There are only 48 days until Black Friday, then Small Buisness Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. After that, it’s a holiday shopping frenzy til Christmas or any other holiday you celebrate (Chanukah for me). Brands will be undercutting their retail “partners” and online majors will be on day 60 of a 30 day sale. Let’s not forget the pandemic that has helped train people to shop online. So how does an independent surf shop prepare and compete?
There is one thing in your store that you can guarantee people wont find anywhere else and thats your shop’s product. Make limited edition shop Tees, Hats, Hoodies, Coffee Mugs, Candles, etc. People want to support local, so give them something that is truly local. Personally we think you should ramp up on shop products all year long but why not do limited drops throughout the year? Harbour Surfboards in Seal Beach, CA makes limited shop shirts based on holidays and I’ve never see any of them on the racks after the holiday passes. Remember, Your Shop is a Brand and it needs to be the number one brand in your shop.
Partner with the Exchange Collective. If your not familiar with the Exchange Collective, they are brining Click and Order to Brick and Mortar. 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 you online is more important than ever. With Exchange Collective, you now have the ability to offer your customers exactly what they want, even if you did not stock the particular item they are looking for. This allows you to capture sales even when inventory is missing from your shelves. With Exchange Collective, you can give customers an “endless aisle” experience and the ability to support your business. Exchange Collective can also build a online store for you. Learn more at https://exchangecollective.com
Enough about what we think…. Let’s here from some shops. We sent out a few of questions to surf shops regarding Black Friday and below is what came back.
BTR: How are you preparing for Black Friday and Holiday Shopping?
Surf Ride: Just trying to get as much product as possible from anyone that has anything!
Asylum Surf Shop: Black Friday? Jeez its that time of the year again, hopefully closing out the year strong, We will probably just do discounts on apparel since hardgoods for both surf and skate are on fire!
Pit Surf Shop: We are trying to ensure that our store is fully stocked, which is proving difficult considering the times we are in.
Bula Surf Shop: We don’t have American thanksgiving down here in Aruba, but Black Friday is still pretty busy. We will be business as usual. For the holidays we are still trying to figure out how to balance crowds with social distancing, and factoring in the drop in tourism.
Surf Connection: Exploring several possibilities but the most likely will be a small sale or promotional giveaway of some sort. Black Friday probably won’t be affected as much as Small Business Saturday which has been our main focus the last several years. It is our true ‘Black Friday.’ Doing some mental gymnastics on how that might look this year.
BTR: Do you have an online store? Are you doing anything special to compete with online majors?
Surf Connection: Yes, it is very small so no, not doing anything to compete with the online majors.
Bula Surf Shop: No online store.
Pit Surf Shop: We do not have an online store at the moment, but we are hoping to have ours up and running for the holidays following black Friday.
Asylum Surf Shop: We do not, as a small business we can’t compete online, nothing really planned at the moment.
Surf Ride: No, no online shop. Hopefully have an Exchange Collective site live in the next few weeks.
BTR: We talk a lot about thinking of your shop as a brand? Are you making any limited edition shop products for the holidays?
Surf Ride: Yeah, we will have all sorts of stuff this year.. It’s the only product we can get these days!
Asylum Surf Shop: Always! Our goal is to have our Shop label our number one brand in the store! We some shop label apparel in the works!
Surf Connection: We do some different gift items, locally made candles and have a new Christmas ornament each year so those plans are continuing. We have our logo on several different apparel items and we have been broadening this category with more emphasis.
Bula Surf Shop: We do a lot of small runs of unique shop merch at all times of the year. We won’t be doing anything specific to the holidays.
Pit Surf Shop: We are toying with the idea of a few different limited edition products, however due to supply chains it may prove more difficult than normal