Michael Furukawa / VP of Marketing
What are the biggest trends shaping skate hardgoods this year as far as materials, graphics, distribution, production, and other business model type stuff?
For Mini Logo, it continues to be quality and value. Skaters and skate shops have come to recognize that Mini Logo is a branded deck, built by a tried and true manufacturer, that they have trusted over and over for their skateboard needs.
What deck sizes, prices, and models have been doing the best this year?
Larger decks are leading Mini Logo deck sales, as well as our new Mini Logo Red Dot line of decks.
How are sales of new technologies doing for you? What's been working the best and why?
In the Mini Logo line we continue to produce US made Mini Logo maple decks in our factory in Santa Barbara, CA. We also offer Mini Logo Red Dot decks made in the same way as in our factory in Santa Barbara, CA from Chinese birch, in a factory in China, for price conscious customers.
How have sales been compared to last year? What do you attribute this to?
Mini Logo deck sales continue to do well in this tough economic climate. We feel skaters want something they can trust from a manufacturer that they know.
Do you include MSRP's on your hardgoods? Why or why not?
We do not include MSRP's on our hardgoods. We don't think we should dictate to dealers how to do their business.
How are you working with core retailers to help ensure strong margins?
Our reps are in constant communication with our accounts. We are always listening to their needs, and strive to provide the best customer service to help them meet their goals.
Are prices staying steady this year?
Yes. At this time we have been able to hold our costs this year working with all our partners to weather this time in our economy.
What advice do you have for core retailers trying to increase their hardgoods sales?
Always provide tried and true product, from manufacturers you trust. Don't sell a skater something that will disappoint them just to make a few bucks. That type of service will always bite you in the butt.
Where are you producing your hardgoods these days?
Our US Mini Logo decks are made in our factory in Santa Barbara, CA, 30 South La Patera Lane. If there are any dealers that would like to stop by, please contact your rep to set up a tour. Our Mini Logo wheels are also made here.
Our Mini Logo Red Dot decks are made in a partner factory in China. They come with all the years of our deck manufacturing experience, as well as our warranty. We have duplicated our processes in Santa Barbara, CA there, and produce a high quality value priced Chinese birch deck to provide an option to dealers that need a low cost alternative to inexpensive poorly manufactured decks they are being offered.
What are your predictions for sales for the remainder of 2010?
We are anticipating slight growth as the economy sorts itself out. Skaters and shops are putting their trust in products that have always been there for them; product that doesn't disappoint and provides great value. Mini Logo has always been that brand.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities you see on the horizon?
One of the biggest challenges (are) sales of poorly made product. Bad product hurts everyone. Buy from manufacturers you can trust.
An opportunity we see with Mini Logo is to find a material that we can provide in our decks to add more value to the skater and shop. Much like Powell Skateboards has done with its LIGAMENT™ technology.