We had a quick chat with Patrik Schmidle from ActionWatch where he shared key takeaways from a recent survey with retailers across the country.
Business was good for board sports retailers in 2019 and that momentum carried over to the first 2.5 months of 2020. But then the pandemic came and the industry was hit with store closures, concerns whether they would receive emergency funding, and how long could they survive.
Fast forward to July and the trends show a strong recovery with hardgoods leading the way, consumers are excited to get outside and many retailers have at least 4 months of cash on hand to ride out the pandemic. Many are cautiously optimistic but are also taking safety measures to ensure survival.
Highlights from this recent survey include:
- A large majority reported June 2020 was up vs June 2019 – half reported 26% or higher growth
- 4th of July holiday weekend sales strong, prompting optimism through the end of July
- #1 action brands should take: Have ‘open to buy’ inventory, #2 is to maintain pricing integrity
- 3 Biggest concerns are that they have to close doors again, that they don’t have enough inventory and that the consumer stimulus ends
- Top 3 safety measures are more vigilant sanitation, masks for employees and masks for customers
- 70% increased hardgoods inventory, 35% decreased apparel inventory
- 2/3 are either at pre-COVID staffing levels or above
- More than half have 4 months or more of cash on hand, confident they will survive
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details behind this survey and to learn more about the Project United program for Core Retailers through Action Watch.
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By the way, BRA Distinguished Retail Members can gain access to recent and historical Core Surf and Skate Shop sales reports by category as well as Action Watch Core Retailer survey results.
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