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Lightning Bolt Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Lightning Bolt
Interviewee: Brand manager

How was the market for Changing Robes and surf ponchos in 2023?
The market has been growing steadily in recent years, driven by the rise in surfing and water sports culture, the expansion of outdoor and adventure lifestyles, as well as the focus on convenience and comfort.

The element resistant Changing Robe is extremely popular, way beyond the boardsport community. Did you have to address new channels to reach the casual customer? Is it different for Surf Ponchos?
As a lifestyle brand, we’ve been always committed to expanding the reach of our products beyond the boardsport community, embracing new channels and opportunities to connect with casual customers who appreciate quality, style, and functionality in their choices. Our Surf Ponchos are a natural choice for the surfing community, therefore a best-seller. To tap into the casual customer base, we’ve implemented strategies such as a diversified Retail Channel – to make sure our Surf Ponchos are accessible to a wider audience who may not frequent specialized surf shops – an optimized Online Presence – our digital marketing efforts emphasize the versatility, comfort, and style of our surf ponchos, appealing to those looking for practical and fashionable beachwear options – a Direct-to-Consumer Outreach – engaging directly with casual customers and encouraging them to try out our surf ponchos for various leisure activities – and a Community Engagement – we actively participate in lifestyle events and collaborate with local influencers to connect with a broader community, displaying and selling our surf ponchos. By aligning ourselves with outdoor and beach-centric events, we reinforce our brand identity and appeal to casual customers who share our love for coastal living. Last but not least, we continuously innovate our surf ponchos to meet the needs and preferences of casual customers, incorporating features like quick-drying fabrics, stylish designs, and multifunctional capabilities. This ensures that our products remain relevant and desirable to a diverse audience of beach enthusiasts.

What are the trends within the Surf Poncho category: core riders, kids, women, beachgoers, seasonality?
The Surf Poncho category caters to a diverse range of consumers with varying needs and preferences, from avid surfers seeking high-performance gear to families looking for practical and qualitative beachwear. By integrating a unisex surf poncho into our product lineup and upholding our commitment to quality and timeless design, Lightning Bolt ensures that we cater to the evolving needs and preferences of our customers while maintaining our brand’s integrity and appeal across various markets and target demographics. Our unisex surf poncho is crafted with a universal fit and style, making it suitable for surfers, beachgoers, women, and core riders alike. By prioritizing versatility and inclusivity, we ensure that all customers can enjoy the comfort, functionality, and timeless design of our ponchos regardless of gender or age. Our surf ponchos feature timeless designs that transcend fleeting trends, appealing to individuals seeking enduring style and sophistication. In plain colors and featuring our iconic symbol, the Lightning Bolt, in a minimalistic size at front and with a statement positioning at the back, our ponchos exude a sense of effortless elegance that resonates with diverse audiences and withstands the test of time.


Which price points are best selling for Surf Ponchos and Dry Robes? What are the entry level and high-end rates?
The price points for surf ponchos can vary depending on factors such as brand reputation, materials used, features offered, and overall quality. The price point for ponchos that feature better quality materials, enhanced durability, and additional features such as larger hoods, pockets, or stylish designs is around 50€-100€. They cater to more regular surfers or those who prioritize comfort and functionality.

What are the key materials in your line for both product categories?
We maintain a steadfast commitment to quality craftsmanship, using premium materials and construction techniques to ensure durability and longevity in our surf ponchos. This dedication to quality resonates with discerning consumers across different demographics who value reliability and longevity in their investments. Our surf ponchos are made of terry cloth, a highly absorbent fabric made from 100% cotton with looped pile fibers. It’s soft, comfortable, and ideal for absorbing water. Cotton terry cloth provides excellent moisture-wicking properties, ensuring that users stay dry and cozy after a day in the water.

Bonus specs for functionality are much appreciated: what do you offer in this regard?
At Lightning Bolt, we’re dedicated to enhancing functionality in our surf ponchos to provide users with the best possible experience. As bonus specs that highlight the functionality of our surf ponchos, we can focus on the hood and marsupial pocket. Our surf ponchos feature a spacious marsupial pocket located at the front, offering ample storage space for essentials such as keys, phone, sunscreen, or snacks. They also feature an oversized hood with ample coverage, ensuring protection from the elements and providing extra warmth and comfort.


Which are your key colors/prints/pattern of 2024?
Our surf ponchos feature classic silhouettes and clean lines, designed to withstand the test of time and remain relevant season after season. By focusing on timeless design elements, we ensure that our ponchos appeal to a wide range of customers, regardless of passing trends or fads. Our color range is deeply connected to Lightning Bolt’s brand identity, reflecting our rich heritage and iconic status within the surf community. From vibrant ocean blues to fiery sunset oranges, our colors evoke the spirit of adventure, freedom, and authenticity that defines our brand, resonating with surfers and beach lovers around the world. They also pay a tribute to our surfboards. By combining timeless design with seasonal adjustments, staying true to our brand identity, and offering gender-neutral color options, Lightning Bolt ensures that our surf ponchos not only meet the demands of the market but also resonate deeply with our customers, embodying the essence of surf culture and lifestyle.

How are you helping retailers to sell more of your product?
By offering comprehensive support and resources to our retail partners, we aim to foster strong relationships, drive sales growth, and mutually benefit from the success of our surf poncho products in the market. We provide retailers with merchandising support, including product displays, signage, and visual assets, to effectively showcase our surf ponchos and attract customers’ attention in-store. Also, we brief the teams, so that staff can provide informed recommendations and assistance to customers, leading to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, we supply retailers with marketing collateral such as product catalogs, brochures, and digital assets that they can use to promote our surf ponchos both in-store and online, to different targets. Inventory management and customer service support are also an indispensable support to retailers.

Key Products:

Lightning Bolt Surf Poncho:
Crafted for people that privileges quality, our poncho boasts a timeless design and functional features, such as a wide hood and marsupial pocket. Made from 100% cotton, it offers quick-drying comfort and ample coverage. Available in a range of seasonal hues, our gender-neutral design ensures versatility for all adventurers, embodying the spirit of surf culture with every wear.


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