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

“4 Ways to Power Touchless Retail with Text Messaging” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Companies from Amazon to Zoom are rethinking their customer experience in the post-COVID era. See how innovative retailers are responding with text-based messaging, touchless payments, and more. COVID-19 has completely transformed consumer behavior. 85% of consumers have chosen a new business because of pandemic friendly services and 86% say they expect businesses to be even more convenient after COVID-19 restrictions lift. It’s not surprising that 80% of consumers would like local businesses to continue offering curbside pickup options. Companies like Amazon, Doordash, and Netflix have also upped customers’ expectations for convenience. And retailers can meet these expectations with a few tips from the experts. In this session of the 2020 Total Retail Innovation Conference, Katie Osberg, Global Retail Partnerships Lead at Google, and Doug Regner, VP of Enterprise Sales at Podium, share four ways to power touchless retail with text messaging. Read on for the takeaways from this discussion: 1. Grow location reviews with text messaging.  89% of consumers begin their buying process with a search engine. Searches containing “near me” have grown 9x more popular since 2016. Google Map Pack chooses three businesses to highlight based on star ratings, number of reviews, and frequency of reviews. And 70% of clicks on a local search will happen in that map pack. In order to grow and optimize your online and local presence, you’ll need the help of reviews.  Follow these steps to get started: Check to see if you’re listed on Google My Business. If not, create a Google My Business accountVerify your businessEnter or update business informationPeriodically add or update information, especially relating to COVID hours, pickup services, etc.Generate reviews The most effective way to... read more

“A LOOK AT THE SKATEBOARD DROUGHT OF 2020” by Ian Browning via Jenkem Mag

If you’ve walked into a skate shop over the last couple of months, you may have had some difficulty getting your hands on the product you came in for. Sadly, these days it’s not unheard of for a shop to be fully out of boards, trucks, wheels, or bearings. Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for skate hard goods has gone up, but manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have all been put in a pinch. Unable to maintain production and distribution at pre-pandemic rates due to lockdowns and new health and safety guidelines, the demand for hard goods is now bigger than the supply, and the whole distribution chain is struggling to catch up. The pandemic had already taken hold in Tijuana in April 2020 when Grant Burns, who owns BBS Manufacturing contracted COVID-19 across the border in San Diego. He emailed his staff to let them know that he had gotten sick on a Friday, and by Monday, people were nervous. The state of Baja California, Mexico had already declared that employees with pre-existing conditions should be allowed paid time off, and Burns, gave the rest of his employees the option to do the same. Less than a quarter of his staff took him up on it, and the government ordered the shop and other non-essential businesses to close two weeks later. With the shop sitting idle, numerous skate brands that relied on BBS to press their decks lost their manufacturer, and their stock of decks was decreasing across the skate ecosystem. When the factory opened back up in May 2020, it doubled the number of busses transporting employees... read more

“Put Your “Retail Puzzle” Together” by Tom Schrepferman

Have you ever worked a 10,000 piece puzzle? Imagine all of those pieces spread out on your table. Where do you start? How do you start? You probably have these questions about how to thrive coming out of the COVID-19 retail challenges. Here’s how we recommend you start: Invest in e-Commerce: We expect e-Commerce growth trends to extend well past COVID-19.Control Inventory: Regularly review sales performance and inventory on-hand reports daily, weekly, and monthly to understand what inventory is moving.Reward Loyal Customers: Use frequent buyer incentives to support customers who support you. You can’t snap all the pieces of your business together at-once, but you could start here. The truth is there are many strategies to working puzzles, but the most important step is that you have to start. Marveling at all of the pieces won’t snap them together. BTW, the pro tip is to make sure all puzzle pieces are face up, sort them by color, and set aside the edges or corners. Reach out to book a demo with RICS and see how we can help! Tom Schrepferman RICS Software VP, Sales tom@ricssoftware.com 317-275-5941 BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that RICS Software is a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner who is currently offering fifty percent (50%) off all on-boarding fees and fifty percent (50%) monthly fees for the first twelve (12) months as well as a deferral of payments until 2021 for all BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Be sure to mention BRA when connecting with Tom and the solid people behind this outstanding resource. – Doug Works, Executive Director BRA If you are not yet... read more

“Did Pete Mel Just Catch the Wave of the Decade at Maverick’s? Many in the channel say, “hell yeah!”” by Marcus Sanders via Surfline.com

Photo: Audrey Lambidakis Earlier today, Peter Mel, who already snagged one of the best waves of the year at Maverick’s on December 8th — and was towed into a bomb and then rescued by his son last Saturday — just upped the ante. Again. See below for video and Mel’s take on the wave, and stay tuned here for our realtime updates on this series of swells. All photos: Audrey Lambidakis “That wave was by far my best in 29 years of surfing Maverick’s,” Pete said. “I mean, I’ve been seeing those types of waves my whole life. But I was never brave enough to do it. I always thought, ‘maybe I could get one from there.’ Then, the other day (Dec 8) kind of catalyzed that slightly.” “So today, I just went to my spot again and said to myself, ‘I need to be a little deeper so I can actually get behind it and then pull up into it.’ And that’s kinda what happened. I just visualized the outside part where you can get the chip-in. That’s the only way you’re going to get through one of those big ones. Because you can’t take off from the bowl. It’s too vertical.” “So I got the chip on the shoulder and it worked out. The wave stayed open. I’m actually depressed right now. It’s crazy. I don’t know. It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve never felt this kind of…it’s like, ‘Oh my God. I’m 50 years old. Did I just do that?’ But it’s like, ‘now what? What do I look forward to now?’ You know what I mean? Do I do it again? It’s pretty... read more

“An Evolutionary Reinvention of Retail” by Paco Underhill via The Robin Report

PrePan…Pan…Not-Yet-PostPan. What does the world of retail look like now? What did we learn? What did we let go of …and what changed us? Here’s a retrospective look forward. 1. Shopping Safely You’d have to living in a cave not to know that digital sales have exploded in our Pan world. Just between March and April of this year, the first month of our shared Pandemic, the number of customers buying online increased in the U.S. by more than 30 percent. The dollar volume was even higher as everyday shopping was reinvented. On Black Friday, the traffic at local malls was light. Encouraged by government, fueled by new habits, and still in shock over the aftermath of the election, Americans spent most of their money online. Call it a cyber- weekend event. Yes, some major retail sectors are dying, but the good news is that the beast of consumption is alive and well. – Home Depot, the home furnishings industry, grocery, and small contractors focused on home improvements are having banner years. We are spending our money; the question is where and how. Conclusion? We are in for some focused physical changes, particularly in how the analog and our digital worlds need to work together. In Europe there are strict laws governing recycling. In some countries the responsibility is not with the consumer, but with the merchant selling you stuff. American trails much of the rest of the first world in legal restriction and conditions on how we recycle. 2. Packaging Once we reach age 35-40, roughly 80 percent of our weekly purchases are the same things. And it... read more

“BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion (from Surf Expo Connect), other relevant videos from the BRA YouTube Channel and more”

Board Retailers Association organizes and expresses the views and concerns of independent board specialty retailers to industry associations, major trade show organizations and others in an effort to help promote our industry, support the board sports specialty retailers and protect our Lifestyle. BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion (Surf Expo Connect – Sept. 2020) View board sport specialty retailers from around the United States speak about how they are managing these challenging times, the resources they have leaned on and new opportunities that lie ahead. This remarkable Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion initially aired at the Surf Expo Connect virtual tradeshow on September 17, 2020 Host: George Leichtweis, BRA Chairman and Owner of Modern Skate & Surf (Royal Oak, MI) Panelists: Ferguson Herivaux, One Gig (Boston, MA) Coco Tihayni, Surf Diva (La Jolla, CA) D. Nachnani, Coastal Edge (Virginia Beach, VA) Paul Erickson, Management One Tune in with Doug Works from Board Retailers Association – PropagandaHQ.net interview by Vipe Desai This is a video of an interview conducted on September 28, 2020 by Vipe Desai of PropagandaHQ.net with Doug Works (Executive Director of the Board Retailers Association), who shared updates with Vipe on what the organization is doing to help its retail members as well as insights as to how retailers are managing during the pandemic. Be sure to visit PropagandaHQ.net to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly. BRA Webinar: Reopening Your Store – The Things That You Are Not Yet Thinking About (Dan Jablons,RSG) Special Educational Webinar hosted by Board Retailers Association and presented by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys on May 21, 2020 and now available... read more

“How to Generate More Location Reviews for Your Stores” by Podium (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

If you’re lacking location-specific reviews, you’re losing sales and referrals. You’re sending more customers to your competition. Discover how you can beat the competition with 5 simples steps. 97% of consumers read online reviews when searching for retail products and services in their local area. And most often, these searches are on mobile devices. If you’re lacking location-specific reviews, you’re losing sales and referrals. You’re sending more customers to your competition.  Google prioritizes search results based on the frequency, quality, and quantity of reviews. For local inquiries, relevance, distance, and prominence are important. Ready to stand out from the crowd and acquire more customers from local search? Follow this checklist to boost reviews across multiple locations. Improve the customer experience across all locations. The first step in generating more reviews for your stores should be centered around providing customers the experiences they want to share. While certain factors, like traffic or parking, may vary from store to store, there are a few best practices you can put in place to ensure that overall, your customer experiences are smooth and convenient. Consider utilizing the click-to-message feature on Google My Business (and connecting customers with a local representative), adding mobile payment options, and implementing services like Webchat (that again, connect customers with local representatives). With these tools, customers can quickly get in touch with your business to see if a product is in stock at the location near them, initiate a curbside pickup at the nearest storefront, or even purchase a product—all from the comfort of their mobile device. When you focus on the customer in this way, they’re more likely to have positive things to say when... read more

“Ron Jon Leaders on What Worked in 2020 and Plans for 2021” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Ron Jon Surf Shop at Disney Springs in Orlando – SES file photo Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article containing comment from Debbie Harvey (BRA Board Member) of Ron Jon Surf Shops (BRA Distinguished Retail Member): “Ron Jon Leaders on What Worked in 2020 and Plans for 2021” 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 ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“7 Ways How To Grow Your Retail Sales The Week After Christmas” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

After-Christmas retail can be fun – even with a pandemic – as long as you stay focused on making money instead of just giving it away through aggressive promotions and discounts. After Christmas Day has come and gone retailers of all sizes, from boutiques to department stores to big-box stores, may find themselves wanting to rest. But you can’t.Every retailer should have one mission: to minimize returns to grow your retail holiday sales.The final week of the month is frosting on the cake. By proactively deciding to grow sales you will have a better mindset, keep your crew from feeling overwhelmed, and keep the online retailers at bay. 7 Ways To Grow Your Retail Sales The Week After Christmas: 1. Greet at the door. Have someone greet people as soon as they enter your retail store to let them know what is on sale with, “Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off.” You want to interrupt them before they get to the counter wanting their money back. The goal is for them to “Look around.” Even if they tell you that’s what they want, you can counter with, “We can certainly do that for you as well, we just don’t want you to have to stand in line twice.” 2. Greet at the counter. Even if someone greeted them as they entered your brick and mortar store and you have signs everywhere saying 20 percent off. When customers head straight for your counter with their receipt and a return, greet them with something like, “Good morning. The whole store is 20 percent off, would you like to look around first?“ Even... read more

“Covid 19 Relief Package – U.S. Congress Passes Bill” via Management One

The saying “better late than never” can certainly apply here… After dragging its feet for months (which felt like years), U.S. Congress has delivered a stimulus bill offering relief to small businesses and families struggling to survive the recent COVID surge. How will this affect the retail community?The Wall Street Journal on December 21st posted a categorical graphic breakdown of where the proposed $900 billion will be allocated (with a large percentage set aside for small businesses) and here are key provisions (provided by CNN) that will be included as part of the $900 billion agreement, according to releases sent out Sunday evening by members of Democratic and GOP leadership: Direct payment checks of up to $600 per adult and childAid for struggling small businesses, including more than $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans and $15 billion “in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions”$300 per week for enhanced unemployment insurance benefits$20 billion to buy vaccines and make “the vaccine available at no charge for anyone who needs it” and $8 billion for vaccine distribution$20 billion for coronavirus testing efforts$25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension$82 billion for education providers like schools and colleges, including aid to help reopen classrooms safely and $10 billion for child care assistanceThe deal will rescind “$429 billion in unused funds provided by the CARES Act for the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending facilities”$13 billion in increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and child nutrition benefits$7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect remotely during the pandemic$45 billion to support transportation services, including $2 billion... read more

“Ten Leadership Lessons from 2020” By Deborah Patton via The Robin Report

In so many ways, the date of a new year is arbitrary.  In Western societies, we’re still on the Gregorian calendar, but there are plenty of cultures that walk to a different time drummer: Hebrew, Maya, Chinese, Navaho, Islam. Yet it is the significance of a new year to mark time passing that becomes the ritual. Rebrand yourself as a marketplace, not a big-box, discount, specialty or department store. One could argue that the whole world was asleep at the wheel in terms of dealing with the ultimate impact of the pandemic.  It’s not as though we had no warnings, Bill Gates, the scientists, the UN – a pandemic was a very real threat, and as Tom Friedman of the NY Times has said, just a warm-up for climate change. Regardless of politics, 2020 is hindsight according to Tom Foolery (and well worth watching). So, on the only Winter Solstice of 2020, let’s consider foresight for 2021. If you’re going to offer brick-and-mortar retail, make it an experience worth having. Personal touches, unique experiences, community, relevance — more than a store. Make it safe, make it secure, make it like the general store of the 1800s where everyone knows your name – in a non-creepy way. In short, the physical retail store is your stage; put on a good show.Edit your inventory. Scarcity creates value.  If the velvet slippers to wear with your sweats on Zoom calls are sold out (Birdies), great.  Create demand.  And use customer demand to develop similar new products, also with a short run. We can’t have everything, even though we’ve been led to assume the opposite.If... read more

“2020 Wake Awards – The Winners Find out who won in a year unlike any other!” by Wakeboarding Magazine

The 2020 Wake Awards are live, and you can watch the show here: If you’re looking to read about the winners, you’ve come to the right spot. Celebrating the highlights, achievements and progression over the past year, this year’s Wake Awards honors an amazing group of winners who have pushed boundaries despite the obstacles faced in an unprecedented year like 2020.  wakeboardingmag.com/story/videos/2020-wake-awards-the-winners/ For more wakeboarding related news and articles, be sure to visit and bookmark: wakeboardingmag.com/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Outdoor Retailer’s second all-digital trade show prepares for launch OR leadership released the conference’s education and event lineup today, Registrants can now start building their profiles and schedules” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

Get ready for round two, everyone. After debuting its first all-digital trade show this summer, learning from industry feedback, and making tweaks to the format, Outdoor Retailer is ready to go forward with its second iteration of the online show in just a few weeks. A replacement for January’s traditional Snow Show, “OR Winter Online” will open to registrants on January 6 and run for more than 10 weeks, through March 19.  Unlike the conventional in-person show, which squeezes hundreds of events, speeches, meetings, parties, and presentations into three head-spinning days—and unlike this summer’s digital show, which largely tried to replicate that format—OR Winter Online will unfold at a more leisurely pace, with much of the content available on demand for users to access whenever they wish. In other words, this OR will live in the background of our lives for months, rather than deluge us for a week. To help the industry plan for that shift, OR leadership today released the show’s education and event lineup and opened the calendar function of the registration dashboard, where attendees can start mapping out their schedules. What to expect from OR Winter Online Outdoor Retailer show director Marisa Nicholson told SNEWS that, so far, the upcoming show is projecting a better attendance than the summer run, with more buy-in from exhibitors and attendees across the board. “[Our numbers] are way up compared to where we were at this point before the summer show,” said Nicholson. “We have thousands of retail buyers and designers already registered for the event, as well as about 120 companies. Every week, we’re getting about 20 new sign-ups.” Nicholson confirmed that some of the... read more

“3 Reasons People Buy on Impulse and How to Capitalize on Them” by Ray Ko via Brand United

Credit: Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay Never underestimate the potential of a last-minute purchase. Today’s consumers are not only more likely to buy in-store, they’re more likely to buy more in-store, and that includes impulse purchases. Despite the hue and cry about online shopping taking over the world, the great majority of people—85%, according to the annual The State of Brick & Mortar Retail report—still buy half or more of their goods in stores. And they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Turns out that Gen Z, the “always online” generation, gets a little sick of always being online. They crave legit, tactile, in-person shopping experiences that allow them to unplug from the constant ping-ping-ping of social media and gaming from time to time. So, let’s talk about those impulse buys. According to Statista, roughly half of the purchases carried out by 18 to 24-year-olds in the United States in 2018 were as a result of impulse buying. It’s not chump change, either. More than half of U.S. shoppers have spent $100 or more on an impulse buy. Point of purchase (POP) displays are a big reason why. They are purposely designed to draw attention and drive incremental sales, and they can be tucked away in almost any area of your store. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons people buy on impulse and how to take advantage of that. Reason #1 – People don’t want to feel like they’re missing out on something. According to finder.com, more than half of people cite the fear of missing out on a deal, on something being in stock, on something they think they may forget about later, etc., as... read more

“THE DIY PARKS BUILT DURING COVID” by Larry Lanza via JENKEM Mag

Whether it’s an unevenly poured quarterpipe or haggard bowl corner, DIY parks are the cornerstones to a lot of skate communities. It’s the meetup spot that you never leave, the hangout spot when you’re too hungover to actually skate, and the safe haven for all the unsafe things us skaters do. Contrary to what you may think, the parks don’t just pop up. They take a lot of time, manpower, and money to get started. During the ongoing COVID pandemic, those resources were readily available, and we saw a surge of DIYs popping up across the skate world. To shed some light on the hard work and creativity that some people put in we reached out to a few DIYs that caught our eye to showcase their work. Just remember, if you’re going to pull up to any of these spots after reading this, be respectful, clean up your beer cans and water bottles, and don’t fuck with anything that looks like it’s drying. photo: ezra franklin MOSQUITO BEACH (LIC DIY) – QUEENS, NY What was the plot of land before it was a DIY park?It’s a standard NYC dead end. There used to be signs of nightlife there. One day I found a bunch of roses, then some red panties, and then a used condom. Probably from the strip club across the water. Standard city shit. Where does the name of the park come from?Mosquito beach? Just go in the summer. Bring your bug spray. Did you have to get permission from anyone to build there? Did you just barge it and start building?Just barged. Maybe initially just nudged... read more

“Surfer Attacked by Shark at Honolua Bay During the Maui Pro Has Died” by Joe Carberry via The Inertia

The victim was a 56-year-old Lahaina resident. Photo: Cayla Moore/WSL Yesterday we reported that the surfer attacked by a shark Tuesday at Honolua Bay, which postponed the Maui Pro, was in stable condition in a local hospital following surgery. Since then, his condition worsened and sadly, the 56-year-old Lahaina resident died of his wounds last night according to the Maui Memorial Medical Center, which released information to local media. “The WSL has learned that Tuesday’s victim of the shark attack at Honolua Bay has tragically passed away,” wrote World Surf League CEO Erik Logan on social media. “Our thoughts and hearts are with the victim’s family and friends as well as the entire Maui surfing community.” The WSL also announced its decision not to run the rest of the Maui Pro at Honolua Bay this year and is currently looking at options of where to finish off the event which was on schedule to finish Tuesday before the attack. The bite mark. Photo: Department of Land and Natural Resources The man was reportedly paddling out from the old boat ramp when he was bitten and the water was murky due to swell and other factors, which may have led to the attack. According to experts, these shark bites (this particular shark left a 17-inch bite mark in the victim’s board) are usually exploratory as the predator is most often looking for turtles and other prey in Hawaiian waters. The attacks are rarely fatal, although a California man died after a shark attack on Maui near Kaanapali Shores resort in 2019, which is just down the Honoapiilani Highway from Honolua Bay on the island’s west side.... read more

“BRA To Offer Retail Members Exclusive Healthcare Insurance Coverage” via Press Release

By Board Retail Association | Originally published on Nov 4, 2020. Updated on Dec 9, 2020 LIG Solutions announces a partnership with the Board Retailers Association to offer its Distinguished Retail Members, their families and their employees access to exclusive healthcare insurance coverages. Healthcare is not a one size fits all endeavor, and neither is the insurance coverages offered through LIG Solutions. The exclusive offerings include a full suite of medical, dental, vision and disability coverages, as well as the new “Health Reimbursement Arrangements” (HRAs) for employers/employees. This program also includes access to information on the latest healthcare, personal wellness, and lifestyle trends. “We want to provide access to quality healthcare products that fit the specific needs of the Board Retailers Association Distinguished Retail Members,” says Jason Farro, CEO of LIG Solutions. “The plans can be tailored to fit the individual needs of members, their families, and employees that off the shelf programs may not be able to provide.” The health insurance coverage offered through LIG utilizes plan options from many of the leading national carriers, and the program is designed to be a vehicle to promote healthier lifestyle choices and preventive care options for the organization’s membership. “This is a relevant and valuable resource for all of our Distinguished Retail Members throughout the country.  LIG Solutions offers affordable and comprehensive health plans that our retailers and their employees can use today!” says Doug Works,  BRA Executive Director. Coverages are offered concierge style to BRA Distinguished Retail Members in a centralized portal, thus eliminating the hassle and cutting through the confusion that often accompanies shopping for healthcare insurance. The offerings – which are culled... read more

“2021 Marketing With Email & SMS” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

Now that indie retailers everywhere are ready to rack in holiday sales, the rest of the year is going to be spent figuring out ways to retain all those new customers. Bluecore warns in a report on shoppers motives and preferences that while acquisition efforts are important, if there’s no focus on retention, those acquired may just be one and done shoppers. Retain Customers with Email & SMS Marketing Focusing on your business’s email and SMS marketing efforts is a great way to help retain new customers. New data from an Omnisend report confirms that consumers want to receive branded email and text messages, but not random marketing promotions. They want messages based on their interactions with retailers. Data from Omnisend’s report found that open rates for automated lifecycle messages saw a huge increase of 76.25 percent year-over-year. The report, which analyzed 2.4 billion emails and 1.8 million SMS and push messages, showed that automated messages saw an improvement of 178.6 percent over scheduled promotional campaigns when comparing open rates in Q2 2020. The report confirms that ecommerce brands who automate email and SMS messages are outperforming those who do not. Email Performance According to the report, the conversion rate for promotional email campaigns was 5.37 percent—an 88 percent year-over-year lift. Maybe more promising for DTC brands, email conversion rates increased each month of the second quarter, which hints at an increased reliance on not only ecommerce but email marketing as a primary channel. The report also revealed that order confirmation messages had a much higher conversion rate (8.61 percent) than shipping confirmations (3.02 percent), indicating that marketers should optimize their transactional messages... read more

“3 Ways to Keep Inventory Fresh and Improve Sell-Through” by Emily Fanning of Heartland Retail

Board retailers, even more so than other specialty stores, tend to have extremely loyal client bases. It’s a blessing, with a small spritz of a curse: the more often they come in, the more “same old” they see. So with your best customers visiting multiple times a season, engaging them with fresh and stimulating products and experiences carries a lot of weight. High sales are great, sure, but high sell-through and margin are two inventory performance metrics that are most telling of the health of your business—and the satisfaction of your customers. Let’s back up: What is sell-through? Sell‐through = units sold / initial units received x 100 Or, a percentage that compares the amount of inventory a retailer receives against what is actually sold within a specific time period. If your reports are showing a low sell‐through—say, less than 30% over 3-4 weeks*—on certain items, brands or even full categories, then it’s time to take action to move the merchandise before it becomes even less fresh. When product is slow, retailers often resort to markdowns as the default mechanism, but doing so means your margin will take a hit. Yet when your point of sale doubles as your inventory management system, its reporting can provide intel that will allow you to push under‐performing products through other techniques. We’d wager there isn’t a single retailer out there who hasn’t made a handful of poor buying decisions, so here are a few tactics that the savvy ones use when such happens. *You may have different optimal selling periods for different categories or even store locations—more on determining these benchmarks later!... read more

“Holiday Rebound: Apparel Retailers Drive Sales With Flexible Payment Options” by PYMNTS.com via link from The Robin Report

Many American consumers are feeling the financial squeeze as the holiday shopping season goes on and will be turning to flexible spending plans to help put them at ease. More merchants are embracing buy now, pay later (BNPL) options to allow consumers to pay in four installments interest-free. This will not only help retail items be more accessible to more consumers but could help merchants bounce back from what may have been a rocky year in sales due to the pandemic. Recent research by PYMNTS and Afterpay found that millennials are especially enthusiastic about these flexible payment options, and prefer them more than any other generation. In fact, only 20.7 percent of millennials report being financially stable, compared to 79 percent of non-millennial consumers. BNPL could be especially useful in helping this demographic buy gifts and extend their purchasing power. The latest Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker® examines how installment payment plans can help budget-conscious consumers, as well as help merchants see a rebound in sales this holiday season. Around The Buy Now, Pay Later World PYMNTS researchers recently found that many shoppers would avoid merchants that do not offer their preferred payment methods, and that it determines where consumers will make their purchases. The study revealed merchants that offer flexible payment plans could tap into a loyal, sizable pool of digital consumers. Forty-eight percent of those who prefer the method said that they would not purchase from retailers that fail to offer it, compared to 40 percent of those using mobile wallets and 37 percent of those using contactless cards who said the same. Emerging payment solutions such as BNPL are becoming... read more

“Help Strengthen Our Water Sports Industry by Sharing this Universal Content” via WSIA Newsletter

For years, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has been developing boating safety content in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard in order to touch on key safety issues and work to change boaters’ behavior on the water. This content is available for all who would like to share and promote through their various email and social channels. Educating your customers about boating leads to a safer boating experience and therefore a more profitable and successful industry. Please consider sharing the following videos the best way you know how. Thank you for your support of the WSF, the WSIA, and the boating industry. Shared Waterways Safety Video A record-setting year for powerboat sales combined with a multiyear surge in the use and popularity of paddlecraft has resulted in more recreational boaters on the water than ever before. Sharing the waters is key to boating safety, and means we must not only be aware of other boaters, but express concern for other vessels as well. WATCH AND SHARE NOW >> Proper boat handling is the most important body of knowledge a skipper can master. Your passengers depend on it. Once you’ve realized that you’re about to be in an accident, there’s no time to buckle up in a car or put a life jacket on in a boat.  The WSIA is the towed water sports industry’s leading advocate, known for preserving the vitality of our activities long into the future. As a group, we develop best practices, maintain waterway access rights, educate participants, promote safety and facilitate sustainable industry growth. Learn more about this outstanding organization here: https://www.wsia.net/ By the... read more

“How To Convert Holiday Shoppers Into Loyal Year Round Customers” by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor

It is so important to convert holiday shoppers into loyal customers because you have so many more bodies walking through your doors after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When I was starting out as a retail manager, I had a new sales guy who was killing it two weeks in a row. Everything he touched turned to gold.He had done an exceptional job with one couple who were chairs of a big fundraising party in Orange County. It was a western theme, and they were so thrilled with how they looked in their new attire that they told everyone to “Go see Daniel.”The big night came and went and Daniel felt on top of the world; his commission check for that month helped him buy a car. The next month however, he really struggled. The other guys on the sales team ribbed him by singing “The Party’s Over” when they got a big sale and Daniel didn’t. Daniel had been lulled into believing there would always be plenty of shoppers coming into the store to see him.That is exactly what can happen during the holiday season for brick and mortar retailers. They have so much traffic that they forget to consciously look for ways for those holiday shoppers to become everyday shoppers. The key is to remain in front of those customers and remind them on a regular basis you are there for them. How To Convert Your Brick and Mortar Holiday Shoppers into Everyday Shoppers Customer Service. Even when it is busy, you have to greet everyone who enters your store, you have to find a way to... read more

“Skate & Create, Street Edition” via Transworld Skateboarding (updated on Nov. 30th)

Transworld Skateboarding is proud to announce the return of Skate & Create, Street Edition. Four teams. Four original concepts. One month in the streets. Skate & Create 2020 Promo Transworld Skateboarding is proud to announce the return of Skate & Create, Street Edition, coming this Friday. Live premiere at 3pm PST. Four teams. Four original concepts. One month in the streets. Videos from Birdhouse, Thank You, Visual, and Meow. And a huge thanks to Red Bull Skate for their continued support in making this contest a reality this year. Click on the above to view a behind the scenes video (added on November 30, 2021) Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for being such a great resource. Be sure to click on and bookmark the following link for relevant news, intelligent articles and ripping skateboarding:  https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“What a vaccine could mean for retail” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

Originally posted on November 10, 2020 then updated. On Monday morning, when VF Corp. announced that it will plunk down more than $2 billion to snag streetwear favorite Supreme for its portfolio, the apparel conglomerate probably thought it would count as retail’s best news in a while. But it was quickly overshadowed by the report that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is putting the finishing touches on a vaccine that it says is 90% effective against COVID-19. The virus has surged in recent weeks, with diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths up across the U.S. The situation is bleak in terms of both human health and the economy, which in the U.S. depends heavily on people having discretionary funds, and spending them. Earlier in the year, when stores were forced shut in an effort to contain the pandemic, most retailers were hit hard, even as e-commerce soared; several filed for bankruptcy and more were pushed to the brink. Grocery stores and mass merchants, which were allowed to remain open or, like Amazon, sell online, have done well. While retailers of all stripes instituted or expanded BOPIS options and maintained COVID-safe protocols in their stores as they reopened, all hope for getting back to normal has been predicated on developing a vaccine. The resurgence has been demoralizing for retailers heading into the holidays, with many bracing for bargain-seeking customers and possibly even further closures. “Until there’s an effective vaccine, we’re not going to be able to know how we’re going to land and what businesses are going to be successful,” Eric Rapkin, chair of law firm Akerman’s Real Estate Practice Group, said by phone. “My sense is that once there’s a vaccine that proves to be effective, we’re going... read more

“Brick and Mortar: The Original Marketplace” by Dan Pankratz via PropagandaHQ.net

Brick and mortar retailers are the original marketplace for brands to sell to the end customer. It’s not news that this is changing and changing fast. It feels like new online marketplaces are popping up almost daily.  As brands are looking for more ways to sell directly online and streamline how they get products to the end customer. Online Marketplaces are becoming more and more of a solution. New online marketplaces are leveraging dropship to attract customers to their selections of products. Allowing them to focus on driving traffic to their sites rather than the logistics of managing Pick, Pack and Shipping products. As the customer purchasing habits are moving more online, and with online purchase growing more in the past few months that they have in the past 10 years. The importance of giving your customer a way to shop and purchase from your online is more important than ever. 5 Years ago, my brother Dave and I started to see the pinch that direct to consumer, amazon, and big eCommerce was having on our own brick and mortar retail business. As we were still recovering from being affected by the last recession where we lost our prime location to our big box competition. We wanted to find a solution that would keep the customers we created shopping with us no matter where they were and not be limited by what we had in stock.  The result was Exchange Collective.  Over the past 5 years Dave and I, along with Jason Strubing from Skate Works, and John Normoyle who worked in our retail store during college. Have built... read more

“Torey Pudwill and Chris Haslam | LARVIKITE LINES” via Transworld Skateboarding

Click to view this remarkable story. When the opportunity arose to visit Lundhs Real Stone quarry and create a permanent Larvikite skatepark for the town’s skate scene, Torey Pudwill, Chris Haslam and Angelo Caro flew in to link up with local pro Deedz and session the 300 million-year-old terrain in situ – before bringing it all down from the mountain quarry to create a permanent skate space in Larvik itself. Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for being such a great resource. Be sure to click on and bookmark the following link for relevant news, intelligent articles and ripping skateboarding:  https://skateboarding.transworld.net/ If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“JENK TV: CONSTRUCTING A SKATEBOARD OUT OF SODA BOXES” by IAN MICHNA & ROB FRAEBEL via Jenkem Mag

Welcome back to Jenk TV! For this episode, we tried to get DIY with it and build our own skateboard deck out of trash scraps. Our intern Bechara was inspired by the ongoing hardgoods shortage and wanted to see if he could make a deck out of “alternative” materials, as a sort of doomsday prep in case this pandemic continues to halt skateboard production or we chop down all the maple trees in existence. Seven plies, a couple presses, glue, and a saw seem pretty easy to come by, so we did some laps around the neighborhood to find some materials to make this deck out of. Bechara figured with all the drinking that’s been going on during lockdown, cardboard boxes of beer would be plentiful and really easy to work with. He threw in a layer cut out from a plastic kiddie pool to see if it would add any pop or elasticity, and veneered that all together to make the deck. Did we just start the hottest new sustainable skate brand? You’ll have to watch to find out. Filmed by: Ian MichnaEdited by: Rob FraebelShare this with a scientist on FacebookReport this as pathetic on Instagram and Twitter If you like fun and intelligent skateboarding related articles, be sure to bookmark: Jenkem Mag If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

” The Inertia Wetsuit Guide 2020″ by staff via The Inertia

Editor’s Note: The 2020 Wetsuit Guide is powered by our featured partners. The air is getting cold. So is the water. The difference between good and bad rubber is about to get real. It’s the difference between pain and comfort. The suits featured in The Inertia’s Wetsuit Guide 2020 are the best of the best – guaranteed to keep you in the water longer, more comfortably, to make the sometimes-unwelcoming task of winter surfing that much more palatable. Feel free to scroll through the selection of suits above, or, for your convenience, we’ve listed them out below as well. Keep warm this winter. Wear good rubber. The warranty “covers anything that appears to have failed under normal use, such as a blown seam, failed power seam seal or broken zipper. Warranty items are always repaired free of charge.” Photo: Amee Longpré Patagonia Men’s R2 Yulex Front Zip Wetsuit Patagonia’s Yulex® wetsuits have exclusive linings for increased stretch. The only Fair Trade Certified™ suits, they’re made with 85% Yulex® natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content; natural rubber is FSC® certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The R2 gets the job done. Best for water 55°–60° F/13°–16° C. Read our review of the Patagonia  Men’s R4 Front-Zip Hooded Wetsuit. Body Glove Men’s Red Cell Front Zip Wetsuit Body Glove’s top-of-the-line fullsuit features proprietary Red Cell infrared interior insulation, which converts your body heat into infrared waves that channels warmth back to your core. Ergonomic panel construction married with the stitch-free Micro-Bead exterior seam seal creates a true fit with minimal restriction to movement. Additionally, the Evo-Dry exterior jersey is hydrophobic to resist water absorption, minimizing weight, and keeping... read more

“Adidas and Nike Trim Wholesale and Skate Shops Object” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article:   Adidas and Nike Trim Wholesale and Skate Shops Object Please note that this article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. 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 yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“VF snaps up Supreme for $2.1B, eyes brick-and-mortar expansion” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: VF Corp. on Monday said it has a deal to acquire streetwear brand Supreme for $2.1 billion, expected to close later this year, according to an investor presentation. Supreme founder James Jebbia and the brand’s senior leadership team will stay with the company, which will remain headquartered in New York City, according to a company press release.VF expects Supreme to contribute at least $500 million in revenue in its next fiscal year and be “modestly accretive” this fiscal year. Dive Insight: Since it opened in the mid-’90s as a skateboarding shop in New York City, Supreme has vaulted into cult status among young consumers worldwide. The brand has carefully guarded its price points and desirability through small weekly drops and intense online engagement. Soon it will join a conglomerate. VF executives Monday morning took pains to say that they’re aware that Supreme’s healthy popularity and margins depend on a scarcity model and that they wouldn’t be meddling in the Supreme team’s approach. But they also said that VF’s scale could help drive a compound annual growth rate of between 8% and 10%, and that Supreme could eventually become a billion dollar brand, at least. Stores are also scarce at Supreme, which only runs 12 globally. The brand has been especially a hit in the U.S. and Japan, and executives said they see potential in China and elsewhere in Asia more broadly. VF CEO Steve Rendle called the brick-and-mortar store “the ultimate expression of the brand” and said that that under VF, new Supreme locations will open “where the Supreme followers and lovers exist.”​ Indeed, despite the steep price VF stands to gain from Supreme’s enduring... read more

“TAMPA AM PRESENTS: GLOBAL AMDEMIC ” via link on Skatepark of Tampa website

Watch the Global AMdemic Finals featuring the top Ams from over 500 entries from around the world, battling it out for Tampa Am spots, bragging rights and a $1,000 cash prize. Plus Independent Best Trick with feedback from judges Kelly Hart, Kelvin Hoefler, and Mike Sinclair. Hosted by Andrew Cannon and Paul Zitzer at (BRA Distinguished Retail Member) Skatepark of Tampa. If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“SHACC Launches Educational Resources and Digital Tour” by Glenn Brumage via info from SHACC Newsletter

For all those surf shops, educators and parents out there looking to enrich the lives of customers, students and children, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC) in San Clemente, CA is proud to be able to support you with the newly launched Educational Resources section of their website. From plastic pollution to the pursuit of equality in the water, they have 12 new lesson plans that are up online and available for free. Check them out via the following link: SHACC Educational Resources Their doors have been closed for the last few months due to health and safety concerns, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a deep dive into the history, heritage and culture of surfing. Thanks to Google, they’ve got a digital tour available so you can enjoy all the classic surfboards, artifacts and memorabilia. We’ll be looking to open our doors again after the holidays, so stay tuned for upcoming developments.  Here is the link: SHACC Digital Tour We, at Board Retailers Association, love the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (SHACC). We absolutely appreciate Glenn Brumage and 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 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... read more

“Report confirms outdoor recreation is crucial to national and state economies” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its annual report that lays out the importance of the outdoor recreation economy in hard data. The numbers are in.  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) came out with its annual report today dissecting the importance of the outdoor economy across the nation. Officially an analysis of the agency’s Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, which measures “economic activity as well as the sales or receipts generated by outdoor recreational activities” across the country, the report laid out in clear terms just how crucial outdoor recreation remains to state economies from coast to coast. Across the board, the upshot was positive. The BEA’s report found that outdoor recreation contributed to the economies of all 50 states and accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product and $788 billion in gross output (consumer spending) in 2019. According to a recap of the study published this morning by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, it is likely these figures will be even higher for 2020, given the rise in outdoor participation during the pandemic. Read more: New data shows the outdoor industry heading in the right direction Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of OIA, said after the release of the data, “The report published today proves that together, we are a force. The industry is a vital component of national, state, and local economies, as well as an important catalyst to America’s economic recovery.” Here’s what we learned from the numbers. States that benefited most from the outdoor economy The states that saw the highest value-add from outdoor recreation as a percentage of state GDP were clustered in the Intermountain West and the Northeast, with several key outliers... read more

“What If We Told You That You Could Protect Your New Surfboard Against Breaks And Dings…” via STAB Magazine

Well, you can. And it starts at just $10 a month.  Posted by: STAB What’s worse: breaking your new board first session, or watching every person you love getting mauled by a voracious pack of lions? Answer: the lions, but only just. New Board Anxiety is a serious medical condition that affects millions of surfers worldwide. If you or any surfer you know has suffered from this debilitating ailment, we present you with a viable (if only marginally costly) solution: Surfcare.  First and foremost, and despite how that intro read, this is not an advertisement. Or, I guess technically it is, but the crew at Surfcare didn’t pay a penny for it, so good on them for creating a product so inherently fascinating that we couldn’t help but write about it.  Second, Surfcare is exactly what it sounds like: AppleCare for your surfboard. It’s actual, genuine, real-life protection that you can buy as financial protection against a dinged or broken board.  Here are their available plans: Below we chatted with Nick Stolz, founder of Surfcare, to get more info on his product and see if the juice is truly worth the squeeze.  What inspired you to start this company? Well, I grew up breaking a ton of boards! Maybe I took that “stomp it” saying a little too literally [laughs]. I came up with the idea in Indonesia three years ago after running through a quiver at HTs. It’s a bad feeling when you spend a bunch of money on a new board and break it first session, or even at all. We all know the feeling. So Surfcare was... read more

“The puzzle of inventory during the pandemic” by Andrew Weaver via SNEWS

2020 has been a year of supreme uncertainly for specialty retail. Empty shelves, cancelled orders, and lopsided demand have forced shop owners to get creative to meet customers’ needs. Here’s what several retail owners say about the challenges they’ve faced. “If there’s any pattern to all this, it’s to expect delays. Which categories, brands, or products—that’s anybody’s guess. It’s best to just assume everything will be delayed and end up pleasantly surprised if it’s not.” That’s Eastside Sports owner Todd Vogel’s take on the state of inventory challenges at this point in the pandemic, nearly eight months in. “If there’s a delay, you pivot. Delay, pivot,” said Vogel, whose shop is based in Bishop, California. “That strategy has kept us going. It’s all about flexibility.” It’s no secret that sellers of outdoor goods have been scrambling this year, trying to keep pace with a retail landscape strained by supply chain disruptions, rapid shutdowns, unpredictable demand, and other hardships. Still, one way or another, many retailers are finding ways to keep their shelves stocked—to some degree—and customers happy.  To figure out what retailers are seeing on the ground level, and how they’re coping, we got in touch with several shop owners and buyers to ask about what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how everyone is bracing for the upcoming season. What’s causing problems To start things off, we wanted to know about specific pain points. In some sense, we were looking for a pattern, but that exercise quickly proved futile. After speaking with shop owners in several different states, the moral of the story seems to be that there’s no rhyme or reason... read more

“Surf Expo to Hold In-Person Show in January” via Surf Expo PR on Shop Eat Surf

PRESS RELEASES | Published Nov 2, 2020 Surf Expo, the premier watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow announce today that their upcoming January 6-8, 2021 show will take place in the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, a shift from the North/South Hall where the show has been held previously. Roy Turner, Surf Expo Show Director and SVP said, “Our top priority is to reunite the industry together safely. Our team is committed to creating an experience where we can safely and effectively conduct business.” The West Concourse will provide space for social distancing plus multiple entry and exit points to the show floor, a more favorable floorplan, and easier move in and move out for exhibitors.  At around 120,000 net square feet, the reduced footprint will allow for approximately 420 exhibitors with increased aisle space for distancing. While attendance is expected to decrease somewhat due to travel restrictions and store closures, the overwhelming response from retailers is that they need inventory, and want an in-person show.   Retailers from all across the US and Caribbean are registered to attend including Hi Tech Surf Sports from Maui, HI, Sun Diego from Carlsbad CA, K-Coast Surf Shop, Ocean City MD, Archie’s Surf Shop in Ontario, CA, Coastal Edge from VA Beach, Red Sail Sports in Aruba and Grand Cayman. Allyson Catanzaro, Buyer and Boutique Manager at La Playa Beach and Golf Resort in Naples, Florida said, “I am looking forward to attending Surf Expo to see vendors in person and to be able to touch and feel product. Zoom calls have worked, but it doesn’t replace the in-person contact.” Jim Archibald, owner of Archie’s Surf Shop in Ontario, Canada added, “Surf Expo has been hugely instrumental in our success. Archies wouldn’t be the same without it.  We haven’t missed a winter show in 30 years. I don’t want to break... read more

“Postmates looks to solve local retail’s last mile” by Tom Ryan of Retail Wire

Postmates, the Uber-owned on-demand delivery platform, has introduced a new service supporting the last-mile needs of local retailers. Under the program, Shop, local retailers create a virtual storefront on Postmates’ app, where they’ll be able to showcase their inventory with organized, configurable catalogs that feature high resolution images. Postmates will provide the retailer with a tablet to manage available inventory. Customers get access to a variety of options for getting their orders, including home delivery and in-store or curbside pickup. Delivery and service fees range from $4.99 for standard delivery to $12.99 for priority. Unlimited subscribers receive free delivery. Mike Buckley, who recently joined Postmates as SVP of business to guide the effort, told Glossy that Shop is designed to help local retailers meet heightened expectations for speedy online delivery created by Amazon Prime as well as to alleviate expected pressures from major carriers around shipping constraints this holiday season. “Our intuition is that there’s going to be a lot of interest in beauty, personal care, home goods, apparel and more frequently [shopped categories], like flowers and hardware,” he said. “We’re trying to create a fun, curated shopping experience.” Mr. Buckley, formerly VP, digital commerce operations & new business models at Nike, also expects the service to support flash sales, exclusive “drops” and other limited-time campaigns. “We think we can drive engagement to these merchants and create calls to action,” he told TechCrunch. The move enables Postmates, acquired by Uber in July for $2.65 billion, to expand further beyond its core food-delivery offering and positions the platform as an online marketplace for mobile shoppers. Shop’s introduction starts in Los Angeles with nearly 50 retailers, including... read more

“10 Easy Ways to get Customer Reviews that Boost Retail Sales” by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor

Customer reviews are very influential and can increase your sales more than marketing with a paid ad but can be hard to get. Here’s 10 proven tips to get customers to review your business online. There’s nothing shoppers consider buying without asking a friend, reading a review, or searching an app. Since most purchases start online these days, reviews act as a surrogate for a brick and mortar employee who could build trust. The other day I asked a buddy how his purchase of LED lightbulbs worked out. He replied, “You don’t think I would’ve tried them without first checking the reviews, do you? All 5-star.” A ZenDesk research report noted that 88% of customers have been influenced by an online customer review when making a buying decision. Yet many retailers and service providers, when I suggest they call or follow-up with their customers, tell me they are afraid they’ll get a negative review so they don’t do it. They figure the only people who will write reviews of their business or products will be people who want to share a bad experience. ZenDesk affirmed this by noting that 95% share bad experiences.  But here’s the thing…they also noted 87% shared good experiences – that’s pretty close. And more importantly, they also noted that more people have read a positive review (69%) of customer service online than negative reviews (63%.) And I’m not naive enough to think any reader of this post hasn’t looked at an Amazon review before purchasing something – regardless of cost. When you see 50 five-star reviews of a product, you tend to trust…and I bet you buy it. So you know product... read more

“Retail how-to: 5 tips for battling showroomers” by Carolyn Webber via SNEWS

Sure, price-shopping consumers can save a few dollars by buying from big e-tailing sites, but brick and mortar specialty shops can do more to capture those sales and create a long-term, loyal customers in the process. When you see a customer price-shopping in your store, make a move to engage them and steal back the sale. // Photo: Carolyn Webber IT HAPPENS PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY IN OUTDOOR SHOPS AROUND THE COUNTRY. A customer walks into the store and heads over to the pack wall. He tries a bunch on, finds the perfect fit, the ideal size, and the feature set that he likes. He may or may not be casually surfing on his phone throughout the process. Regardless, he offers a quick “thank you!” then boogies on home to make the purchase online, where he saves a few bucks. It’s called “showrooming,” and it’s become a dirty word in the world of brick and mortar retailers. Mark Swindel, store manager of REI’s Salt Lake City location, says it happens far more than he’d like. Nowadays, everyone has product information at their fingertips, and apps such as ShopSavvy and PriceGrabber make comparison shopping even easier. Swindel and other retail managers find it hard to fight against the competitive prices of the “Amazons of the world.” But there are ways to combat showrooming, and bring those transactions back into your shop. #1 Train your retail employees.Human interaction is something you can’t get online, even if there is an open chatroom. Bob Phibbs, CEO of Retail Doctor, a retail consulting firm, attributes showrooming to less retail assistants on the floor and a... read more

“A Very Unequal Recovery: The New Face of Retail Darwinism” (plus links to relevant M1 webinars) by Marc Weiss – CEO, Management One

Initially, the outcome was unexpected. But as summer turned into fall, and as fall moves into holiday, we now know with certainty that Indie retailers are experiencing a very unequal recovery. At Management One, we have been tracking data by location every day since March 12th. (see chart below) The results have stayed constant and reflect a very strong K-shaped reality. The top 20% are seeing retail bliss, the bottom 20% are experiencing a retail slump, and the middle 60% are either moving up the K slope or fighting to keep from sliding down. There are a variety of factors that affect results, including location, vertical, and a retailer’s demographic makeup. It is true some retailers were fortunate to be in resort locations where affluent populations fled over the summer, or were already well positioned in their digital e-commerce, social media, and communication, or are happily in verticals that flourished during Covid-19 like Outdoor and Pet Supply. However, there is also a strong collection of retailers that welcomed the opportunities that appeared, and they embraced change. Some from that group are enjoying gains, as they rest comfortably in the upper slopes of the “K.”  Cash is strong, inventories are in great shape, and they are exploring other opportunities to expand, where previous doors were closed. On the down slope, there is a struggle to find growth and a return to some normalcy. Recovery has been weaker and slower than expected. Less flexible landlords, abandoned communities, a client base that is slow to come back, challenges to adapt to a virtual world, supply disruptions, and stiffer responses from other creditors... read more

“CSEF Is Bridging Skateboarding and Higher Education” interview via Malakye.com

Keegan Guizard literally skated through college. He was an inspired student at North Carolina State University who founded a collegiate skate tour and then shortly after college he co-founded The College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF) with Thomas Barker and Neftalie Williams, who’ve both been involved in the skate industry for a long time. CSEF connects skateboarding and higher education and is a great way to help young skaters see a bright future through skating without having to turn pro. Check out this interview with Keegan, a video that explains a lot, and learn how to get involved. Learn about applying for a CSEF scholarship here.Learn how to donate and get involved here.What inspired you to create The College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF)? When I was in school at North Carolina State University, we had a Skateboarding Club that hosted local contest events for charity and went on school-funded road trips. We had so much fun. As part of an entrepreneurship course, I started Collegiate Skate Tour, a national contest series for college students (we had a division for non-students too). That was an opportunity to keep doing events and traveling post-graduation. After I moved to Los Angeles in 2015, I met Thomas Barker and Neftalie Williams who I co-founded CSEF with. I wanted other skaters to know how much fun skating in college can be and to be able to potentially set themselves up for a better life after skating. The organization stands for so much more, but that’s a narrative that I experienced as a skateboarder that went to college. What’s the breakdown of what it took to get from idea... read more

“Cooper talks to Tony Hawk about life in quarantine” interview by Anderson Cooper via CNN

Anderson Cooper talks to Tony Hawk about life in quarantine – CNN Video Anderson Cooper speaks to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk about life during the coronavirus pandemic. Watch “Full Circle” every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 6pm E.T. www.cnn.com https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/10/16/acfc-tony-hawk-you-and-your-quarantine-full-episode-vpx.cnn If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Prime Day vs Election Day” by Dan Pankratz (Co-Founder of the Exchange Collective) via Building The Revolution

With Covid now in its 8th month and what could be Americas most debated presidential elections less than a month away, we are now faced with another decision that can change life as we know It.—- PRIME DAY. You might think voting for a Career Politician, a Businessman, or Rap Star will help fix our country’s economic and social welfare. Think again. Some Americans celebrate spending money on mass-produced products from a multi-billion dollar company where the average warehouse employee could not even purchase 1 share of their company stock with a full month’s paycheck. How you spend your money on Prime day does more than get you a discount on crap you don’t need. It also effects the community you live in.  It is no secret that when a business can offer more convenience and better pricing we feel like we are getting the best deal. But what if that convenience and pricing are really costing you and your family more than you think.  For every $1 you spend by entering the digits of your credit card to have your hard-earned money securely zip through space into that multi-billion dollar corporations bank account, less than 20% off that money will ever end up circulating back into your community. When that same $1 is spent in a business with a physical location that percentage can double. If that business owner lives in that town up to 80% of that money can stay in your community.  Convenience and pricing are for toilet paper and deodorant. But if you are going to buy a new vacuum for your wife, or a new... read more

“The Black Surfing Association is Empowering Black Youth in Rockaway -PADDLING OUT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE AND EQUALITY WITH NEW YORK’S LOU HARRIS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine (from the final issue)

This feature originally appeared in SURFER Volume 61, Number 3. Since that issue’s release, due to the impact of the pandemic on SURFER’s business, the staff has been furloughed indefinitely and all content production has been paused. Hopefully SURFER will one day return, in some form, but in the meantime please enjoy this feature from the final issue. In April of 2014, Lou Harris, a surfer and resident of Rockaway—an oceanfront community in the New York City borough of Queens—read a news article about a 16-year-old boy who’d been arrested after setting fire to a mattress in his apartment in neighboring Coney Island. When the cops asked the kid why he started the fire, they reported that he said it was because he was bored. Harris couldn’t bear the thought of kids in his community growing up with so little engagement—and in a place with waves, no less. To Harris, the answer was obvious—he’d introduce local youth to the thing he loved so much. He’d get them surfing. Harris, who is now 48 years old, was born in Queens and grew up in Dix Hills, Long Island. He moved to the Rockaways in 2006, where he began teaching himself to surf to help come to terms with hanging up his skateboard in his late 30s. Soon enough, Harris crossed paths with Brian “B.J.” James, a dedicated Rockaway Beach surfer and among the few Black wave riders you’d have found in that lineup in the 1990s—despite the neighborhood’s population being roughly 35 percent Black. Author of “The Nautical Negro”, a memoir about his life as a Black waterman, B.J. showed... read more

“Skate Shop Day” happens on Feb. 19th – Letter from Chris Neiratko of NJ, FAQs & more

We are re-posting the following information (FAQs and more) about Skate Shop Day with the following letter from NJ Skate Shop Owner, BRA Distinguished Retail Member and co-founder of Skate Shop Day, Chris Nieratko addressed to skate brands: Hello new and old friends, Chris Nieratko here. You might know me from some of the previous hats I’ve worn over the past 25 in years in skateboarding, or maybe you don’t. Either way, there is no hat that I wear with more pride than my NJ Skateshop hat. 2021 marks NJ’s 18th anniversary (cue Skid Row’s 18 and Life…) and in that time, like most skateshops, my partner, Steve Lenardo, and I have seen unbelievable highs and crazy lows. We’ve survived a recession, Hurricane Sandy, CoViD as well as emotional personal and industry losses and yet somehow we live to fight another day. It is my love for not only my own shop but for all shops, especially those that opened their doors to me and my friends on tours throughout the years, that led me to start Skateshop Day this past February 19th with my friend, Scotty Coats. Skateshops have always been the cornerstone of skate communities around the globe. Skateshop Day is meant to be the time when the skateboarding 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 we know it. Skateshop Day is meant to get skaters IN to the shops, to show love to the unsung heroes that do so much for skating all year round; the men and women that float you a bearing, throw in free grip,... read more

“How Can Surfcare Help My Surf Shop?” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Surfcare

Surfcare brochures on display at Rip Curl San Clemente. Shop employees share Surfcare with every perspective customer buying a new board. Surfcare’s Surfboard Protection Plans Can Help Your Board Shop Increase Sales & Customer Loyalty  Customers want to feel secure when they make a big purchase. This is true in pretty much every market and the surfboard industry is no different. Buying a new surfboard can feel like a major life decision. And whether they’re a beginner or veteran, board purchasers want to feel like they aren’t going to regret it the second they get their first ding.  Surfcare QR Code stickers on new boards for sale at Rip Curl San Clemente. These QR Codes link to Surfcare’s website and let Surfcare know every time a Rip Curl Customer visits the site. It’s not uncommon to see surf shops providing an exchange window or limited-warranty with board purchases. Still, their customers generally know the drill. Those narrow offerings barely scratch the surface when it comes to true product protection.  Sure, the customer can always bring their board back in for repair. They’ll just have to pay for it entirely out of pocket. This additional expense later down the road can potentially worsen their relationship with your business. It also ultimately leads to less board purchases from customers who might be too risk-averse to pull the trigger. The more they have to worry about hidden maintenance and repair costs, the less likely they are to buy your boards.  Product Protection Plans Add Value to Most Industries  Offering a type of insurance or product protection plan for the higher-cost items in... read more

“Venmo pilots Business Profile feature to showcase small businesses” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: Venmo announced that it launched Business Profiles, a feature which allows small businesses to create profiles and accept payments for their goods and services.With the payment platform’s Business Profiles feature, sellers can accept contactless payments, attract new customers and gain transactional insights regarding customers. Businesses can track their company transactions, the number of customers and their customer database, according to a company blog post.For now, the feature is only available to select retailers for free, but the company plans to make it available to other businesses within the coming months and possibly charge them fees to use the service, per the company blog post. Sellers with personal Venmo accounts can set up a company profile without creating a separate login. Dive Insight: In its announcement, Venmo acknowledged that the current economic climate has been challenging for small businesses, many of whom are sole proprietors. With the Business Profile pilot, the peer-to-peer payments platform follows in the footsteps of companies like Builder.ai, eBay, Facebook and Instagram, which have introduced tech tools and funding for small businesses.  The move also comes after Venmo engaged in partnerships with retailers and rolled out a new feature. Last October, the payments platform enlisted retailers like Target, Sephora and Sam’s Club as collaborators for its cashback incentives on its rewards card. Back in August, the company also debuted an instant transfer feature that allows users to send funds immediately to their linked bank accounts for a fee.  Venmo mentioned in its announcement that it has more than 52 million users. The company noted that establishing company profiles allows small businesses to tap into that network of users without needing a substantial advertising budget.  Using the... read more

“Tune in with Doug Works from Board Retailers Association” – interview conducted by Vipe Desai of PropagandaHQ.net

Doug Works, Executive Director of the Board Retailers Association shared updates with Vipe Desai on what the organization is doing to help its retail members and also shared insights as to how retailers are managing during the pandemic. Click on the image below to view the interview. Be sure to visit the Propaganda HQ website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join... read more

“Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer magazines to cease publication indefinitely – The four titles will “pause” operations in the coming months and furlough employees without pay.” by ANDREW WEAVER via SNEWS

Four of the outdoor industry’s oldest print magazines—Bike, Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer—will cease publication indefinitely this year, according to multiple sources at the brands’ parent company, A360 Media. TransWorld SKATEboarding, another A360 Media property, will also pause operations until further notice. Sierra Shafer, editor-in-chief at Powder, confirmed today that staff members at all five titles received indefinite furlough notifications late on Friday, October 2. Employees at Bike and Surfer were furloughed immediately, Shafer said, while Powderand Snowboarder staff learned the same would happen to them on November 20. None of the furloughed staff will be paid after operations cease. In a letter to A360 Media employees obtained by SNEWS on Monday, the company’s human resources director, Ken Slivken, confirmed that “COVID-19 has presented unforeseeable business circumstances and has had a sudden and dramatic impact on the business of A360 Media.” The letter made clear that the furloughs are a direct consequence of financial challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. In its communications to employees, A360 Media described the development as a “pause” in operations, but at least one brand leader among the affected titles is skeptical the magazines will ever resume publishing. “As far as I know, there’s no plan to get our magazines back,” said Surfer editor-in-chief Todd Prodanovich. “It was made clear that we shouldn’t hold our breath for it to ever come back. It seems silly to say things are on pause when it seems that there’s no intention to bring it back. People just want to know—is it done or isn’t it?” Snowboarder editorial director Pat Bridges declined to comment for this story, but there’s evidence to suggest his title will be affected differently than the others. Adventure Journal reported today that a single editor will remain at Snowboarder to run the magazine’s website... read more

“SURFER Magazine Just Published Its Last Issue” by Zach Weisberg via The Inertia

The first and last covers of Surfer Magazine. According to SURFER Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Todd Prodanovich, issue number three of volume 61 will be the iconic publication’s final issue. Prodanovich posted the announcement on Instagram this morning with the following caption: “This is the last issue of @surfer_magazine,” wrote Prodanovich. “The whole staff got let go yesterday (no, nothing to do with the heat from the Biden endorsement 😂, just the Covid economy), but I feel like we’re ending on a high note with this one. The cover shot was taken by @donaldmiralle during the Encinitas paddle out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Inside has some of my all-time favorite features from my all-time favorite surf writers— @smashtyn_douglas , @hzahorseman and @seano888 —and a piece by me about the LGBTQ+ surf community that was the honor of my career to work on, and I’m so grateful to the subjects for trusting me with their stories. Funny how you can work a job like this for 10 years and each issue is a completely new and different journey. I’ll really miss that part, and the mag in general, which ends on this issue after 60 years of publication. Hope you all enjoy the issue and thanks for reading over the years. Lots of love to everyone I had the privilege of working with to make this thing what it was while we could” American Media acquired SURFER Magazine as well as Powder, Bike, Snowboarder, and several other titles from The Enthusiast Network in February 2019. Prior to that transaction, The Enthusiast Network shuttered its other surf publications, Transworld Surf in 2013 and Surfing Magazine in 2017. American Media continues to... read more

“Pacifico Presents Downtown Open Live Oct 8th” via Transworld SKATEboarding

Pacifico Downtown Open Live Recap Video (updated 10/9/20) Pacifico Clara® Beer Presents the Downtown Open S.K.A.T.E. ChampionshipA VIRTUAL HANDRAIL & STAIR SET S.K.A.T.E. COMPETITION BROADCASTED LIVE FROM CHICAGO Pacifico’s Downtown Open competition series is hosting its first ever handrail and stair set S.K.A.T.E. competition on Thursday, October 8 from 5pm – 7pm (CST) / 3pm-5pm (PST) here at skateboarding.com and our YouTube. The virtual event will be curated by Pacifico and TransWorld Skateboarding. Chicago, IL – October 8th, 2020 –Pacifico is inviting six top professional skateboarders; Chaz Ortiz, Ishod Wair, Jamie Foy, Felipe Gustavo, Manny Santiago, and TJ Rogers to Chicago to compete in the one-of-a-kind Downtown Open S.K.A.T.E championship. This isn’t your typical flatground game of S.K.A.T.E, these guys will be battling it out in a game of S.K.A.T.E exclusively on a handrail and set of stairs. Pacifico will transform a Chicago warehouse to host and stream the event.The competition will be broadcast live via the Transworld Skateboarding Website, Youtube, Facebook, and Downtown Open Twitch. Skate fans will receive an inside look at the competition through on-site hosts Chris Pastras, Chris Cote, and Jack Mitrani. Viewers can interact virtually with the hosts during the competition and ask questions in real-time while DJ Alissa Jo provides the tunes. One winner will be crowned victorious, walking away with the first ever Pacifico S.K.A.T.E. trophy. Following the event, Pacifico will host a social media poll allowing viewers to cast their vote to bring The Downtown Open to their city the following year. A post-event sweepstakes will also offer the audience a chance to attend next year’s event with a VIP package. Tune in for this first-of-its-kind event! Thanks to Transworld Skateboarding for... read more

“Trestles Has Been Saved (For Good, This Time) – AB 1426 PERMANENTLY PROTECTS SAN O STATE BEACH FROM ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS” by Owen James Burke via Surfer Magazine

A near two-decades-long battle to permanently protect San Onofre State Beach from road development came to an end on Friday night when California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1426, prohibiting the development of any roadway(s) that might impact or encroach upon the state beach. Behind this bill are countless efforts by the Surfrider Foundation and the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC), including everything from packing the house at public hearings, organizing paddle-outs and other surf events, and lobbying legislators. “We’re thrilled that Governor Newsom and the Legislature agree that protecting Trestles and San Onofre State Beach from damaging road projects is a clear state priority,” Surfrider Foundation’s Coastal Preservation Manager Stefanie Sekich-Quinn said in a press statement. Apart from harboring some of Southern California’s most hallowed surfing grounds, San Onofre State Beach, established by then-Governor Ronald Raegan in 1971, is home to San Matteo Creek watershed, the last remaining ‘undeveloped’ one in Southern California. As such, it’s among the last vestigial habitats for 11 endangered and threatened species. It also happens to be the site of over 2 million annual human visitors (and over 6 million dollars in state revenue), and roads, of course, are required to get the majority of us there. But in 2005, after plans were rolled out for a six-lane toll road off Interstate 5 that would have cut right through the state park (and also through a sacred site of the Acjachemen people), The SSOC, of which Surfrider Foundation is a part (along with Audubon California, The Sierra Club, and 9 other environmental organizations), quickly banded together. Over 1,000 activists showed up to a Parks and Recreation... read more

“Rest In Peace Keith Hufnagel – Words and photos from the skate world remembering our icon” via Transworld Skateboarding

Keith was the embodiment of raw East Coast power. His pop, style, and speed influenced the 90s generation and beyond. His skate career had no end in sight. He was a global icon. As a veteran on Real and with his own brand HUF, he mentored some of the greatest skaters of our time. Keith, you will be a part of skateboarding forever. Thank you. Rest in peace.—TWS Here’s an official statement from Huf WorldWide via Instagram:“We are absolutely heartbroken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away. Keith battled brain cancer for the past 2.5 years. And though he beat the odds and fought back much longer than his diagnosis permitted, he ultimately and unfortunately lost the fight. Keith was not only the ‘HUF’nagel in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought together a community of people like no one else could. Keith paved the way for all of us – as a respected professional skateboarder, shop owner, brand founder, footwear and apparel designer, creative director, and industry leader. He showed us how to do it, and how do it right. Keith loved skateboarding and the culture around it. He did things his way and did them for the right reasons. He inspired so many of us across the globe. But above anything else, Keith loved and supported the people around him. He would do anything for his friends, family and children. He passionately wanted to see others succeed. And we all loved him for it. Keith’s legacy will continue to live on at HUF. Today, tomorrow and forever. Rest in... read more

“The Untapped Opportunity That COVID-19 Created for Store Associates” by Oscar Sachs via Total Retail

The retail landscape looks completely different today compared to the beginning of 2020. COVID-19 has caused stores to shut down and employees to be furloughed. Retailers were already challenged before the pandemic began, and now many consumers are wary of returning to stores. Furthermore, social distancing regulations limit the number of people allowed in a store at the same time. This results in less opportunities for consumers to interact with brand and store associates. However, sharp declines in store traffic have also presented new opportunities for store associates. Technology is helping them bridge the online-offline service gap in a whole new way with clienteling. While there may be less customers than usual in stores, there are more customers shopping online than ever before. Associates working in-store or remotely are now providing online shoppers with personalized services and experiences, similar to what we would expect from shopping in a store. Virtual Associates Are Meeting Customers Online as They Browse Customers shopping online are looking to be served in a personalized way while they browse. In fact, Salesfloor’s data shows a 3x increase in customer engagement online since the beginning of the pandemic, and retailers are seeing up to a 700 percent lift in sales attributed to clienteling. Retailers that are using clienteling solutions leverage their associates as virtual product experts or stylists that can assist customers on their site, offer fit and style recommendations, and answer specific questions. This makes the online shopping experience feel less about just making an e-commerce purchase, and more like the in-store experience where they’re browsing and shopping. Giving consumers the ability to initiate digital conversations with an associate from a... read more

“Jeremy Jones Talks About ‘Purple Mountains’ and Finding Political Common Ground on Climate Change” by Will Sileo of The Inertia

According to the film’s description, Purple Mountains is, “One man’s journey to find common ground in the mountains — one voter at a time.” That one man is snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones. Jones is one of the greatest freeriders of all time, helping to pioneer professional big mountain snowboarding (especially human-powered big mountain snowboarding). More recently, he’s also made a name for himself as a climate activist. In 2007 Jeremy founded Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit dedicated to activating the outdoor sports community in the fight against climate change, and in 2010 he swore off using helicopters and snowcats, making a personal commitment to earning his turns. Named for the need to influence key swing states in the upcoming election (and perhaps an ode to the line from the song America the Beautiful), the film follows Jeremy on a journey to understand why the U.S. is so divided on climate change and how we can find common ground through the American love of the outdoors. In doing so he hopes to energize the ‘Outdoor State’ – the 50 million people in the U.S. who identify with the mountains, the rivers, and the sea. The film is a must watch for any American, especially those who fit the ‘Outdoors State’ description. As he was driving home after a surf trip to Santa Barbara, I grilled him about the film: What are your hopes for the movie? What do you want it to inspire in people or bring about as a result? It would be kinda naïve to think some far right climate denier will change their ways, but I’m hoping that someone... read more

“What Does the Reaction to Tyler Wright’s Stand Say About Surfers? SURF CULTURE, RACIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL MEDIA’S POISON PILL” by Todd Prodanovich via Surfer Mag

Photo Credit: Ryan MillerTyler Wright, standing up for Black lives on her way to victory at the Tweed Coast Pro. On Sunday morning during the WSL’s Tweed Coast Pro pandemic-era specialty event, two-time world champion Tyler Wright made the biggest news (see: only news) of the otherwise lackluster surf comp when she kneeled next to her board painted with “Black Lives Matter” for 439 seconds, each second representing one of the First Nations people who have died in police custody in Australia since 1991. It was always going to be impactful, as Wright was the first World Tour surfer to use their platform to publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement, but I never would have guessed that it would also be so controversial. After all, Wright may be the first World Tour surfer to take this stand, but she’s far from the first pro athlete. Players in the WNBA, the NBA, the MLB and the NFL have been publicly supporting the movement for months, recently culminating in a historic, multi-league strike in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police. Just last week, a Washington Post poll of Americans showed that 62 percent of participants believed that athletes “should use their platforms to express their views on national issues.” And that poll was taken from a random national sample—coastal surf fans would skew even more progressive than that, right? Apparently not. Or at least that’s not what the reaction by surfers would suggest. At the time of this writing, the comments on the WSL’s post of Wright kneeling total nearly 5,000 – perhaps the most ever for a non-shark-attack-related post on the... read more

“Do you know what your missing?” by Dan Pankratz of Exchange Collective

When only 23% of US retailers use people counting devices to measure traffic, how do you know what you are missing?  Reports from Footfall and ShopVisible state that only an average of 20% of your stores traffic will make a purchase, meaning 80% of your traffic is walking out the front door. Yet about 55% of the people walking out of your store were there to make a purchase. So for every 10 people that come in to your store, you are only making 2 sales, and 4 potential sales are walking out the door.   What are you doing to find out what the 4 people wanted? Are you letting customers leave to buy somewhere else? Will those 4 potential customers ever come back? Empowering your sales staff in this day and age is more important than ever. The consumer now has more information about the products they want to buy than any other time in retail history. This drives the need for your sales staff to be equipped with the right set of skills and tools to be able to give customers the best service possible. If a customer walks into your store you have a chance to make them a customer for life or let them fall in to the abyss of online shopping. It may seem simple to say good customer service is what your sales staff needs, but what does that really mean. Originally this would be a good greeting of each customer, an open ended question to break the ice, and then finding out why they came into the store and help them... read more

“SES to Interview Industry Leaders During Surf Expo Connect” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Clockwise from top left: Paul Naude, CEO of Stokehouse and owner of Vissla, Amuse Society and Sisstrevolution; Linsey and Karly Cottrell, who own Island Water Sports with their brother, Cheyne; Pura Vida Founders Paul Goodman and Griffin Thall; and Patrik Schmidle of ActionWatch. By Tiffany Montgomery | Published Sep 15, 2020 We are excited to announce that we have lined up lots of big names for a series of video interviews we are doing for Surf Expo Connect, the virtual trade show that launches on Wednesday. Here’s the schedule and what I’ll be talking to industry leaders about. Interviews will be available on the Surf Expo Connect platform live and on-demand. Retailers can register to attend at no cost. Register here. Booming Sales for Boardsports and Water Business – Wednesday 7am PST/10 am EST When the pandemic first hit, everyone worried if independent industry retailers would survive. For many, business rebounded much more strongly than expected. We talk to eight retailers around the country about the unexpected boom in business and how they are feeling about the rest of the year. Retailers we talk to include Surfside Sports in Costa Mesa, Ron Jon in Florida, Hansen’s in Encinitas, WRV and 17th Street in Virginia Beach, Hi-Tech in Maui, Wanderlust Land & Sea in New Jersey and BuyWake.com in Georgia. Navigating the Pandemic: Opportunities and Concerns with Vissla CEO Paul Naude – Wednesday 12 pm PST/3 pm EST A conversation with Paul Naude about how his company has managed through the pandemic, where he sees openings for the industry and where he sees potential trouble ahead. Big Opportunity: Surging Hardgoods Sales and Participation Numbers... read more

“African Kids From São Tomé Build Their Own Skateboards By Hand A True Skateboard Story” | Interview With Photographer Greg Ewing by Jaime Owens via Transworld Skateboarding

Last week, an image of some barefooted kids riding on very primitive looking, makeshift skateboards went viral across the skate “social-verse”. It instantly put a smile on your face like, “Yes! This is amazing. And where is this from?” The picture captured the raw and pure innocence of these kids’ ingenuity for homemade skateboards, and the stoke on their faces was something that we all could relate to. Fortunately, we were able to touch base with South African photographer Greg Ewing about his amazing photo and get some background on this crew of skaters that live off the Western Coast of Africa. Hey Greg thanks for taking the time, can you give me a little background on you and your photography?I’m a bit of an old school South African based surf and travel photographer, been doing it for over 20 years. I grew up in Cape Town and then moved to Durban to work at our local surf magazine Zigzag where I was staff photographer for many years and then Photo Editor. These days I’ve gotten into printing and I own and run an online Ocean Art Gallery called Ocean Collective where I print and sell local surf photographers’ work. “These images are very personal to me and it’s special to see them getting new life and hopefully doing good.” The image that sparked off a sharing frenzy in the skate social media world is actually a few years old. Can you talk about how you got that image and story behind the trip?Most of my trips, if not all, were inspired by a story of waves or a picture I... read more

“MY DOORS ARE OPEN and I survived the summer…NOW WHAT??” by Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures

Now that summer is over, I’ve been chatting with specialty retailers across the nation on ways to boost profits, manage inventory & orders, keep customers coming through the doors and much more, as we head into 4th quarter. With uncertain consumer spending, retail closures, bankruptcies & job losses, and a consumer who wants an engaging retail experience along with quality, value and competitive pricing, the savvy specialty retailer will be looking ahead to see where all of these factors will lead 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.  Consider the following questions as you strategize and plan–“how have my customers changed over the past six months, and what can I learn from it?”, “what products might my customers be interested in that I am not currently stocking”, and “how can I improve their customer experience when they walk into my store”. Here are some areas that, I believe, require focus and commitment in the months ahead: 1)  Manage  orders & inventory levels to maximize sales of high margin items &  private label/shop-logo goods             Many shops this summer were selling record numbers of surfboards, skateboards, accessories and more, often causing shortages and lost sales.  Meanwhile, sales of high margin soft goods overall were down, compared to prior summers.    While such hard good sales boost monthly numbers quickly, their low margins are usually below the cost of doing business, thus jeopardizing true profitability.              NOW is the time to focus and prioritize on high profit, high margin items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, some accessories and certainly your shop-logo/private label items. Display and merchandise high margin items in the... read more