BRAND: SECTOR 9
Companies in the US are reporting that the US market has slowed. How is the situation on the longboard market in Europe?
In Europe that depends on the territory. In fact the only country where we expect weaker numbers is Germany. Other countries like France seem to gain back some terrain and momentum. It is true though that a lot of stores sit on a lot of bad quality skateboards that do not want to leave the stores.
Also the bad winter did not help to sell a lot of snowboards which indirectly means less cash for purchase in spring. We will see when the sun comes out how the hormones affect the need to skate.
Statistics: These are just guesstimates, but: How has your longboard business developed in the past 6 months (rise,drop in %)?
The last six months was winter so naturally less than the other 6 months. Always like that.
Estimate number of longboards sold in Europe/Germany/UK/France.
It’s a secret
How has the rate of longboard market growth in Europe developed between 2014 and 2015 (% change +/-)?
It’s a skateboard market. We prey that since the very beginning. Who set everything just on longboards might have a problem these days as the demand goes more into all kind of hybrid boards. You need the story, the quality, the team and the diversity. And never forget the fun.
How many retailers sell longboards in Europe?
It’s a secret too!
Technologies and board constructions are important topics in longboarding.
Let’s say it is coming back in the demand that quality and manufacturing returns into focus. At Sector 9 we always had put that into the centre of our product philosophy. The brands that wanted to attack the market with bigger margin had no scruples to let quality besides. That has changed now and we are more than proud to deliver the finest quality Skateboards manufactured by our staff in San Diego, California.
Our story is the one we tell since the beginning in 93′ : American Board Makers since 1993. We are open to visitors in San Diego if you want to see how our skateboards are manufactured. You would be impressed. So yes, this is really what we build up our communication and story for this summer.
What are your main stories for next season?
We mainly trust in hard Canadian Maple and Bamboo Constructions and constantly innovate the styles and shapes. The innovations are team driven. For our Downhill Division we offer also some styles like the Arrow or the Javelin with Triaxial Fiberglass.
How do you help retailers communicate these developments to customers?
You need to segment your customers to answer that question. Usually for the classic bricks and mortar we offer special tailored formulas with test boards. We made the best experiences when the retailers and their customers can ride the boards themselves. A Sector 9 speaks for itself once the feet are on deck.
But we also make clinics with the stores. Our sales force is gathered before selling season for a sales meeting that they can provide the technical details to the retailers.
Drop-through boards were all the rage in 2015. Does the hype continue? Or what is the new trending construction?
In 2013 and 14 as well. Drop-through always sells well because its works great and is very accessible but the Mini styles and hybrid boards are getting momentum. And our custom street boards are more and more in demand yet not in our official catalogue.
What are the pricing ‘sweet spots’ for completes, decks, trucks, wheels?
We came out with an entirely reshaped Fundamental Series this summer that went stellar in the pre-orders. Pricing is from 145 EUR to 165 EUR in retail.
Our ButterBalls Slide wheels are with a 50EUR retail price and are in high demand.Quality/price relation is killer here.
What is the must-have longboard trend retailers need to watch this coming season?
The retailers should zap the hype for RAD Wheels. It’s the all best urethane with the patented Crown Core. All top riders shred on those these days and are hot, hot, hot.
Please tell us about your two main products for the season?
We have solid orders on the Cyclone, a new fundamental board in the Mini Cruiser line that is also fun in the park. And the Static – a vertical coloured wood lamination that is so flashy that it will make you blind.