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
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."......
Continue reading ....