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It is with great fondness in our hearts, and enthusiasm for what the future holds, that the Board Retailers Association (BRA) announces a change in the action sport industry tradeshow landscape on the West Coast. Since 1981, the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo (ASR) has been the centralized location for the surf and skate manufacturing and retail community. Nielson Media, the parent company of ASR, announced yesterday that Action Sports Retailer has ceased operations and will be cancelling all upcoming tradeshows including January 2011.
“The cancellation of ASR is certainly bittersweet for me,” said BRA Co-Chair and Co-Owner of Surfside Sports, Duke Edukas. “On one hand, an iconic tradeshow that has helped retailers like myself build their shop over the years is gone, and on the other hand, our industry has the opportunity to design an event format that meets the needs of our modern day business models.”
As an industry partner with ASR, BRA has been heavily involved in this decision, and has worked closely with ASR over the years, as well as SIMA and IASC, to meet the demands of a changing industry. This includes mass shifts in manufacturing production schedules, technological and product developments, an increased need for retail-focused educational programs, and the addition of Class@ASR, Crossroads and Sacred Craft. As the action sports industry continued to grow, evolve and become a multi-billion dollar business with global recognition, the 29 year-old ASR Tradeshow format no longer met the needs of our diversifying industry.
Despite necessary modifications, BRA recognizes first and foremost that it is essential to have an event on the West Coast where manufacturers and retailers can continue to come together to conduct business and we are committed to developing a model that meets the needs of retailers and manufacturers alike.
It is in that vein, that BRA is working with SIMA and IASC to continue the research we’ve been conducting for the past 18 months to re-invent the West Coast tradeshow format into a structure that accounts for the various needs of the action sports industry. We all recognize the importance and significance in having an event that serves as a place for buyers and vendors to meet face-to-face, for up-and-coming brands to grow and develop, for retailers to have a platform for educational initiatives and most importantly, a place for manufacturers to present their new products and accompanying marketing campaigns. BRA will continue to keep the action sports industry up to date as these initiatives materialize.
“As we move forward as an industry and embrace the changes that accompany the shift in the West Coast tradeshow landscape, I can’t help but look back on the close relationship between BRA and ASR,” said Mike Duncan, BRA President. “Without the support of ASR over the years, the association wouldn’t be where it is today. We are forever indebted to our friends at ASR for their long-term support of the specialty retail community, and the founding of BRA as a viable industry association, in particular.”
In addition to focusing on the development of a new West Coast tradeshow model, BRA will continue to serve the needs of our specialty retail membership. The association is the strongest it has ever been in its 10 years of existence, both financially and in terms of membership support. We remain committed to bringing retailers educational programs, industry research, discounts and benefits. Above all, we will continue to represent the interests of specialty retailers as we work with our industry partners and other associations to create an opportunity on the West Coast where we can continue to come together in a business focused environment.
The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is a non-profit trade association representing almost 3,000 action sport storefronts across the country. The association serves as the preeminent voice, for independent retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, trade show representatives, and other associations. BRA also works to provide educational resources and exclusive discounts and savings from vendors on the day-to-day costs of business. For a complete explanation and description of Retail Member benefits, visit www.boardretailers.org