The March 2016 SBIA Roundtable was held on the sunny Gold Coast. The event was attended by 70 retailers, reps and brand execs and was hailed by those attending as informative and worthwhile.

The day was broken up into three sessions, beginning with a board update from SBIA President Anthony Wilson. We then had presentations from Surfing Australia Chief Executive Andrew Stark and Paul Greenberg from the Online Retailers association.

The last session was an open forum discussing various topics affecting surf retail and the surf industry in general.

Board Update.


To summarize, the main points were:

Michael Neil, formerly of O’Neill, has stepped down from the SBIA board, the casual vacancy has been filled by Mark Hudson from Dragon who was welcomed at the roundtable as a new brand board member.

Advisory Sub Committee Update

The Advisory Sub Committee is a new initiative and is made up of a mix of retailers and brands execs that meet via conference calls and in conjunction with events. The members serve a one-year term. The purpose of the committee is to give feedback and input to the SBIA board and act a communication conduit.

Awards Update

Voting is now closed. Davidsons Accountants have audited and confirmed the results. The judging is in process for the Shop fitout, Product Innovation and Environment Awards aswell as the Australian and Breakthrough Retailer categories. Finalists for judged categories will be announced at the end of April. The awards night is May 26th.

Newsletter Update

Brands were asked to send through rep details to build up the database. Reggae, the communications officer, is seeking information and new product developments from brands for newsletter content.

Customer Survey

The customer survey results will be released on May 26th at the Roundtable.

Surfing Australia – Andrew Stark


Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark gave a comprehensive rundown of what Surfing Australia is about, its goals and the programs it has on offer for competitive and recreational surfers.

Andrew’s presentation was followed by an open discussion on how the industry can connect and leverage opportunities with the various sporting bodies, athletes and participants of the sport of surfing.

New Retail – Paul Greenberg, founder and chairman of NORA

Originally NORA was the National Online Retailers Association, but as Paul explained, online retail is just another component of retail. Paul presented the concept of “new retail” and discussed how we can apply the elements of New Retail to the surf industry.

After his presentation, we had an open forum with Paul taking a number of questions form the floor. Some of the questions asked were

  • How do retailers interact or engage online at a premium level?
  • People shop by brand, not by channel. Do multi-brand online retailers work better than single brand retailers?
  • Why are customers shopping online? Is it price?
  • Where is the future for large online retailers?
  • Online teenage consumers – are apps and social media more feasible than email for this age bracket?
  • What are the opportunities Online for bricks & mortar retailers?
Open Forum

This was an open forum with discussion questions submitted from the floor. Some of the questions and topics discussed included:

If we were to move to only digital catalogues within the industry (no hard copy catalogues), what are the benefits, challenges and key considerations?

How does the industry connect and leverage the things that are being achieved from Surfing Australia?

Hot Topics & Issues for next meeting

  • How can we drive greater engagement with retailers to SBIA – Case study of benefits to SBIA involvement
  • Reps need to promote SBIA to their retailers to get them involved. Send them to the “Join Mailing List” page on SBIA website
  • Pricing/margins – consumer mindsets
  • Continue digital catalogue conversation
  • There is a need for an annual calendar for going to market/four seasons
  • Segmentation discussion – possibilities/pros & cons
  • SBIA needs to create a positive message
  • Surfboards and hardware – how do we support them and recognise this core part of the industry


The next SBIA Roundtable will be held in Sydney on May 26, the day of the Surf Industry Awards. Full details for both can be found at