Surf Industry Summit Presented by Surf Retailers Federation

More than 100 surf retailers and industry executives attend the second Surf Retailers Federation Industry Summit at the Novotel St Kilda, Melbourne.

“We were pumped with what we had planned for the day and our intent was to blow the doors off the last summit which I’m stoked to say we achieved” enthused Anthony Wilson, founding President of the Surf Retailers Federation.  “To have over 100 at our seconf summit is fantastic and a credit to our industry!”

 The Summit featured keynote presentations by Ken Tickle, Retail Management Accountant, and Tom Piotrowski, from Commsec.  “Ken showed us how to buy better and make inventory more profitable with a buying and merchandising plan and Tom made finance fun with a super informative, yet entertaining, presentation of the current financial climate and the opportunities it currently presents.” explained Wilson.

In a first for the surf industry was the release of retail Benchmark survey results.  The survey gives industry specific data to participants with which to come themselves against.  Also released at the summit was a consumer behavior survey which gave valuable insights into habits, preferences and thoughts of consumers Australia wide.  “Key take outs of the consumer survey were shopping patterns, both online and in store, along with favorite brands and products, this in turn highlighted opportunities for improvement in a number of areas” noted Wilson. 

Mid afternoon saw us delve into the black art of merchandising with Nicky Shafter from Billabong who gave retailers loads of valuable hints on how to simply re-merchandise store zones to highlight product and increase buying opportunities from the customer.  This was followed by Damien Cheney from Melbourne based company Web Intent who hit everyone with practical tips and strategies for improving their web capability and improving their online presence.  “These were great sessions with bucket loads of hands on strategies you could take home and work on tomorrow.  Damien had many in the crowd improving their Goggle places and Yelp listings from their phones in the break.  It was a great opportunity for everyone to get some real world things to work on for surf retail.” said Wilson.

The day finished with a panel discussion of both wholesale and Retail representatives. Panellists from wholesale Brands were Shannan North (General Manager, Billabong Australasia), Michael Neil (General Manager, O'Niell Asia Pacific, Mark Hudson (National Sales, Dragon Sunglasses) and retail panellists; Victor Tilley (Red Herring, Tas), Tony Bainbridge (Kaos Surf, NSW), Geoff Counsel (Surf Boardroom, WA). The panel explored the three biggest challenges and opportunities for the industry and this sparked some spirited and well thought out comments and insights. The crowd revelled in the level of information flowing forth and this was surely a highlight session!

About Surf Retailers Federation Inc;
The Surf Retailers Federation Inc (SRF) is a non profit organization, founded by, and run by Surf Retailers.  The association serves as the preeminent voice for surf retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, suppliers, and other associations.

The Surf Retailers Federation works to improve the overall vibrancy and business opportunities for the surf industry and its members. Central to this are its two annual flagship events;
– the SRF Industry Awards and
– the Surf Industry Summit