Last year GoldCoast opened a new European HQ & warehousing facility, based out of longtime company partners, TOM’s Wholesale premises in Loosdercht, Holland. GoldCoast made the move to provide more support and better service for their distribution partners and Mike van Mosel has been appointed Brand Manager for GoldCoast in Europe. He is taking charge of all sales and marketing for the region and will manage relationships with all the distributors. Mike also continues with his role as General Manager at Tom Wholesale. SOURCE has spoken with Mike to get the skinny.
Please could we have an overview of the new European operation?
We started the EU HQ in 2015 in collaboration with TOM’s Wholesale who has been a partner of GoldCoast from the beginning. This means all European distributors and agents are serviced from the Netherlands so there is no time difference in communications and a clear understanding of the EU market. We ship all our custom components from our manufacturers directly to our Dutch warehouse where we assemble all completes and carry stock for the whole EU region. An ideal situation that saves our partners a lot of hassle, time and cost.
Please tell us about the key people in the new European setup?
At the moment we have two great guys that oversee all assembly processes, warehousing, and shipments. Next to that I fulfill the role of Brand Manager for the EU and work hand-in-hand with Nate Coan and Chris Brunstetter on the US side. With this structure, we can support our partners to the fullest, with finance, administration, and back office being stationed within the TOM’s Wholesales facility.
What was the thinking behind opening a Europe operation?
More support and better service for our distribution partners. This way we do not lose time due to business hours in different time zones and we cut our shipping and handling cost dramatically. Another great advantage is that we get a better view and understanding of the market changes in the EU. Skateboarding, in general, has gone through some challenging sales periods in the last 18-24 months and we were able to actually come out stronger due to our presence here.
How were you operating in Europe before the change?
Everything was done from the States with all the challenges that come with that, but the team there did an amazing job and made it possible to start up the EU HQ.
Longboarding has been seen a big shift in consumer habits over the past 24 months. What key trends have you noticed?
There have been a lot of different reasons that the market was under some pressure. New consumers weren’t buying longboards as much and of course, a high-end longboard does not have the same life cycle as a skate deck by the general consumer so existing riders don’t buy new boards as often. We also saw some crazy stuff happening on an economical level and unfortunately the terrorist threat in some regions affected the consumers buying power too. Many retailers had to adjust their buy in habits and brands needed to re-position the category. We see a great uplift in sales again so we have good faith that we are heading the right direction.
Where are you manufacturing? Any changes in your processes recently?
Manufacturing happens in China and we assemble in the different regions, so US, EU, and APAC. This way we can optimise costs and delivery times on all fronts. We are also working with some key retailers on exclusive SKU’s and colour styles. Our design department and R&D is constantly pushing out great new ideas. Just wait and see;)
What models are working best for you and why?
Currently, we see that the Cruisers are really popular. All our graphics are so timeless and on point that we are able to carry them for a longer period without getting out of touch with the consumer.
In what markets in Europe have you been most successful in the past 12 months and why?
Our current partners are all great to work with, even with the challenging markets they pushed through and kept the pressure on. We are currently looking for partners in France, Spain, and the Nordics as there is great potential there and we want to expand in those territories.
Germany and the Netherlands have such dedicated reps that are also a lot of fun to work with.
“Work hard, play harder”, that’s our motto.