THE STATE OF SURF 2016 | Positioning your shop for success

THE STATE OF SURF 2016 | Positioning your shop for success

Surf shops face some of the biggest challenges when it comes to reinventing themselves in this new retail landscape. Not only do they need to keep up with product innovation and differentiate from local competition and global "mega" stores like Amazon, but they also still need to serve as that community outlet delivering the surf culture and lifestyle.

Kevin Morris of Heritage Surf & Sport in New Jersey perhaps said it best when he called for surf shops to return to being the "clubhouses" of the surf community. But how do you balance that with driving sales and creating desire around new products?

Shops in our space are learning to overcome challenges and becoming more savvy in the online sales space (63% sell online), which shows a willingness to evolve. Almost all of them, however, still place stock in having physical locations. About three fourths of the retailers we surveyed have a prominent brick and mortar door (or multiple doors) one mile or less from the beach.

surf retail

Location is everything when determining value. That saying rings true with surfers, too.

The shops that still have their doors open today (big shout out to Jack's Surf, Huntington Surf & Sport, Farias Surf & Sport, and Surf Ride for getting called out by brands as stand-out shops) are clearly morphing their strategy to reflect that perfect balance, while remaining rooted at the beach.

For more specific sales data, stand-out brands, and retailers' top-ranked concerns going into next year, check out the full STATE OF SURF 2016 report.