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Interesting nuggets from BRA Summit

Steve Carlson of Central Coast
Steve Carlson of Central Coast Surfboards in San Luis Obispo, left, with Mikke Pierson of ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica.
By Tiffany Montgomery
May 05, 2008 7:55 AM

Here are the highlights from various presentations I attended at the Board Retailers Association Summit in Puerto Rico.

Six things to focus on when business is slow


Dave Seehafer of Global Wave Ventures recommends retailers focus on these points.


Specialty service: What the big chains don't have - product selection, knowledge, insight and experience.


Build customer loyalty


Store personnel/training: Hire the best, pay them well, give incentives, delegate


Inventory management: Polish open to buy plans, examine where you are making money, what's selling and what isn't.


Private label: This can help your margins and brand your store.


Online: Don't treat it like a stepchild. It needs to be a separate focus.


Emphasize data collection


Tom Holbrook, executive vice president, strategic brand development at Quiksilver, gave this advice:


Analyze data: Examine selling and margin information on a weekly basis. The brands have learned about the power of this information from watching how the big national retail chains operate. Many independent stores don't create similar reports enough.


Quarterly report
s: Create a quarterly report card that compares how brands are performing in relation to each other and the performance of sales reps. Share that information with brand sales managers.


Snow industry


Nuggets from Snowsports Industries America presentation by Ed Wray.

 

  • In the last 24 months, 247 snow specialty stores have closed.

 

  • Snow sales online are up 40 percent, while sales at retail stores are down 10 percent.

 

  • Inventory levels at specialty stores are down, and preorders for next year are flat, which speaks to the cautious mindset of retailers.
  • 60,000 new and used snowboards were sold on eBay this year.

 

  • Interesting trends in 2008: Juniors hardgoods sales rose 17 percent and softgoods rose 5 percent. Women's hardgoods rose 7 percent and softgoods rose 16 percent. Insulated apparel sales rose 22 percent.

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