Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee Beach May 26th, 2016

As you’re probably aware, an SBIA Roundtable was held at the Coogee Bay Hotel on May 26 as a prelude to the SBIA Awards. We had a good mix of brand reps and retailers in the mix, which was great given the wide-ranging and relevant topics discussed.

The day was broken into two sessions, before and after lunch. The first session started with a quick update from board member Damian Campbell, reiterating the mission of the SBIA:

To support the Surf and Boardsports Industry’s continued growth through our four pillars:

  • Elevate, up-skill and educate via industry specific news and articles shared through our newsletters and website.
  • Inform and nurture through our research, meetings and roundtables.
  • Celebrate and create opportunity for Australia’s best Surf & Boardsports brands, products and retailers through our annual Surf Industry Awards.
  • Strengthen the links between participants, athletes, governing bodies, brands and retailers.

This set the tone for a day of positive discussion, which kicked off with an outline of the latest consumer survey.


Board members Andy Ireland and Mark Hudson gave a brief rundown on the key points of the survey, focussing on comparing the key trends and changes from the 2014/2015 customer survey. The key takeaways in the survey are

  • Annual changes (respondents)
  • Store Visitation Drivers
  • Social Media Use (platforms, usage, behaviours)
  • Perceptions of the ‘value’ of surf shops
  • Store factors
  •  Activities other than surfing
  •  Online shopping (frequency and sites)


This year’s survey had 13,214 respondents, up from 4738 last year, a big increase of 63%. Of these 36% were Female, 64% Male .

  • 70% of the respondents came to the store once a month – which demonstrates the importance of fresh displays and product and visual merchandising.
  • Facebook is the most popular social medium used, with 80% of respondents using it daily. Instagram was the second most popular medium with 50% of respondents using it daily. Snapchat was third, but it is the first time it has been used in the survey.  The major reason females used social media was to follow latest trends and follow “health/lifestyle, retail, brands”. Males – mostly follow “sports people/teams, music & brands”
  • Perceived value of surf shops. There was a shift from the previous year’s survey with a 14% increase in respondents thinking surf shops are “A bit expensive”, compared with 9% decrease in those thinking surf shops are “Average” priced.  There was also a 3% reduction in those that think surf shops are “Very expensive”.
  • The top three important factors that contribute to a good store were product range, Sales and Discounts and Customer Service.  Since the 2014/2015survey  “range of products” was up 24%, “variety of brands” was up 20% and “sales and discounts” were up 30%.

The full survey makes for interesting reading and it will be sent to all SBIA members.


This discussion was a follow up from the March Roundtable when the introduction of digital catalogue only was first raised.

  • The motivation is as digital tools become increasingly more sophisticated, is it worth considering how we move in a direction that can:
  •  Equip all retailers with the ability to better manage inventory and in turn drive more profitable sales.
  • Increase professionalism of account management through a streamlined order entry and confirmation process, enabling brands to more accurately forecast and produce product.
  • Modernise product GTM by utilising video content, athlete testimonials, detailed features and benefits content that can be consumer facing in season to drive sell through.
  • Save an estimated $5m spent generating catalogues and redirected back into marketing or other consumer-focused initiatives.

A survey on the digital catalogue implementation was sent to all SBIA members and a brief summary of the results includes:

  • Brand Responses. 95 respondents with 72% supportive of the move away from paper catalogues and 13% not supportive. Those not supportive felt that retailers would not be ready.
  •  38% brands wanted to change right now, 47% wanted it in 12-24 months. 60% of brands want the change to be a phased approach the balance wanted cold turkey.

Summary of Brand responses:

Brands are ready to make the change however education for reps & retailers is imperative to make this happen

  • Strong communication tools are the key to make this successful
  • Change is likely to occur in 12-24 months and will need to be phased in.

Summary of Retailer Responses:

There were 86 respondents with 64% were supportive of the move and 25% not. Those not supportive felt the would lose the ability to Compare ranges, Mark selections and take notes; Refer back to pending deliveries/what was purchased.

  • 25% were not supportive due to the way they use catalogues, however this appears to be the result of habit and lack of clarity as to what a B2B platform could offer as a substitute. ?
  • Brandscope was accepted as best in class as some proprietary systems were harder to work with as each were different.
  • Rollout timing needs to be considerate of broadband speeds.

The issue was raised that even though 80 of the 300 retailers members responded, 25% said they were not ready and some brands feel that this percentage would be much higher if all retailers responded.

The morning session was wrapped up with another follow up from the March Roundtable on how we can enhance the connection between the surf industry and the sport. This focussed on a presentation from Indiana Green, outlining her Surfarama competition series, it’s growth and how local surf retailers can be involved in specific events.


The second session began with a presentation by John Blake from Sales Breakthrough Solutions to introduce the Velpic Online Training platform available to SBIA retail members.  This will soon become available to al members and we’ll have further details in the next newsletter.

The main session of the afternoon discussed Retail KPI’s, specifically on strengthening the relationship between reps and retailers.  This was presented in two parts:

Part 1. Retail Performance Management
Keynote presentation from Clint Fraser (Davidsons Accountants and Advisory)

Part 2. Product Performance Management

Not surprisingly this session generated a lot of discussion and plenty of ideas, to many to accurately present here. However, Clint Davidson as written a story outlining the discussion on retail KPIs which covers the point discussed in more detail. We also have a story from Anthony Wilson on the ever- evolving retailer/brand representatives’ relationship. You’ll find both stories online at and in this newsletter.

The next SBIA Roundtable is scheduled for October and details on dates, location and topics will be released over the coming months.