The Spanish economy has kept a firm hand on the rudder of growth during the last few years with a growth rate of over 3% in 2015, 2016 and 2017. 2018 has been slated the slowdown year according to all predictions. There are many factors, which say they can affect the Spanish economy, outside markets: the political conflict with Catalonia and the political instability of the government, immersed in corruption scandals and removed from its partners. It is also true that these messages of economic recovery sent by the government are not tangible among the population. With insufficient increases in pensions of just 0.25 against the CPI inflation of 1.2 has caused unprecedented social mobilisation. By Jokin Arroyo.
Concerning consumerism, this has increased in general, but it hasn’t reached the levels of before the crisis. Javi from in the city of Santiago de Compostela, from Core Surfing shop tells us: “Sales of technical materials have grown a bit and show slight positivity compared to clothing sales. We are selling more a more upmarket material, high quality and more durable products, while lower price products, such are Chinese surfboards or white labels, have very little demand.”
“There’s a high demand for quality in wetsuits and surfboards. Clients already know cheap ends up being expensive in the end so they invest in good products. In the wetsuit market, O`Neill and Rip Curl are kings of the sector while in surfboards it’s Firewire who represents 70% of our sales. The expert customer knows that a surfboard of these characteristics after one or two years is still nearly the same as the first day and it doesn’t depreciate too much in the second hand market.”
“Nowadays the customer isn’t faithful, he looks at a product and he wants it in his home within 24 hours. If he doesn’t find that product in the closest surf shop, he can find it anywhere in the world through the Internet. He looks for the best price and gets it delivered for free. It is very difficult to fight against that, you’d better get on board or you are lost. We have customers between 20 and 45 who look for best surf brands and they get more and more informed about them. When they arrive at the shop, they already know exactly what they want, which product we have and if it is necessary our advice to choose the right size.”
“More and more we do have a more expert customer who looks for a very specific product”
With the snow season nearly over, Ivan Blanco from Java Shop, who is passionate about fashion and sports since 1997, with shops in León and Ponferrada, tells us that sales have maintained the same as last year. They’ve had the best response from “products like sneakers, jackets, winter accessories such as caps and scarves, and snowboard gear has declined sharply. The market is more and more competent and unfaithful, especially since the online market has taken over. This has prompted us to start a new chapter with the opening of our online shop www.javashop.es. We cater for all types of people, as many of our clients who have a soft spot for surf, skate and snow cult brands feel affiliated with other brands even if they are not related to the sport.”
Ivan left us with a very interesting thought: “Initially brands tend to trend downwards, but in relation to surf brands for example, they have a tendency to move towards street fashion but always with the same philosophy, but simply conform to other trends. Among these trends, music and art gain ground, so little exclusive brands have the opportunity to capitalise and make a name for themselves.”