A YEAR OF CHANGE
2016 presented a fork in the road. A year of change – hellos and goodbyes. We’ve said goodbye to musical legends – R.I.P. Bowie, Cohen and Prince, while disenfranchised electorates from two of the world’s leading nations have voted to welcome in a change. Heightened consumer awareness and demand means boardsports brands are starting to say goodbye to the unethical sourcing and manufacturing of goods, while we’ve seen the Olympics say hello to surfing and skating.
As I write this on the eve of Black Friday, one can already anticipate the madness that will ensue; retail stores will be bombarded, websites will crash. Logistics companies are becoming worth their weight in gold while internet sales continue to grow exponentially year on year. But with the growing expense of free returns, a lack of customer service and the consumer’s I-want-it-now attitude, purely internet businesses and D2C aren’t looking quite as rosy as they once were.
And just what will the future hold for our industry? Will 2020 see drones delivering our internet shopping? A 48-year-old Kelly Slater surfing in the Olympics? A perfect harmony of warm, sunny summers and cold snowy winters? If I were a gambling man, I know which two I’d be placing my last two chips on.
Turning our attention to the present and plenty of snowfall across the Alps combined with cold temperatures throughout November has been a sight for sore eyes after a torrid few winters. With plenty of resorts opening their lifts earlier than scheduled, it has really given the industry a needed boost – long may it continue.
As we brace ourselves for (what we hope is a stellar) winter, the SOURCE team has already been hard at work getting to grips with what’s popping for winter 17/18. In this, the first in our two-part winter series, we take a look at snowboard boots & bindings and helmets & protection in the snow category and looking away from the mountain we analyse what boardsports brands are up to in streetwear, surf apparel, skateshoes, cruisers and backpacks.
See you on the snow.
Harry Mitchell Thompson