Business news :The state of skateshops !

In todays hyper-competitive world the way kids purchase skateboards has changed, as local skateshops are struggling to compete with mall stores and online retailers. The skateboard industry spawned out of garages in the '70s, but in the following decades its' infrastructure, marketing and media developed and exploded into big business as street skating blossomed in the '90's. Now, twenty years later, television networks and publicly traded corporations are in the game, and the skate retail marketplace is as cutthroat as Bain Capital.

Since 2009, the economy has taken its toll on businesses across the country, both large and small. Compounding the pressure on skate-retailers is the evolution of the online marketplace, which threatens the traditional "brick and mortar" shopping experience. How does this effect on the skate industry and its consumer? Skateboard companies are selling more product at a discounted rate to big-box stores while the local skateshops are catering to the hardcore skate-rat with more traditional products.

Tod Swank, owner of Tum Yeto Distribution (Toy Machine and Foundation Skateboards) and former professional skateboarder, takes his shopping choice to heart, "Personally I search out local businesses for most all my purchases of merchandise for myself any my family. Why? Because I like to support small business. I don't like "corpo" chains, but I do understand they are not going away. I like independent retailers because they are unique and fun. I think they are important, especially to the skateboard community and culture. They are the scene builders out there."

Skate shops, as part of their local scene, focus attention and wall space to support local and fledgling brands, contributing to the inclusive nature of the scene and helping to put brands on the map. Bob Denike, President of NHS (Santa Cruz, Creature, Independent Trucks) explains, "Generally, you can't always find the same product selection at the mall, compared to a broader selection at a mom-and-pop skateshop. Mom-and-pop shops can differentiate themselves from the mall through product selection, and a lot of them do it well."


Martin from Cowtown explains, "The online marketplace doesn't offer any kind of experience, passion or excitement. For the most part you are just buying something. You can't stand on the board, try on shoes, interact with a person, or even get it that day."......

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