their own way. Uniqueness Is a Content Generating Attribute Fenty’s Las Vegas location is the perfect example of what we’re talking about when we say that retailers need to create Instagrammable content in their physical locations. The stores feature “interactive moments” that customers can only have by visiting physical locations to experience. But that’s not all: Lavender and chrome-colored mannequins with a diverse array of body types reflect Fenty’s goal of appealing to EveryBODY, and customers can find Instagrammable angles... read more

“Details Make The Difference – Changing Your Advertising Style to Maximize Results” by Tom Shay via ProfitsPlus.org

The rain that started Thursday evening continues to pour on this Saturday morning with no sign of letting up. Understandably, many customers have chosen to stay home. The two retailers, Al and Bill, have made their inventory purchases, media buys, and have extrasales help in the building today. While both retailers are disappointed with the weather, Al sees his plans for a big event as having been “washed out.” Al thinks of the amount of money he has spent on advertising and what additional efforts he will have to put forth to move the extra merchandise he ordered for the sale. Bill, instead, grabs a cup of coffee and starts his “rainy day projects.” His staff is also finding the various tasks that are necessary to fill the time that would otherwise be categorized as an unproductive sales day. The difference in the response of these two individuals is due not to the demeanor of these two individuals, but because of their strategies. Al started with radio and television advertising on Monday, inserted an advertising piece in the Thursday paper, and placed newspaper ads in the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday editions. He even has a local radio station doing a remote broadcast Saturday afternoon. Al had done his homework; the pricing was great as was the product selection. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate; and he will have to dip into the financial reserves and scramble to create a second advertising blitz to move the inventory the following weekend. Bill, while disappointed about losing the traditional Saturday sales, sees it as a bump in the road. Bill’s spring plans... read more

“North Shore Home Collapses Onto Rocky Point Beach” by Alexander Haro via The Inertia

A Rocky Point house on Oahu’s North Shore collapsed onto the sand early Monday morning, broadcasting a stark warning to other residents nearby. Many of the beachfront homes on the North Shore are built on sand berms, and as storms get more powerful, that sand is being removed. This has been a particularly swell-filled winter, and the destruction of the home has other homeowners on high alert. The resident of the house on Ke Nui Road, Hugo Villalobos, had called the place home for three decades. According to Hawaii News Now, Villalobos wasn’t all that worried the evening before his house fell into the sand. But when a friend advised him to stay in the back house on Sunday night, he decided to heed their warning. As he sat in the back house listening to the waves crash into the crumbling foundation that held his home up, he knew it was bad. “I walked out there at 12 at night … I looked at it (and) I was like, man, it’s never gonna stop,” Villalobos told Hawaii News Now. “And then around … 1:30 I heard crack, a slam, and I knew the house was gone.” The next morning, the extent of the damage was laid bare in the morning sun. The entire house had fallen onto the beach below. “I just seen the house like this and it just broke my heart. It’s terrible,” he said. “I’m glad that I escaped with not getting hurt or killed.” Although Villalobos had been looking at different options to shore up the eroding foundation, he came up against a wall of red tape. The State of... read more

“Stores of the future – Brands and retailers are giving their fitting rooms a high-tech upgrade” by Maile McCann via Modern Retail

Apparel brands and retailers are investing in high-tech fitting rooms in their brick-and-mortar stores. 2021 was the year of the virtual fitting room: Walmart, Shopify, Amazon and Snap all invested in augmented or virtual reality tech to help customers visualize what clothes might look like on, as the pandemic kept them at home. Now in 2022 companies ranging from Savage X Fenty to Amazon are betting on a return to in-person shopping, and upgrading their brick-and-mortar fitting rooms in turn. Late last month, the Rihanna-backed Savage X Fenty announced it would be partnering with Fit:Match for its brick-and-mortar store in Las Vegas, as well as for the rest of its stores throughout 2022. Fit:Match uses Lidar technology, which helps create a 3D scan of something (or someone) based on the amount of time it takes light to reflect back off that item. For Fit:Match, this technology allows the company to scan shoppers’ bodies, find their bust and band measurements and suggest which bra sizes to try on. “We use that data to inform the brand as to what size [someone] is, in what style,” Fit:Mach founder and CEO Haniff Brown said. The company’s app allows consumers to store their fitting data after visiting a Savage X Fenty store and then repurchase online later. Even in person, bras are a notoriously hard item to fit. While the old adage that “80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size” has been debunked, there are many different combinations of band and cup sizes for customers to choose from. “It’s a very hard task for shoppers,” Brown said. “[Savage X Fenty’s] vision of where retail... read more

“How to Use Selling With Storytelling In Retail Sales” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

When you use storytelling in retail, it helps shoppers quickly become engaged. In retail sales, that is especially important because people are loyal to people, not products. And during tough times, they often want to escape the news. The purpose of storytelling in retail is to invoke an emotion and use it to influence the customer’s decision about buying. Storytelling helps people connect with success, fame, prestige, a revelation – you name it. Everything but logic Do you know how you feel when you hear those words, “Once upon a time…”? You are open to possibilities…To magic…To wonder. Just like a child, when you tell a story to an adult, you engage the heart which leads the buyer up into the highest level of the brain, the prefrontal cortex; it is the Wonder part of the brain. It is where we are most happy, most comfortable, and most open to new ideas. People remember stories while they forget facts. That’s important when you’re Selling. But sales associates don’t tell stories They vomit useless fact after useless fact. Maybe that’s because they were taught not to talk to strangers, and they were taught to not talk about themselves. On top of all that, without understanding the power of storytelling, some tell stories that have no point. So they never see how a narrative can help them. So when selling themselves, their website, or their products, they stick to an analytical approach filled with facts. If that’s you, and you want to grow your sales – and who doesn’t – you need to change your thinking. Storytelling in retail is the most effective way to get past someone’s logical mind and appeal... read more

“WE WENT TO NASHVILLE TO CELEBRATE SKATE SHOP DAY” by Ian Michna via JENKEM MAG

What’s special about Feb 19th? Absolutely nothing. It’s just another slush-filled day in most places in the world. That is until some friends decided to turn it into something meaningful: Skate Shop Day. Skate Shop Day is simply meant to remind us all to support local skate shops. Historically, retail stores experience a lull in sales after the holidays, with February being the bleakest month of all, and Skate Shop Day was created as a way to help combat that. This year, Chris Nieratko, Atiba Jefferson, and Adaku organized a crew to go down to Nashville, Tennessee to bring some awareness to the day and give back to kids who might not have access to skateboard gear that isn’t total garbage. Of course, the trip also included three days filled with heavy soul food meals and lots of drinking, leading to an embarrassingly few amount of boards being popped. The organizer of the trip was brave enough to book us newly renovated Airnbs for the three days. If there’s one thing we all know about skaters, it’s that they love respecting other people’s property. Within the first 24 hours, we had three holes in the wall, a crumbled granite table, and shoe marks running across every white surface. The next day, Jaime Reyes stepped in and saved the situation, and reprimanded the culprits by driving them to Home Depot and teaching them how to fix drywall. Chase [far left] isn’t just another white industry guy with a beard, he’s also Jenkem’s first advertiser! Two years after Jenkem was founded he started throwing us $300 a month to run banners on the site, but... read more

“Build shop awareness AND boost sales for less than twenty five cents!” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

On a recent sales trip, I was reminded how powerful a logoed sticker can be.  At the end of the meal, the server brought the check along with two of the restaurant’s stickers, a survey card and an invitation to join their mailing list.  For the rest of the trip through Oregon, the restaurant (6th Street Bistro) was proudly promoted on the bumper of my rental car.  In retrospect, I couldn’t recall another time when I had been given a sticker by any business….thus sparking this article. In my travels, I see stickers from Encinitas surfboards and Ron Jon surf shop on cars from many states.  Do they raise shop awareness?  YES!  Do they increase in-store and online sales?  VERY LIKELY! With rising costs and lots of marketing options these days, stickers are an overlooked yet highly effective investment for any retailer who wants to boost awareness of their shop, build customer loyalty, keep marketing costs low and ultimately grow sales.  Here’s a great example from a company that is boosting the awareness AND sales  of its coffee on Facebook  by offering free stickers.  Stickers are very inexpensive if you stick to some basics.  Be sure to work with a quality printer; there are a lot of very cheap, poor quality stickers out there—they crack, peel and fade quickly and are a poor reflection of your business!  You want ones that will last! Use one of the “optimal” printing sizes–4.75” x 3” rectangle/oval or 3” square/circleKeep logo artwork simple and easy to read—limit to 3 colors or lessPrint at least 2500 units on white vinyl—print 2 or 3 different... read more

“What Happened to Authentic Streetwear?” by Mikelya Fournier via The Robin Report

Everywhere you look, you see the same jogger outfits with predictable brand logos on display for the world to see. If you stop and ask the wearer about it, they’ll harp on the fact that they waited for hours in a digital waiting room just to have their chance to purchase it for the insane price of $250. What makes this even more bizarre is that the same jogger set will be available in a few more weeks in a different color. Streetwear Loses Its Luster Consumers are being snowed into believing streetwear is only about exclusivity. They’ve become accustomed to buying into variety rather than voice and vision. I never thought I’d see the day where streetwear was no longer for the streets. The market is now flooded with overpriced branded “merch” disguised behind streetwear’s business model. Or we see luxury collabs that exclude the communities whose DNAs were embedded into the original soul of streetwear. The creative expression that drove society-altering messages within streetwear is slowly dying out. Does Fashion Even Understand Streetwear? Streetwear began as a safe haven for underrepresented communities who didn’t have access to mainstream fashion. Although we give much due credit to trailblazers such as James Jebbie of Supreme and Shawn Stussey of Stüssy for giving streetwear the steam it needed to evolve, we have to remember that streetwear culture reaches back beyond the early 90s. During the birth of hip hop in the late 70s and early 80s, rappers were gaining traction and their lifestyles became the focal point of their fans. Despite having a rapidly growing community, mainstream brands were apprehensive to work with rappers because... read more

“Why Have Customers Become so Aggressive and Belligerent?” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

We’ve all seen videos of customers being abusive to airline personnel, in grocery stores, in banks, and … also, bad customer service examples are everywhere. Stories have been written about the abuse and there is an abundance of signs imploring people to not mistreat staff. But frankly, posting a sign does little to keep it from happening. In these times especially, we should be treating each other kindly… All of us are under an enormous strain of non-stop bad news everywhere we turn which runs the gamut from “THERE’S A NEW VIRUS COMING” and “THERE’S A SHIP STUCK IN THE CANAL” to “THERE’S A CAT STUCK UP IN A TREE.” Why? Everyone everywhere is looking to catch eyeballs and let’s face it…fear sells. You see it in politics of course. But also, social media. And many well-meaning friends lead with fear as conversation starters. We have adopted a language of disappointment and fear. The constant fear we’ve endured over the past two years has decreased our capacity for empathy. Instead of going from zero to 10 on a gradual scale and escalating to out-of-control when something is more warranted, we now go directly from zero to 10; we’re either on or off. This is a vicious circle only you can break. We must teach empathy with employees, or they will be unconsciously tripping that on/off switch in customers. An example of a bad customer service interaction This past December, I drove to Newark airport to leave for a scheduled business trip to Dubai, got the Covid test United had recommended, waited, and got my negative result. It was 5:45 pm. We... read more

“WHAT’S GOING ON AT BROOKLYN’S BLUE PARK?” by MATT L. ROAR & CHARLOTTE TEGEN via JENKEM Mag

In 2011, I began teaching 6th grade at Lyons Community School, a small, progressive public school predominately serving local low-income families in the building overlooking Martinez Playground, known to skaters as Blue Park. Two years later, one Friday afternoon, my colleague knocked on my classroom door and told me there were some guys from the city trying to install some skate objects onto the playground that was being renovated, but they didn’t know where to put them. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, so I finished grading my kids’ notebooks and walked downstairs about an hour later. By the time I got to the yard, the guys from the city were gone, and the park had three funny-looking concrete obstacles right in the center. I sometimes wondered if I’d gotten down there in time if they even would’ve listened to me and what I should’ve/would’ve said… It doesn’t matter though; you can’t travel back in time, and the best features of the park were yet to come. The city had begun a renovation to the playground coinciding with the arrival of the highly selective Brooklyn Latin High School into the building. As part of the renovation, the city painted a large swath of the freshly repaired concrete yard blue and installed three simple skateable concrete objects. Shortly after, various local skaters and DIY builders began enhancing the park by dropping off their own obstacles. Pretty soon, the DIY components far outnumbered the original three city-approved objects. With the city’s laxness in allowing skaters to leave obstacles in the park, Blue eventually grew into a place... read more

“Bettylou Sakura Johnson on Being the Youngest Woman on the Championship Tour” by Rebecca Parsons via The Inertia

Bettylou Sakura Johnson definitely has all the tools to compete at the highest level. Photo: Tony Heff//WSL Bettylou Sakura Johnson’s huge win at the Haleiwa Challenger before the New Year may seem like it came out of left field, but in a lot of ways, it was a long time coming. Born and bred on Oahu’s North Shore, Sakura Johnson has been surfing waves along the Seven-Mile Miracle since she was just six.  In addition to local junior surf competitions throughout her youth, Sakura Johnson has competed as a serious gymnast and regularly entered dirt-bike races. When she was ten, the Haleiwa native signed with Roxy and decided to dial in her athletic focus on surfing. When Sakura Johnson was 14, she began competing in QS events, ready to qualify for the World Surf League’s Championship Tour. In December of 2021, at age 16, Sakura Johnson’s training paid off. She took down five-time world champ and Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore to win the Haleiwa Challenger. In doing so, she secured a spot on the 2022 CT, becoming the youngest woman on the tour. “I really don’t have words to describe it, it was so special,” Sakura Johnson told me. “The weather was horrible but my whole support crew was there on the beach standing in the rain — I’m so blessed to have them behind me and everyone from Haleiwa.” Although Sakura Johnson had always dreamed of qualifying, her plan was to finish high school and then start traveling the world. But as many can attest, life doesn’t always go according to plan — sometimes you just have to roll with it.... read more

“Skate Shop Day is happening today – answers to FAQs to share with your customers & 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. Who is participates in Skate Shop Day? A Skate Shop Day participating store is defined as a skater owned and operated retailer whose main primary business focuses on full time, physical store locations,... read more

“Patagonia, REI, Public Lands threaten to boycott Outdoor Retailer trade show” by Cara Salpini via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: A group of major outdoor retailers — including Timberland, Patagonia, REI, The North Face and Public Lands — are threatening to boycott the Outdoor Retailer trade show if it’s moved to Utah, according to a release put out by The Conservation Alliance.The retailers said they would not “support or attend a trade show event in Utah so long as its elected officials continue attacks on national monuments and public lands protections,” adding that Utah “leads the fight against designated national monuments and public lands.”The Outdoor Retailer trade show, worth $45 million, was moved out of Utah in 2017 in objection to the state’s rollback of national monument designations for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante and has since been held in Denver. Outdoor Retailer said in a statement it has not made a decision around the location of the trade show. Dive Insight: The protection of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah has been a focus point for major outdoor retailers for years, with Patagonia in 2017 replacing its homepage with a black screen that declared “The President Stole Your Land” when President Trump reduced the size of the national monuments. The protections have since been restored under President Biden, but The Conservation Alliance on Monday said elected officials in Utah “are once again moving to strip these magnificent lands of federal protection” and asserted they wouldn’t attend a trade show in Utah for as long as the state “continues its assault on public lands.” Utah’s governor, Spencer Cox, released a video bid last year for the trade show to return to Salt Lake City, where it had been hosted for 20... read more

“Used surfboards causing you headaches? The prescription to save time and earn more has arrived.” by the good people behind SimplSurf

Overview We’re seeing the largest boom in outdoor board sports in history. Retailers, you should be getting a bigger slice of that sweet pie. SimplSurf helps you do just that. By leveraging our free software tool, you can turns board consignment from a headache to passive income. Push play to learn a little bit about this outstanding resource Save time with effortless automation We streamline your consignment process from board selection through payout via an effortless, 2-click dashboard. By putting the best of modern tech in your hands, retailers no longer have to worry about the tedious, repetitive tasks of consignment. Instead, you can focus more time on what matters; the customers walking in your door. Bring in foot traffic by expanding your audience Tapping into the ever-expanding growth of online shopping can be expensive and time-consuming. So we do the heavy-lifting for you. By creating up-to-date listings for each consignment board and posting across social as well as marketplace platforms, we drive customers through your doors where the magic happens. Earn more with Buy Now, Pay Later financing Buy Now, Pay Later financing for every consignment board in your rack allows customers to walk away with their dream board, every time. This allows retailers to watch their top-line revenue grow as your average order value increases. Join today to stay ahead tomorrow The future of retail is green. For this reason, we plant a sea-tree for every board sold. Your customers can feel stoked not only on their latest purchase, but also on their positive impact. After all, for those of us who receive so much from the... read more

“Consumers Embrace Digital Experiences In-Store: What You Need to Know” by Thomas Butta via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by zeljkosantrac The pandemic accelerated e-commerce by 10 years in a matter of months and ushered in new consumer behaviors, not the least of which was the trend of switching brands because of availability (in-store and online), convenience and value. These three factors will play outsized roles far past today’s supply chain disruptions and economic uncertainty. Consumers prefer apps as they save them time, enable faster transactions, and offer streamlined conveniences and individualized experiences. This explains why time spent in retail apps skyrocketed 45 percent year-over-year (YoY). Just think about how central apps have become to streamline curbside pickup, navigate behemoth stores, receive personalized and customized loyalty rewards, and use augmented reality to select the perfect furniture for your room. All these benefits are critical to the customer experience, which is increasingly how consumers develop their preference for one brand over another. For retailers, mobile apps offer better opportunities to truly understand their customers and form stronger direct relationships, as it’s much easier to tie together their digital and physical activities, collect first- and zero-party data, and engage them more immediately and personally throughout their journey with the brand. Mobile Apps Have Become Consumers’ Preferred Destination As people started returning to stores, Airship wanted to see how pandemic-shaped behaviors would change, and what retailers should focus on to increase footfall and sales. We surveyed 9,000 consumers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and India. Globally, we found that 48 percent of respondents would complete 75 percent or more of their holiday shopping online, and that the vast majority of that would be done using smartphones rather than desktop computers. We also found... read more

“INTERVIEW WITH SIMA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR VIPE DESAI.” by BTR staff via Building The Revolution blog plus #SaveTheDate and logos for Surf Shop Day

Vipe rocking his limited edition BTR Brews and Boards shirt he purchased from Spyder. Vipe Desai is a hair over 60 days in his new position as Executive Director at SIMA and is already making some serious change. Just last week Vipe announced that SIMA has officially changed the M in SIMA from “Manufactures” to “Members”. We caught up with our old friend to learn about the name change and what SIMA has in store for the future. BTR: You recently announced that after 33 years SIMA has officially changed it’s name from Surf Industry Manufacturers Association to Surf Industry Members Association. What do you hope the name change will bring to SIMA. Also why did you change the name? Vipe: Well first I have to say that a lot has changed over the past 33 years that caused us to look at things with a wider lens. Back when we started brands were brands, retailers were retailers, board builders were board builders, etc…today there’s much more crossover – brands are retailers, retailers are brands, board builders are brands and retailers, etc. Plus we have the internet, the Olympics, Surf Parks, WSL is streaming incredible events – I mean, how awesome was Pipe and all the history that was made? So the world and the industry have changed and an update to our name made a lot of sense to potentially invite more sectors to join playing a role in our industry’s future. I also look at it like we need to focus on the consumer – making sure they connect with the brands steeped in surf culture, connect with... read more

“Retail Customer Service Training: 14 Ideas, Plus Examples” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

The goal of retail customer service training is to create an exceptional customer experience. So, what do you focus on when you teach your employees how to give customers exceptional experiences? Sometimes good customer service means something quick, cheap, and easy. Think picking up a quart of milk at a convenience store on the way home or using the Starbucks app to get your drink without waiting.  But for most stores looking to increase retail sales — and I mean most — quick and easy is not the way to profitability. If you add in cheap when talking about retail customer service best practices … it gets even worse. What is exceptional customer service? Exceptional customer service makes the shopper feel like the most important person in the world. Even if it’s only for a few seconds, retail associates can create this feeling by going out of their way to make customers feel appreciated and happy to spend money in your store. To consistently achieve this level of customer service, it has to be an established core value. Just like any organization, you have to know what your store stands for and what it doesn’t. But you can’t just post a mission statement on your website or put up compelling signage and call it a day. A brick-and-mortar retailer looking to create exceptional shopping experiences and lasting customer relationships has to live out that message on the sales floor.  “You have to believe it, show it, and deliver it.” That’s why your retail customer service training has to include more than product knowledge and learning the point of sale system. Your retail employees need to know how to create a... read more

“Apple unveils Tap to Pay on iPhone tool for merchants” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of Apple Dive Brief: As more companies and consumers adopt contactless payments, Apple announced Tuesday plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The feature will enable sellers to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets by tapping their iPhones, according to an announcement. Stripe will integrate the tool for businesses first, including Shopify’s Point of Sale app this Spring, and other payment platforms will adopt it later this year. The feature, which won’t require additional hardware, will work on iPhone XS or subsequent devices, and will accept contactless credit and debit cards from “leading payment networks,” including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. The company will integrate the feature into Apple’s retail stores later this year, per the press release. The Tap to Pay on iPhone tool will encrypt transactions using Secure Element.  Dive Insight: Apple noted in its announcement that 90% of U.S. retailers currently accept Apple Pay, but the introduction of this new tool signals Apple’s deepening interest in payments. As Apple eyes payments to bring in additional revenue, the launch of more payment tools could be a blow to competitors like Block, formerly known as Square.  “As more and more consumers are tapping to pay with digital wallets and credit cards, Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide businesses with a secure, private, and easy way to accept contactless payments and unlock new checkout experiences using the power, security, and convenience of iPhone,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said in a statement. Apple is just the latest payment provider to offer tap-to-pay payments. About a year ago, Mastercard teamed... read more

“With a stunning first run, Chloe Kim wins another gold in the halfpipe.” by John Branch via The New York Times

Chloe Kim’s score from her first halfpipe run delivered her second consecutive gold medal in the event.Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times Kim was awarded with an untouchable score of 94. Queralt Castellet, of Spain, earned the silver medal, and Sena Tomita, of Japan, won bronze, neither seriously threatening Kim’s performance. Kim tried to ratchet the degree of difficulty in her final two runs, the way she had four years ago. She fell both times. It didn’t matter. The contest was over nearly as quickly as it had started. “Not to discount any of these riders, but she has a bag of tricks that not anyone else does,” Kim’s longtime coach, Rick Bower, said. “And she showcased that in her first run.”The victory felt less like a coronation for Kim, now 21, but a personal comeback of sorts. The lingering question as she scooted away was what happens next. Four years ago, Kim arrived to the 2018 Olympics and landed into the embrace of a warm South Korean crowd, a loving family and instant stardom. She was 17. It all seemed so easy. The 2022 Olympic halfpipe final had none of that, except in the pipe itself. There was no crowd because of the pandemic. Her family did not attend. And Kim is now 21. This is a different time and a different Kim. Chloe Kim fell on her second and third runs but still remained in first place with a 94.Credit…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times The attention from the last Olympic victory, and some of the nastiness, even within snowboarding circles, nearly chased her from the sport. She didn’t strap... read more

“Keala Kennelly Gives Us Her Reaction to the Women’s Pipe Pro and Talks Equality” by Rebecca Parsons via The Inertia

Keala Kennelly from her inspiring speech at the WSL’s Big Wave Awards in 2019. Photo: WSL / Sloane Keala Kennelly has been leading the fight for equality in surfing for most of her career. She spent 10 years on the Championship Tour and has become a legend in the big-wave realm. Using that platform, she’s pushed for equal pay for women and the inclusion of more women at more surf events. Although the battle has been an uphill one, Kennelly celebrated a victory this past week when she watched the girls surf at the Banzai Pipeline as part of the Championship Tour for the first time. Here, the Kauai native shares what it was like watching the women charge Pipe, why it took so long for them to be included in the event, and the steps she would still like to see taken to level the gender playing field.  You know Pipe better than most. Can you describe how gnarly of a wave it is? It’s one of the most challenging waves in the world. It’s super heavy, it’s very powerful, it breaks on a shallow reef, it jacks up on the takeoff, and it has very vertical drops with heavy consequences if you don’t make it. And the crowd is one of the heaviest, most aggressive crowds of any surf spot on the planet.  What was it like watching women charge out there? It was amazing, I was so emotional this whole last week just watching the women compete at Pipe. It’s been a dream of mine since even before we filmed Blue Crush, which was about twenty years ago now. I was on... read more

“Where is Physical Retail Heading? Navigating 3 Diverging Strategies” by Vered Levy-Ron via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Francesco Corticchia The way people shop in stores is changing. Concerns of safety still exist, and many people continue to practice social distancing. Furthermore, with the emergence of COVID-19 variants, in-store shopping behaviors are prone to shift overnight. Although all retailers are now operating in the same pandemic era, there’s no consensus among them on what in-person shopping should look like. What we do know is that all brands with a fleet of stores have the opportunity to boost business by bridging the physical-digital gap. From services like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) to unique, social media-friendly moments at physical locations, there are many ways to upgrade and integrate brick-and-mortar and online experiences. Both standalone retailers and department stores have been experimenting with a variety of approaches designed to entice today’s shoppers. Let’s examine three emerging strategies. Related story: 4 Things Retailers Can Do to Strengthen Customer Relationships in 2022 In-Store Shopping in the Pandemic Era: 3 Takes 1. The ‘In-and-Out’ Strategy For some retailers, like Ikea, winning over modern shoppers means departing from the “treasure hunt” store layout in favor of designs that promote convenience and speed. In 2020, Ikea announced plans to open 50 locations in urban areas, and began rolling them out last year. Instead of its traditional, maze-like layout — which forces shoppers to walk down multiple aisles before reaching checkout — the smaller-format stores put convenience front and center. They feature curated merchandising in-store with a greater selection of inventory online. In addition to helping health-conscious shoppers avoid spending unnecessary amounts of time indoors, the decision to launch the new store format comes... read more

“Retail Best Practices: 12 Tips for the Creation of Exceptional” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

Online retailers are jealous. Many retail best practices don’t work online. They can’t do what brick-and-mortar retailers can do. They can’t create an emotional connection to an object. A shopper can’t pick up an item and see how it feels around their wrist or drapes against their skin. They can’t show serendipity. A shopper can’t go looking for a crib and suddenly there’s a frog umbrella. They’d be like what the hell is that? Right, they can’t do that. That’s why many are opening stores, even Amazon. In spite of all the nonsense around the retail apocalypse and the hyperbole that retail is dead, brick and mortar stores can still excel in merchandising, in selling, and in creating an exceptional experience. There are more tools than ever to collect, analyze and create forward-thinking actions to compete. With good retail practices, it doesn’t have to suck running a brick-and-mortar store. But from the corporate execs in their ivory towers who obsessively collect bad news to the Main Street independent, everyone is calling each other and complaining that that is their reality. Most often, there’s hardly a trace of retail management best practices being followed in their organizations. I’ve said it for years and it bears repeating, retailers are reaping the harvest of decades of rotten customer service from department stores to boutiques to independent retailers. Traffic is down – I get it. Like it’s all those darn customers’ fault. As retailers, you need to get over that mindset because what you set your mind on is where you’re going to go. In-store retail sales are expected to rise this year, but not by much. If you say I’m gonna make it through this, and are up to the challenge, great. But if... read more

“IOC approves proposal to include skateboarding, surfing and rock climbing at 2028 LA Olympics” by David Wharton via LA Times

An LA 2028 sign is seen in front of the Olympic cauldron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.(Richard Vogel / Associated Press) BEIJING —  The International Olympic Committee has approved a proposal to include surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing among the core sports for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles. The decision came during an IOC session on Thursday, a day before the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics. “The LA28 Games have always been about bringing more freshness, youthful energy and creativity into the Olympic and Paralympic movement,” Casey Wasserman, chairman of the L.A. organizing committee, said in a statement. As prototypical Southern California activities, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing made their Olympic debut in Tokyo last summer and will be included in the “additional” list for Paris in 2024. They fit with an IOC campaign to attract young fans to an international competition that has seen its viewership continually skew older. Keeping the new sports around for 2028 represents another step toward cementing their place among more traditional events. “We have always known that surfing was a natural fit for LA28,” said Fernando Aguerre, president of the sport’s international federation. “As the official sport of California, surfing is action, youth and energy combined.” LA28, which still has the opportunity to add “additional” sports, marked Thursday’s announcement by releasing new, specialized logos. The organizing committee had previously unveiled an adaptable emblem that allows artists, athletes and celebrities to craft their own versions of the “A” in LA28. Singer Billie Eilish and actress Reese Witherspoon have contributed, as have a streetwear designer, a chef and a tattoo artist. Pro surfer Carissa Moore... read more

“Tech-Driven In-Store Experiences Are an Essential Investment for Every Retailer” by Bobby Marhamat via Total Retail

Credit: iStock.com by pixdeluxe Retail organizations must view the in-store experience as an essential investment, ranking in importance alongside cash registers, security cameras, and product inventory. In fact, Ernst & Young (EY) argues that the customer experience is the most challenging feature of retail, but also the most important. Our State of the In-Store Experience (2021) report leads us to similar conclusions. Customers today are fickle and demanding. They expect much from retailers, and are willing to switch brands when in-store experiences don’t meet expectations. Forty-eight percent of shoppers still prefer brick-and-mortar retail, but they have a few conditions. At a minimum, in-store experiences have to be efficient and convenient. Increasingly, in-store experiences need to inspire joy in shoppers. If you aim to attract customers consistently, you’ll work hard to deliver personalized, efficient and convenient in-store experiences time and again. If you aren’t investing heavily in the customer experience, then you can’t expect to compete with retailers that are. Upgrading your in-store and store-connected tech is an investment that every retailer should consider. Experiences Remain the Defining Feature of In-Store Retail Of the 48 percent of consumers who prefer shopping in-store to shopping online, the leading pull factor is “the experience of shopping in-person.” So what do shoppers mean when they refer to “the experience” of in-store retail? Related story: Your In-Store Customer Experience and Bottom Line Are Linked. Here’s Why Investments in Customer Service Are Investments in the In-Store Experience Consumers continue to value the customer service aspect of in-store shopping. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School notes that “hassle-free customer support” is “top of the list” when it comes to delivering an in-store experience that “wows” the... read more

“JENK TV: BUILDING A BOX FROM NYC STREET TRASH” by Ian Michna & Alex Raspa via JENKEM MAG

Welcome to the third episode of Jenk TV! We grew up watching MTV and Adult Swim shows Beavis and Butthead, The Tom Green Show, and Tim and Eric, so we thought skateboarding could use a dose of that goofball editing. One thing that’s great about New York City is that it’s under constant construction, meaning you can pretty much always find some scrap wood and metal to work up a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep you skating. We got together with our car-owning construction-guru Mola to scavenge the town for stuff we could “borrow” to make a box. With a little help from a random man dressed as Mario, we were able to construct this actually super-solid angle-iron ledge that we dropped off at TF West for anyone and everyone to skate and enjoy. Take a page out of our book and build something for yourself during this quarantine. You won’t regret it (unless you smash your finger with a hammer or something). SKATERS ChachiYaje PopsonDew StacksMolaFlaxxoRob BryantKen Yettie Filmed by: Ian Michna & Alex RaspaEdited by: Rob FraebelShare this with a scavenger on FacebookReport this as looting on Instagram and Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Download your free guide, 5 Types of Retail Loyalty Programs That Make Money and Retain Customers” via RetailWire Resources

5 Types of Retail Loyalty Programs: How to Make Money and Retain Customers Download the Free Guide Customer loyalty has never been more important for independent retailers. Throughout the last two years, effective loyalty programs helped many businesses stay in touch with customers and keep their doors open.   With national retail sales continuing to grow and consumers eager to try out their new purchasing power, the year ahead is a golden opportunity to start your customer loyalty program or re-evaluate your current program. Download your free guide, 5 Types of Retail Loyalty Programs That Make Money and Retain Customers. See examples of popular programs and learn about which type of program is right for your business. RetailWire is retailing’s premier online discussion forum, serving the industry as a free resource for over 18 years with compelling content that goes well beyond conventional headline reporting.  Be sure to bookmark this relevant and helpful site: https://retailwire.com/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Practices to Protect Your Store – Cyberattacks becoming retailers’ biggest threat says OSI” by Brady Hicks via Inside Outdoor Magazine (+ learn more about and connect to BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Outdoor Sports Insurance)

You’ve got your outdoor retail business. Years of passion and planning have finally paid off, and the physical – and potentially cyber – doors are now open. Your success depends not only on your ability to offer products that meet customer expectations but to connect with that same base, keep their info safe and protect your assets. Similar to how you should lock up your storefront at night, today’s retailer needs to take all necessary steps to keep critical data secure against intruders. “Cyber liability has become a real thing,” said Rob Martin, managing director, Outdoor Sports Insurance (OSI), a Horizon Agency program that works with 2,500 shops countrywide. “In the last two years, it’s exploded. From a claims standpoint, coverage is getting more expensive because the carriers that provide it are losing money based on claims activity, frequency and severity. We’ve had many instances [of breaches] over the past year, to the point that it’s becoming more common than traditional insurance losses such as fires, thefts, collapse or any of those things.” To maintain affordable coverage, he added, “you’re better off the more buttoned up you are.” Ironically, most small businesses have fewer resources to protect their assets than their larger competitors, even though the risk they face is potentially more devastating. “As of Q2 2021, 75 percent of ransomware attacks targeted businesses with less than 1,000 [employees],” said OSI executive vice president, Tori Hoeschler. “The average cost of each attack to the business was $136,000. Of those without proper security measures, data backup or proper insurance, over 60 percent were out of business within six months.” For... read more

“The best way to grow skateboard sales, PERIOD” plus link to register for this week’s 2nd Annual Skateboard Education Summit via THE US Skateboard Education Association

The 2nd Annual Skateboard Education Summit 1 February, 10 am – 2 pm PST (Livestream) ✨Register Now For Free✨ This free online summit will: Bring together skate shop owners, educators, program operators, industry experts, and researchers to share methods for growing skateboarding, and YOUR business, through education. Share experiences from real people who have successfully used skateboard education to make their skateshops thrive. Share ideas & inspiration on ways to use skateboard education toIncrease your flow of loyal customersGrow your revenues, gross margins and profitability Register For The 2nd Annual Skateboard Education Summit 1 February, 10 am – 2 pm PST (Livestream) We highly recommend that you register for and attend this outstanding online educational opportunity. – Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“4 Things Retailers Can Do to Strengthen Customer Relationships in 2022” by Melissa Tatortis via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by metamorworks As marketers prepare for the evolution of how they use consumer data in their campaigns, there’s a massive opportunity to improve customer relationships using more secure and accurate identity alternatives. While there’s much doom and gloom in the media about third-party cookie deprecation, let’s not forget that this event was ushered in by consumers themselves wanting more relevant, respectful advertising. The end of third-party cookies gives advertisers a reset button when it comes to consumer relationships. Here are four things to consider as you build your foundation for the cookie-less future: 1. Unify first-party data on a customer data platform (CDP). It’s no surprise that first-party data sits siloed in most organizations, which prevents a holistic view of customers. Without a unified profile of their behaviors and intent, you’ll fail to relevantly market to consumers. CDPs are one piece of technology that can help you both acquire and retain customers by delivering personalized experiences at scale along the customer journey. They should provide marketers with more control over their data with features such as data collection, profile unification, and segmentation so they can activate campaigns with greater speed and effectiveness. Look for CDPs that are easy to implement with low or no code, can be integrated with your existing technology, and deliver transparency and control. 2. Create a plan to enrich your first-party data. You need to enhance your owned data with other information to execute more targeted marketing campaigns across channels. You can find partners with enriched data sets from other owned and operated properties, digital publishers, and ecosystem partners. The best ones... read more

“Should retailers add RFID to their marketing toolbox?” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Radio frequency  identification (RFID) technology is once again being viewed as a solution for item-level inventory tracking, but its side benefits in marketing, analytics and research are also gaining attention. Potential applications in the past included automatic reordering of basics such as orange juice or razor blades as RFID chips inside products indicate when quantities are running low. Brendan Witcher, vice president, principal analyst at Forrester Research, however, recently told Advertising Age that RFID would more likely be used for marketing in stores since they’re already outfitted with readers. Stores could use RFID to see what items are being loaded in shopping carts together and send promotional offers for related items. Retailers could track a shopper’s path and gain insights on how picking up one item or being exposed to an offer influences the rest of their shopping journey. The tech could also help accelerate the implementation of automated, touchless checkout. A McKinsey study last year likewise noted several “last mile” advances involving RFID that “can attract customers looking for dynamic new experiences, drive revenue and yield valuable behavioral insights.” RFID, for example, could support “smart” fitting rooms, where shoppers get customized information about other sizes and colors in stock, learn how to style a garment and receive personalized recommendations to complete their look, according to McKinsey. Reports arrived last year revealing that RFID use in North American retail had significantly gained adoption as stores implemented their use to improve in-store inventory accuracy when fulfilling online orders for pickup or delivery. Retailers employing RFID tend to have in-store inventory accuracy of approximately 95 percent or higher compared to about 65 percent for those without,... read more

“Fashion Nova first company required to pay FTC for blocking bad reviews” by Kim Lyons via The Verge

Fashion Nova, a California fast-fashion retailer, will pay a $4.2 million settlement to the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it blocked negative product reviews from being posted on its website. The agency says this is its first case to challenge the practice of suppressing negative customer reviews. The FTC said in a complaint (pdf) that between 2015 and 2019, Fashion Nova used a third-party tool that allowed it to automatically post four- and five-star customer reviews but withheld “hundreds of thousands [of] lower starred, more negative reviews,” which was misleading to customers. “Suppressing a product’s negative reviews deprives consumers of potentially useful information and artificially inflates the product’s average star rating,” according to an FTC press release. “Deceptive review practices cheat consumers, undercut honest businesses, and pollute online commerce,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a statement. In addition, the FTC has sent letters to 10 companies that offer review management services reminding them that avoiding the collection or publication of negative reviews violates the FTC Act. “Fashion Nova is being held accountable for these practices, and other firms should take note,” Levine said. Fashion Nova disputes the FTC’s findings, however. Company spokesperson Terry Fahn said in a statement emailed to The Verge that the “allegations against Fashion Nova are inaccurate and deceptive.” The company never suppressed any website reviews, Fahn said, adding that Fashion Nova “immediately and voluntarily addressed the website review issues when it became aware of them in 2019. Fashion Nova is highly confident that it would have won in court and only agreed to settle the case to avoid the distraction and legal fees... read more

“How to Increase Retail Sales in 2022 With Virtual Queuing” by Steve Covate via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Getty Images If the last two years have taught retailers anything, it might be that workforce trends can be just as unpredictable as consumer trends. The industry has always faced challenges in hiring and retaining talent, but the current labor shortage is nearly unprecedented. Workforce struggles paired with customers who are generally more finicky and impatient are forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their strategies. Keeping employees happy has become almost as important as keeping customers happy — and the way people feel at work matters just as much as the wages you’re paying and the value you’re providing. Virtual queuing offers a way to improve the experience for workers and consumers alike. Changing the ways customers wait for service may seem like a minor adjustment, but the potential to increase efficiency, staff morale and, perhaps most importantly, sales is significant. In 2022, this potential can’t be overlooked. Related story: 3 Things to Consider for Omnichannel Success A Variety of Use Cases Virtual queuing is based on a simple idea: instead of standing in a physical line, customers check into a queue on their smartphones, then are notified when their turn comes up. Customers are free to do whatever they want — including shopping other parts of the store — while they “wait.” The wait itself becomes productive in that customers can ask questions and provide additional information to staff so that when they reach the front of the virtual queue, employees are better prepared to deliver outstanding service. Customers also can receive updates on estimated wait times and can even be sent virtual offers — e.g., digital coupons... read more

“The Evolution of Skate Videos, From VHS to TikTok – The medium might have changed over the past 50 years, but interest is still riding high.” by Guillaume Patigny via Vice News

This article originally appeared on VICE Belgium. When it comes to skateboarding, the only thing more important than actually going skating is making sure that you have footage of you doing it. You can tell people you’ve pulled off this, or jumped that, but without actual evidence of those particular alleged achievements, people will take you as seriously as Boris Johnson’s apologies. Skating owes much of its enduring popularity precisely to these videos. This has been the case for the past half a century, with the first ever skateboarding video dating back to 1965. Titled Skaterdater, a dialogue-free, coming of age short film shot in sunny California focused on a group of downhill skaters known as the Imperial Skate Board Club as they hoped to impress local girls with their prowess.  The film won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at 1966’s Cannes Film Festival and has proved to have a long shelf-life, having been the subject of both academic study and extreme sports fandom. Skaterdater is still of cultural interest, even if it presents us with a vision of skate videos that looks nothing like the ones that aficionados like myself and my friends sit down and enjoy together today.  As skateboarding became increasingly popular amongst young people the world over, Hollywood cottoned on to the fact, featured skating in cult movies like Back to the Future and Gleaming the Cube. This was, as skate historians might remind you, a moment when the sport was still largely confined to pools, bowls, and ramps. The Californian surf-inspired skating scene of the 1970swas immortalised for younger skaters in the 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, directed by skate supremo Stacy Peralta. That’s not to say that skating was the sole preserve... read more

“Five Takeaways for Retailers from CES 2022” by Arick Wierson via The Robin report

Well, that was interesting. When CES 2022 came to a close, one day ahead of schedule; attendees were dismissed early as “an additional safety measure” for minimizing the risks of Covid-19. (Apparently the brain trust at the Consumer Technology Association – the entity which produces the annual Las Vegas extravaganza – didn’t think that the risks of Covid-19 would be all that high on the first few days of the show.) The Show Must Go On Granted, show organizers were pretty much in a no-win situation. The pandemic had already forced the 2021 show to go completely online – an endeavor that was generally viewed by most long-term showgoers as something of a dud. I completely agree as I was involved in the production of several exhibitors’ “virtual CES showrooms” which amounted to producing a slickly produced half-hour magazine show that highlighted brands’ new products. It looked great, but CES is really the place you go because you want to touch and see the new tech up close. Retail executives as well as leaders at consumer brands should really be thinking now about how AR/VR can be leveraged to help position themselves for the day when the tech eventually matures, and adoption reaches the tipping point. But this year event organizers seemingly made a suicide pact and vowed to make sure the show would go on no matter how much incoming fire they took on– and boy was there pressure to cancel. It was undoubtedly all this pressure of high profile dropouts that compelled Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro to post a lengthy Christmas Eve rant/missive/justification for why the show was still... read more

“‘You Can’t Feel A Fact: The Analytical Sales Personality Style’ plus ‘Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work (video)'” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

When I was looking for a lawn spreader, I asked the sales clerk, “Why should I buy this one?” He quickly answered, “Because it makes sense.” At that moment he confirmed my suspicions that he had an Analytical personality style. I’ve previously shared my thoughts about the Amiable,  Expressive , and Driver personality styles. Today, with their sensible, fact-based approach, I’ll dive into some thoughts about the Analytical. It would be easy to dismiss the Analytical personality style as a bookworm, a techie, a person with too much information because then we would be thinking their depth of knowledge is somehow not relevant. But their focus on detail is what makes their sales ability an asset. No other personality style will delve into as much product knowledge and history as the Analytical. However, Analytical personalities are not necessarily the best fit for most stores. Sure, an antique dealer who is trying to get thousands of dollars for a vintage pair of eyeglasses really needs to be able to share all the reasons to justify the price. Or a luxury jeweler, or stained-glass craftsman, or even a plastic surgeon. Analyticals, like Amiables, tend to be introverted; they can share information as a defense mechanism. Consequently, the more nervous or under pressure they are, the more they will try to calm themselves by reciting facts about a product. The challenge is, only a third of the world really appreciates all that information. 63% or so of the population buys on feeling, not facts. You can’t feel details – most customers buy based on emotions. And for that reason, an untrained Analytical can be a liability for your sales... read more

“World Surf League Announces Its Finals Event Will Return to Lower Trestles” by staff writers via The Inertia

If it ain’t broke. Photos: WSL Well, it went so swimmingly, why not do it again? Following a World Surf League finals event in September that saw a fantastic mix of swell and conditions, the League announced today that its championship tournament will return to Southern California’s Lower Trestles. “The inaugural edition of the Rip Curl WSL Finals was an incredible success,” said Erik Logan, WSL CEO, in a release. “To see the WSL Final five go head-to-head in amazing waves and to witness the women’s and men’s World Titles be decided on the same day, in the water, for the first time was special. This new format captivated our audience and drove consumption like never before and was the most-watched day of professional surfing with the largest live digital audience in WSL history. We are excited to return to Lowers this season.” The high performance wave at Lowers, the closest thing in the ocean to a wave pool, will once again host the best five surfers from the men’s and women’s season. That season, says the WSL, will start with 32 men and 18 women before a mid-season cut will cull the field to 24 and 12, respectively. In 2022, the WSL hopes to run its full 10-event schedule without any interruptions like last year, when the pandemic completely rerouted the Hawaii and Australian legs. The men and women will compete together at every event this season. That doesn’t mean things will remain the same throughout the year, especially with the constantly changing world we’re living in. “Given the complexities of global travel during this pandemic and the fluid nature of the... read more

“TEST YOUR INNER SKATE NERD WITH THIS NEW TRIVIA CARD GAME” by Alexis Castro via JENKEM MAG

photo: gordon eckler Skateboarders’ brains contain tons of factoids that matter very little in the “real world,” like who the first person to skate up a handrail was, or who invented the salad grind. We love to tease each other about who knows more about short-lived brands and pros who are now dust in the wind, and we wear that knowledge like a badge of honor. Now you can objectively fight over who the biggest skate nerd in your friend group is thanks to Gordon Eckler’s Skate Trivia card game.Gordon’s new game is published by Gingko Press, which has printed a lot of books about street culture, street art, and skating in the past. That means the game will likely make its way into proper book stores and fancy retailers, but thankfully it’ll also be available directly at your local skate shop. We asked Gordon about the process of producing and pitching the game, who his fact-checkers are, and how he was able to verify questions that are skate folklore. Do you think anyone finds having extensive knowledge of skate trivia to be a turn-on?[laughs] I’ve never been turned on by skate trivia. I think you’re thinking of the bar nights that are popular in places like Brooklyn. I’ve never been to one of those, so I can’t really say. Skate trivia nights are pretty popular in NYC, but they’re overrun by old white guys who only care about stuff from the ’90s or before. Is your game different?Very different. Early on when I was “road testing” the game with friends, I realized that if the trivia was all about one... read more

“December retail sales were strong, no matter what the clickbait headlines said” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

Photo: RetailWire 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. He is the author of Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption. The U.S. Commerce Department released its monthly retail sales report Friday morning and, within minutes, my social media feed lit up with gloom and doom takes on the alleged sorry state of shopping. Various outlets ran negative headlines suggesting sales in December had dropped precipitously. Much of the reporting focused on results coming in “below expectations.” There is so much wrong in all of this. As a senior executive at two Fortune 500 retailers and a consultant/analyst for 30 years, I’m hard pressed to name one person whom I respect who pays much attention to month-over-month numbers. What we focus on is the year-over-year numbers (and more recently, because of COVID, the so-called two-year stack). Depending on which definition of retail you prefer (some exclude auto, gasoline and/or restaurant revenues), sales were up between 14 and 19 percent year-over-year — much higher than average and a record for the month. Then there is this whole expectation thing. I, for one, fully expected December to be lower than November — and so did most other folks in retail I talk to. Why? It’s been obvious supply chain concerns and earlier retailer promotions pulled a lot of holiday sales into October and November. Oh, there’s also a little thing called the Omicron surge. To be sure, there are reasons for concern. Inflation, supply chain issues, labor shortages, likely higher... read more

“A Brief History of Snowboarding – Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter” by Max Ufberg via Smithsonian Magazine

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe. Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts via Getty Images Long before the term “snowboarding” existed—and at least 80 years before it was an Olympic phenomenon—people were zipping like surfers down snow-covered hills. The first known instance came in 1917, when 13-year-old Vern Wicklund stood on a modified sled that he rode down his parents’ backyard in Cloquet, Minnesota. Wicklund patented the idea nearly two decades later but produced only a handful of models. The sport picked up speed in 1965, when Michigan’s Sherman Poppen created the Snurfer by cross-bracing two skis and adding a string at the front for steering. Poppen sold close to one million units by 1970.  Sherman Poppen created the Snurfer, immediate forerunner to the modern snowboard, in 1965. Courtesy Snurfer LLC But the real breakthrough happened when Dimitrije Milovich, a Cornell University dropout, founded Winterstick, the first modern snowboard company, in 1972. With steel edges, laminated fiberglass and, most crucially, nylon straps for one’s feet, Winterstick’s boards allowed riders to fly through more treacherous topography than its predecessors had.  Snowboarding went mainstream soon thereafter amid a fierce rivalry between Jake Burton Carpenter and Tom Sims. Sims, a New Jersey-raised professional skateboarder more interested in aerial stunts than in speed, founded SIMS Snowboarding in 1976. Carpenter, a race enthusiast from Long Island credited with coining “snowboarding,” created Burton Boards one year later.  “They’re endangering the public and possibly themselves!” As snowboarding grew in popularity, so did its reputation as a pastime for screwballs—a counterculture to skiing’s establishment vibe. In the 1980s, most North American ski... read more

“Managing Sales Behaviors to Improve Sales Performance” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

What are sales behaviors? They are a series of actions comprised in a sales process, the way salespeople act and talk with shoppers. It is not as some have said your thought process; it is something specific other sales associates can see or hear you do. For example, an associate standing behind the counter talking trash about another customer so everyone can hear is bad sales behavior. Importance of behavioral sales training in retail What are bad sales behaviors? Things a salesperson does that result in the shopper not making a purchase and leaving the store.  For example, I went into a Hugo Boss boutique. I didn’t see any salesperson in the store. I found a shirt I wanted to try on and finally spotted a sales associate in a cubby. I assumed he was finishing a sale with a shopper. I tried to get his attention but couldn’t, so I just tried the shirt on right there on the sales floor. The woman left and I assumed the salesperson would come over. Nope. He just stood in the middle of the store looking out into the mall.  As I walked past him, he said not a word, just stared out into the mall. That was bad sales behavior. What are good sales behaviors? Engaging a stranger, discovering the shopper, and making a sale. For example, at the same mall several hours later, I passed a Rituals skincare boutique. It featured a large hydrangea tree in the center and as I stopped to look, a young woman encouraged me to come in. “No,” I said, “I’m tired and just want... read more

“Outdoor Retailer Releases Education Schedule and Floor Plan For Snow Show” by Outdoor Retailer via Shop Eat Surf (plus free hotel room scholarship opportunity for BRA Retail Members)

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, California – Outdoor Retailer Snow Show returns to Denver this month with a full schedule of in-person education and a redesigned floor plan structured around The Resource Center, a new information hub to access industry insight directly from experts. Snow Show runs from January 26-28, 2022, at the Colorado Convention Center, and the education lineup and floor plan are now available to help attendees start planning their schedules. “A wealth of resources and learning opportunities are available at Snow Show,” said Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer Senior Vice President and Show Director. “The new Resource Center will give attendees direct access to critical data, and every education session and new connection can provide the right insight or inspiration to help elevate business. This time together to learn and build relationships is invaluable, and it paves the way to discover more of what the industry has to offer.” Education at Outdoor Retailer brings together industry leaders and subject matter experts to provide attendees with knowledge that can help their business and the industry thrive. The schedule begins with the Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Industry + Intelligence sessions on Tuesday, January 25, the day prior to the opening of Snow Show. The Industry Breakfast kicks off Day 1 with a keynote on “The Art of Impossible” from bestselling author and peak performance expert Steven Kotler. Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) daily lunch sessions will feature important community conversations. And programming throughout Snow Show at The Camp and Trend + Design Center will offer retailers, designers, brands, and all attendees an opportunity to learn more on a variety of topics, including design trends, sustainability and climate... read more

“Content That Converts” (helpful downloadable report) via Total Retail

How retailers can grow e-commerce sales in a heightened competitive environment Over the past year, retailers have had to evolve their businesses to account for growing consumer demand for e-commerce. And for many consumers, the shift to online shopping is likely to remain post-pandemic. This provides an opportunity for retailers to capitalize. In order to do so, they must create compelling, differentiated online shopping experiences that stand out from the rest in a crowded digital landscape. This asset provides competitive insights including: How shoppable content can be leveraged to increase online salesTop benefits of incorporating shoppable content into your e-commerce strategyHow personalized shoppable content enhances customer experienceTips on shoppable content production that will drive customer engagement and sales Help your business succeed with shoppable content by downloading this comprehensive guide today. Click on the following link to download this helpful report: https://mytotalretail.tradepub.com/free/w_defa1071/prgm.cgi Offered Free by: Zmags 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 already a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Volcom Unveils U.S. Olympic Snowboard Uniforms” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Men’s Brighton pullover jacket and the USST Hotlapper pant. Courtesy of Volcom Click on the following link to view additional official uniform photos from Volcom and related words via Shop Eat Surf: Volcom Unveils U.S. Olympic Snowboard Uniforms 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 ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Rusty Preisendorfer Explains Why Your Surfboards Shouldn’t Be Bulletproof” by Rusty Preisendorfer via The Inertia

If your surfboard doesn’t dent up a little bit, it’s not a good thing. Photo: Rusty Surfboards/Instagram Editor’s Note: This feature was made possible by our friends at Rusty Surfboards. Like a fine pair of shoes, new boards need to dent up a bit. They need to get broken in. If a board doesn’t, chances are it doesn’t flex. And that would not be good. In the early 1970s, companies offered up composite boards. Aqua Jet, Hansen, W.A.V.E. and more. They leaked and had other issues. Founded in Santa Cruz in the mid-nineties by shaper Randy French, Surftech made a very strong, light board. Composite construction. At first it was long boards. Then in the early 2000s, they started getting a few shortboards from various shapers. Several major builders jumped in around 2003. I felt it was a viable construction. Excellent for beginners and weekend warriors. I did have some issues with the boards because they were made overseas in Thailand, but I signed up. Several of our best sellers. Early 2005. The lead time was approximately nine months. Blank Monday. December 5, 2005. Clark Foam shut its doors. No warning; just a fax coming through at about 11 a.m. Less than a month later we were at the Orlando Surf Expo. Arguably the biggest. We agreed to let Surftech show our models in its booth. Conspiracy theories ran amuck. It was just timing and good luck? Polyurethane foam was next to impossible to get. I had built EPS boards in the mid eighties, primarily for a wave pool contest put on by the then-ASP. It was in 1985 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was... read more

“18 Retail Trends That will Shape 2022 and Beyond” by Werner Geyser via Influencer Marketing Hub

Clearly, the most significant factor affecting retail trends in 2021, continuing from 2020 and undoubtedly continuing through to 2022, has been the global emergence of COVID. We have examined the effects in detail, including a massive post looking at COVID-19 eCommerce Statistics. However, we can’t state that all the current retail trends are because of COVID. Sure, it has accelerated many, e.g., the shift towards online shopping, but there was movement in that direction anyhow. COVID has severely altered the timeline of change in retail, however.  In this post, we look at some of the current retail trends, along with indications of how things could move in the foreseeable future. 18 Retail Trends for 2022 and Beyond: 1. Consumer Sales Have Generally Been Strong, Despite the Pandemic2. Still a Threat of Ongoing Store Closures3. Move Towards Online Shopping4. Free Shipping and Speedy Delivery are Expectations for Many Consumers5. Expansion of the “At Home” Economy6. Physical Stores Redesign Spaces to Make Customers Feel Safe7. Greater Use of In-Store Self Checkouts8. Increase in Contactless Payments9. Retailers Discover the Advantages of AI10. Increased Use of Voice Search and Personal Assistants 1. Consumer Sales Have Generally Been Strong, Despite the Pandemic 2021 has seen a gradual re-opening of the world economy. As Deloitte phrases it, “The high street re-opens.” With more non-essential stores now operating, many consumers have gone on a shopping binge. They are spending money they would typically spend on travel on other things, like home improvement and consumer goods. Many places are also loosening restrictions on the hospitality sector. This consumer-led recovery is likely to continue into 2022 and beyond. 2.... read more

“Shopping on Social Media Seen Hitting $1.2 Trillion by 2025” by Martine Paris via Bloomberg

Parcels inside a shipping container at the UPS Worldport facility in Louisville, Kentucky.Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg Shopping on social networks such as Facebook, TikTok and WeChat is going to grow three times faster than sales from traditional channels over the next three years, according to a study released by Accenture.  Social commerce, defined as transactions that take place entirely within the context of a social-media platform, will reach $1.2 trillion by 2025, up from $492 billion in 2021, the consulting company said in the report. The trend is being driven primarily by Gen Z and Millennial consumers, who are expected to account for 62% of the spending.  The most popular products sold via social networks include clothing, consumer electronics and home decor. Beauty and personal care is also seeing growth, with online influencers playing a significant role. The trend offers good news for mom-and-pop shops: More than half of so-called social buyers surveyed said they are likely to support small businesses over larger retailers and would likely buy from them again. This may allow new brands to build loyalty and gain traction. Accenture also found that around 3.5 billion people used social media in 2021, spending on average two and a half hours engaged with it per day. The market for social commerce is far less saturated in the U.S. and the U.K. than in China, where 80% of social media users make social-commerce purchases, according to Accenture. China is expected to remain the most advanced market for social commerce in size and maturity, Accenture said, with the highest growth being posted in developing markets such as India and Brazil.  The study is based... read more

“East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame Inducts Class Of 2022” via Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) newsletter

Photo: Mez/ESM The East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inducted its esteemed class of 2021 yesterday in a ceremony at Surf Expo in Florida. A star-studded class featuring world champs, matriarchs, shapers and media moguls. Congratulations to all those who’s names are now etched in history. East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame class of 2021: Jeannie Chesser, Bill Hixon, CJ Hobood, Chris Lundy, Danny Melhado, Kristy Murphy, John Parton, Eric Penny, Kathy Philips (Cecil Lear President’s Award), Matt Walker (Media), Spyder Wright (Legends). Learn more Coast Surfing Hall of Fame by clicking this link: https://eastcoastsurfinghalloffame.org We, at Board Retailers Association, love the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC). We absolutely appreciate the entire staff for everything that they do to preserve the remarkable culture and history of Surfing and to promote surf shops. BRA would like to sincerely thank Glenn (former SHACC Executive Director) and the epic staff at Surfing Heritage and Culture Center for hosting the BRA Retailer Roundtable Event in November 2019 as well as each of the Supporting Event Partners including Solite Boots, Exchange Collective, Locally, Action Watch and Sambazon. Board specialty retailers from throughout Southern California and beyond as well as board sport related manufacturers and trade organizations participated in this open forum solutions-oriented discussion about the issues and opportunities facing our industry today and in the future. – Doug Works, BRA Executive Director If you are a board specialty retailer interested in either Regular or Distinguished BRA Retail Membership, please complete this super simple join... read more

“4 Ways to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation Without Ads” by Dave Lehman via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Eva-Katalin As you might expect, advertisements don’t win over customers anymore. Why? Consumers are  annoyed with ads. And so are marketers — 20 percent to 40 percent of clicks on paid ads are fraudulent. For these reasons, online reputation management, the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, has risen in importance. Recent research shows that 57 percent of marketers prefer to focus on boosting online reputation instead of advertising. It’s clear to see online reputation management is more critical now than ever before. Companies today need to create positive customer experiences to win new business. Rather than throw more money at advertising, consider these four ways to manage your online reputation that will help turn happy customers into revenue: 1. Gather customer reviews. Reviews are necessary for gaining new customers and ensuring the satisfaction of returning ones. When someone visits your store location, encourage them to leave a review and share their thoughts online. Be sure to send requests for reviews within 24 hours of the guest’s visit. Waiting too long to send a request may result in the guest forgetting their experience, meaning they’ll be less likely to leave a review. Related story: 9 Best Practices for Negative Customer Reviews 2. Build a referral program. When your business has a robust online presence, you can focus your attention elsewhere outside of strictly acquiring customers. That’s because happy customers bring in new customers. Incentivizing your guests to refer people to your store(s) will help your business grow faster. Consider offering gift cards, discounts and deals to your returning patrons and new ones. You can also create custom... read more

“Will 2022 be the Year of the Dark Horse in Retail?” by Arick Wierson via The Robin Report

My father grew up on a farm in central Iowa in the 1930s and 40s, and although life in the post-Depression heartland was pretty harsh, among his fondest memories from his childhood are those of his many horses, each one of them different shades of black. As a youngster, he had a black Shetland Pony named “Spanky.” Then in middle school came “Spot,” a black Murgese And in his final years of high school, his father – my grandpa, who by this time was feeling a bit less worried with the worst of the Great Depression more than two decades in the past, splurged and gave my dad a powerful riding horse named “Lucky,” a jet-black Percheron – apparently a ‘big hit’ with ladies in town (OK, whatever you say, dad.) . It is pretty much a given at this point that retailers will eventually have to enable payment and checkout solutions that accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Anyway, decades later when yours truly was growing up in 70s and 80s in the Minneapolis suburbs, apparently my father felt that there was a gaping hole in my psycho-emotional development in that I had very little interaction with farm life, in particular, with horses. And the way in which he attempted to fill this void was with a near-endless menagerie of equine-themed birthday toys, trips to the annual ‘Horse Show” at the Minnesota State Fair and, of course, several trips to the cinema to see the now classic 1979 film “The Black Stallion,” starring Mickey Rooney and Teri Garr. Now, by this point, you are likely asking yourself what all... read more

“How To Set A New Direction For Retail 2022” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

The start of a New Year is a good time to assess retail trends and where you’ve been and where you want to go. Otherwise, it can be just the same problems, different day. You have to believe there has to be more to running a retail store than a paycheck. Thank your lucky stars you were smart enough to figure retail out – about half a million business owners had to close since the pandemic began. But surviving isn’t fun… Let’s look at what didn’t and did happen in 2021 and set a new direction for retail in 2022. What didn’t happen Shipaggedon – As much as we were told driver shortages across delivery platforms including Amazon would exceed capacity by as much as 5 million packages per day, UPS and the postal service delivered 99% of their packages on time or with minimal delays. In fact, UPS, FedEx, and the postal service are delivering packages faster now than in the post-Thanksgiving period in 2019 Store closings – As much as we were told stores were out of style, store openings topped store closings for the first time in five years. And as direct-to-consumer brands realize profits are elusive in an online-only world, they are opening hundreds of stores. Christmas ruined by supply chain problems – Starting in August we heard, “shop early or you won’t get your gifts on time.” Yes, cars and some expensive niche items are still hard to find because of a shortage of some crucial materials like computer chips. And prices are up for all kinds of goods but in general, products are in stores. What did happen Unprecedented demand for... read more

“Watch: How a Snowboard is Made at the Never Summer Factory” by Lucky Lopez via Snowboard Mag

You may want to share the following video with your snowboarding customers: Since its inception, Never Summer has made all of their snowboards out of their Denver, Colorado HQ. Attached to the offices and showroom is the factory, which is open to the public for tours during business hours. Mary Lenefsky, assistant marketing director at NS, takes us through the factory and all the stages of making a Never Summer board. If you’ve ever wanted to see the process of how a snowboard is made, you can sign up for a tour by contacting Never Summer via the info on their website. Filmed and edited by Lucky Lopez. Snowboard Mag’s mission is to share the finer things of a lifestyle they call their own, to respect the past and embrace the future. Through storytelling, photos, film, and product, they understand the importance of life in the mountains and in the cities we live. Be sure to bookmark their remarkable website: https://snowboardmag.com/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Customers want you but choose Amazon, WHY?” by Dan Pankratz via Exchange Collective blog

70% of Americans Prefer to Shop Local You hear it all the time, “I love your store,” or “I want to support local,” and “I am over Amazon.” But it is no secret that millions of customers are going to Amazon’s market place to shop and buy. But in a survey of 1,500 Americans done by Intuit, they found that 70% of customers prefer to support local businesses through online and instore purchases. Connecting with your in-store customers online is critical. It is proven that a majority of shoppers start their purchases online. This means your website needs to give customers the option to shop what you have to offer. “But I will never be able to compete with online prices,” so what is the point of trying to have an e-commerce site? A survey done in 2020 by Red Egg Marketing found that 82% of customers surveyed are willing to pay more for a product from a local retailer, and 8 out of 10 customers are willing to spend more money at local businesses. Your website should be treated as the first stop for your customers. Exchange Collective What does this mean for brands and retailers? Exchange Collective solves this problem – it allows people to support their local retailer and buy the brands they want. Brands win by controlling their product images and descriptions, Retailers win by having Brands manage the product data so they don’t have to. In the past few years, it has become easier for retailers to set up e-commerce sites. Though it may be easier for retailers to set up a site, the... read more

“Director Jacob Rosenberg Discusses His Early Work and the Impact of Skate Videos” by Anthony Pappalardo via ONE37pm

Portrait by Brett Simon Video content is the driver of modern skateboarding, but for being so integral, it’s a relatively young medium that’s still evolving. During the 1980s, Stacy Peralta saw the potential and power of video, creating a string of influential full-lengths for Powell Peralta—the company he co-owned with George Powell—starting with The Bones Brigade Video Show in 1984. But it wasn’t until the early-’90s with the advent of 411 Video Magazine in 1993 and brands releasing video projects en masse that a sea change of how skateboarding media was consumed began.  Filmmaker Jacob Rosenberg spent his teenage years behind the lens, documenting the burgeoning scene around him in Palo Alto, California, filming at skate camps, in the streets, and documenting the next wave of skateboarders who would shape modern skateboarding and change its trajectory forever.  Rosenberg’s passion caught the attention of Mike Ternasky in 1988, who was working with H-Street, a company whose profile was rising in skateboarding and ushering in a new approach and look. Ternasky would later found Plan B skateboards in 1991, a “superteam” whose video output set a new standard in skateboarding, birthing the format of the modern skateboarding video still emulated today. Unfortunately, Ternasky passed away in a car accident in 1994, altering the trajectory of Plan B and for Rosenberg, suddenly leaving him without a friend and mentor.  Rosenberg’s knack for not only capturing tricks but the mood and moments around them became a key part of skateboarding videography’s vocabulary, but as he told me, none of that was premeditated. For Rosenberg, he was a kid given the keys to the kingdom, and energy and... read more

“Lake Tahoe Breaks Record for Snowfall in December, Closing Resorts and Roads” by Staff writer via The Inertia

Yeah, it’s deep. Photo: Palisades Tahoe It’s safe to say that Lake Tahoe, Calif. is off to a good start for winter. Maybe too good. The region smashed its record snow total for December, receiving a recorded 193.7 inches, topping the previous record of 179 set in 1970. And there’s still more on the way before the new year. Climate scientists are lauding the storm as  “very beneficial” to the region that has been hit hard by drought in recent years (quite possibly the understatement of the century). Resorts like Heavenly and Palisades were closed yesterday due to snow being too deep, with delayed openings today as well. “Today we broke a record,” wrote Palisades on its social platforms. “This is our biggest December storm in 50 years, and it delivered road closures and avalanche hazards. We’ve received nearly SEVEN FEET of new snow since Wednesday! It will be deep out there this week. Be sure to ski with a buddy, keep them in sight at all times, and avoid tree wells.” Traffic has also been hectic. Road closures have been rife throughout the region. Caltrans announced just hours ago that Highway 50 was closed. Interstate 80 has also seen numerous closures and delays from snow and downed trees. The freeway is currently closed from Colfax to the Nevada state line. In South Lake Tahoe, resorts like Kirkwood were also having trouble digging out from the record dump. The mountain announced it would try to open limited terrain today as avalanche crews made their way to the summits to control terrain. Palisades Tahoe also announced on its blog that has been tracking the storm, that slides cut off patrol workers... read more

“JENKEM PRESENTS: THE 5TH ANNUAL SKATEBOARDING SUPERLATIVES” by James Lee via JENKEM MAG

The world may have exploded twice over in last year but we weren’t really paying attention because 2021 was a historic year for skateboarding. Not only was it the first time that our hobby/sport/whatever was showcased on a worldwide scale, but it was also the year Tony Hawk sold his blood and his tricks. We saw Supreme expand their empire to Italy and Germany, while brands like StockX entered the skateboarding zeitgeist.To properly highlight the good, the bad, and the even worse of 2021 we sat and thought about it for like 45 minutes and decided to come up with this list. There might be some awards on here that you don’t understand, but as long as you get a laugh and prepare for another year full of unfathomable trends, hard slams, and then we’ve done our job! Previous Winners: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. BEST SPONSOR The US Government SKATE EVENT OF THE YEAR Milk Crate Challenge LAMEST BEEF Kelly Hart vs. Rad Rat TEAM OF THE YEAR 917 BEST FLICK Louie Lopez WHEN WILL IT END? Big Boy trend 7TH PLACE Nyjah Huston PLEASE, NO Jagger Eaton WHERE’D THEY GO? Business and Company MOST “FOR ME IT’S CRAZY LIKE” Leticia Bufoni MOST DEAD END Straye Words: James LeeIllustration by: Michael GiuratoShare this with a winner on FacebookReport this as uncounted votes on Instagram or Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($100/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more