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: Are you focusing on your shops private label business? Do you see this as an area with potential for growth?

Gordon’s Surf Shop (NJ) – I’ve found that my private label is the most profitable category for my business and I’ve expanded my offering year after year. I rarely have to put it on sale like normal seasonal brands.

Asylum Surf Shop (CA) – Yes! Our private label has grown a lot in the last couple of years and is now one of our top sellers in the store, we are now doing what the big brands are doing, but with a way better cost and margins. We now offer our own apparel and some hardgoods as well! We also partner up with local screen printers, embroiderers, shapers within our community, so we know who’s making our private label.

The Pit Surf Shop (FL) – Yes, in my opinion, I believe that is the best way to compete with the growing online market place. It seems to be less of going a business and more growing a brand.

Ohana Surf Shop (FL) – Yes and yes.

Sunrise Surf Shop (FL) – Yes we are. It has been going extremely well for us the last couple years so we are focused heavily on it. The obvious benefit to growing that business and nurturing it constantly is we are the ONLY place you can buy Sunrise gear. Hopefully it will continue to grow and evolve naturally and organically like it has, we are not forcing anything but there is still plenty of potential for growth and we are taking advantage of it.

Surf Connection (CA) – Yes, we have invested more in inventory and are continuing to grow this aspect of our business. The community has been extremely receptive to this.

Aussie Island (CA) – Yes. Amazon does not carry it.

Sweetwater Surf Shop (FL) – Yes, private label is always a main focus for us and lots of potential to grow.

Fluid Surf Shop (FL) – Yes, more private label and less sold out brands.

Heritage Surf Shop (NJ) – Yes!!!! Yes!!!!! Yeeeeeeeeessssssss!!!!!!!!!

Victor Tilley (Former Owner of Red Hearing Surf. Tasmania, AU) – All stores should be looking to grow their own brand. Absolutely crucial to their success. It is not so much cannibalising sales from other brands as building customer loyalty and driving return sales. If you aren’t doing stubby holders/ caps/ tees/ drink bottles etc what are you doing? It is easy to get these things up and running, often in quite small numbers and the buzz out of seeing these products out there in the market place is massive. Heaps of marketing potential with this also – IE: send in your shot of you in your branded product to win type stuff.

Nova Fun Surf Shop (France) – No we don’t.

Drift House Surf Shop (FL) – YES! Every retailer should explore branded merchandise with their name on it, or create in-house brands to offer for sale. This is a huge margin builder, if sourced correctly, as well as offers fans something they can take home that shows their support of the shop and its team. This is absolutely an outlet that provides both growth, marketing, and brand loyalty for brick and mortar retailers.

Surf Ride (CA) – Yep! We have grown it 100% last year and are looking for the same amount of growth this year!

Landmark Surf CO (CA) – Yes and yes!

The Exchange Collective (CA) – They all should.

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