"This phase of longboarding needs dealers with real vision and entrepreneurial skills." – Krijn Moens, Surf2Go
Reggie Barnes, Eastern Skateboard Supply – USA
Hebert: I redesigned my website a bit to include a large amount of details to give the dealers more information, allowing them to make educated buying decisions in a part of the industry where trends are changing on a dime. We have more upgrades in the pipeline to further their buying experience in a positive way. This also gives our established sales crew a deeper understanding of what they are selling. And we’ve always supported our retailers when it comes to contests and events. Macdonald: We have separate longboard reps, promotions and marketing.
If even a small percentage of all bicyclers starts longboarding, we have still a long way to go. And last but not least important, boys will be boys. We are all looking for something that appeals to our youth and makes us feel young again. I certainly am.
What are some things you’ve Q: done to help support your network of dealers as it relates to longboarding? Barnes: We offer our dealers the top-selling brands in longboarding. We work hard to keep up with new products as they come available and update our site daily with those products. We also educate our dealers about the potential sales growth in adding longboards to their mix if they haven’t already done so.
Steve Greenidge, S&J Sales – Canada
that understood the strength of social media. In my belief anyone between 6 and 60 who can walk or ride a bike is a potential longboarder. That is quite a big demographic group. It is a sport, but also a means of transportation. Being a Dutchman, I am quite familiar with bicycling.
Greenidge: Our focus as we present all of our brands across the categories we serve is authenticity. It is vital that our brands are represented by people who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. With longboarding specifically, we brought Matt Livingston on board to help us get the message of our LB brands out to the retailers. Matt is a great resource for our dealers, sales reps and end user customers. As for promotion and marketing, LB has its own ways of doing things, and we have adapted to suit. We sponsor the larger international events like Danger Bay, Giant’s Head, Maryhill, etc. This differs from street skate, in which we direct more resources to print, team and regional events.
Auden: Introducing our Shopatron platform is probably the biggest thing. It takes orders from our websites and farms them out to local dealers to fulfill. We’re the first to do this internationally. The idea is to complement all the other POS stuff we’re already doing by adding value to the brands for our bricks-and-mortar stockists – who are usually the retailers giving the most back to their local scenes. Moens: First, we have tried to bring many of the well-known, high-end U.S. brands to Europe and make them available to the European consumer. We also help young brands or small manufacturers with their brand. We believe the European market needs that kind of choice of product. It is also one of my weak spots, having done business consultancy for many years. I really like helping companies to grow. Moreover, we have aimed to make dealers more aware. This phase of longboarding [requires] dealers with real vision and entrepreneurial skills. These type of dealers have done really well. We try to help the high-conviction dealer with their growth. Longboarding has many different disciplines of skating, and therefore it offers so many options. Sometimes we support dealers by giving them a longboard clinic after work hours to educate the staff. We also try to support events or to be present ourselves as much as we can.
Are you concerned about Q: the immense amount of longboard companies out there? Barnes: The fact that there are so many longboard companies out there is a testament to how popular longboarding has become. I’m not that concerned about it. I think that it will shake out over time and the stronger brands will survive. WINTER 2011 | AXS LONGBOARD RETAILER
for those who wish to learn about the business of selling and marketing longboards