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INSIGHTS is an online industry round table. We send questions to board shops around the globe and post their answers. Hopefully the Surf/Skate/Snow industry will benefit and grow from these insights.

QUESTION: What are you doing to evolve with today’s retail landscape?

Pit Surf Shop (FL) “Carrying quality goods that are more centered around the surf world”.

Exchange Collective (Platform) “Creating tools for bands and retailers to sell more through authentic retail marketplace channels. ie. the surf shop, skate shop…you get the picture”.

Ohana Surf Shop (FL)  “Social media”.

Sunrise Surf Shop (Jax, FL) “Focusing on what makes us different, the experience of coming into the store and having a positive, fun interaction with knowledgeable staff that live this lifestyle daily. You will never get that online through a chat que”.

Surf Connection (CA) “Focusing on customer service, the overall experience in the store and trying to keep up with technology”. 🙂

Aussie Island (NC)  “Technology is playing a big part of developing a place for a social, financial, and physical market”.

Sweet Water Surf Shop (NC) “Creative ideas to draw customer into the store”.

Fluid Surf Shop (FL) “Going back to the basics”.

Heritage Surf Shop (NJ) “Focusing on experience driven retail, private label expansion and community activations”.

Nova Fun Surf Shop (France) – “We are trying to work with “small” brands, not major. Listening to the customer needs is very important. Advising is our priority. We want to sell the right item to the right person, and not just sell anything at any price! That’s why we come to California each February to find some new brands and products to bring back home”.

Victor Tilley (Former owner of Red Herring Surf – Tasmania, AU) – “What I see good retailers doing is training their staff – they have always been crucial to the success of any bricks and mortar business but are now even more so. Customers are researching online more than ever so by the time they step into your store they are fully equipped and ready to buy – as long as the experience is a good one!”

Drift House (FL) – We always try to stay on the cutting edge, and right now that edge is defined by direct connection to community and end buyers via real relationships + a strong online presence. Drift House is committed to providing a solid experience in our flagship store, as well as via our social media accounts with Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Probably one of the most important aspects for long term growth for us is having a dialed online sales platform via our own website – We continue to provide a personal experience with online sales as well, via chat apps on our website and handwritten notes in every shipment that goes out. Understanding SEO, being at the forefront of trends, and having the old school mentality of being community and relationship oriented has been a huge contributor to our success.

Asylum Surf Shop (CA) – Creating experiences that brings the customers back in the store.

Surf Ride (CA) – Providing what the customer is looking for and trying to stay competitive with price.

Landmark Surf Co (CA) – Not enough. It is challenging for a single independent retail store to be innovative. A single store has to be ahead of the curve in service and product assortment, and technology and more than just selling products. or you have to be located in a very high profile/established location and can afford the rent. 🙂

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