SOURCE checked in with Steve Daniel, Director at UK-based distributor Daniel Surf Ltd to see how business worked throughout the lockdown. Distributing brands including Channel Islands, Pukas, XCEL, McTavish, Christensen, Lost… and more, Steve’s confident the surf industry will rebound, and that actually it’s better placed than most industries to do so.
How has your business been affected by the lockdown – supply, manufacturing, sales and staffing.
Fortunately all our summer stock was either in-house or on the water. Unfortunately we found ourselves with a warehouse rammed full of goodies and no customers!
Were you able to sell many surfboards over the lockdown via your retail partners’ web channels?
Initially in March business just came to a halt, zero, nada. Then after a few weeks of lockdown the green shoots of online retail appeared. This slowly gained momentum through April and really took off in May. Also, as our European partners emerged from lockdown our export sales picked up very quickly.
How much do you expect business to be hit in Q1, Q2 and Q3?
Clearly our spring/summer business has taken a big hit, but let’s see what happens through the coming months. I am confident, as a major supplier of surf hardware, we will pick up a lot of the slack before this year is out.
How have you been working with retailers taking delivery of SS20 orders?
Our dealers are our partners and we are working closely to satisfy their needs, whether it be financially or through supply. We have a portfolio of very strong brands backed up by solid marketing, so fortunately for us the consumer demand exists. Our job is to get the dealer exactly what they want and when they want it. Extensive stock holding, good service and quick turnaround is paramount .
Can you talk us through the financial ways you’re supporting retailers and has your marketing department done anything special for your customers over the lockdown?
Our marking push has continued full tilt through this difficult period, backed up and supported by the brands we represent. Social media backed up by giveaways, competitions and core content keeps the brand awareness at the forefront.
Any positive thoughts/analogies for surfing’s way out of lockdown and recovery?
What does the ‘New Normal’ look like for your customers?
Our industry is much more fortunate than most and will cope with the rocky road ahead. We are facing a global recession and money will be tight. However, surfers are enthusiasts and are resourceful and surfing is a relatively low ticket sport, so I am confident of our business going forward. The landscape will change, and there will be losers, but the sport of surfing, like the waves, will still be there.