“We’re ordering smaller, and seeing what’s popular and we’re able to chase those units and fill in the gaps faster.” —Mike Behagg, Owner, Switch Boardshop, Ajax, ON
Years in Business: 10
Days Riding: 10-25
Where are you seeing growth?
We’re seeing growth in a lot of niche brands. We’re excited about the things that aren’t everywhere, because that’s what’s making us stand out from everyone else.
Has your buying strategy changed over the years?
It has. Basically we’re not ordering in excess, and we’re chasing product now. We’re ordering smaller, and seeing what’s popular and we’re able to chase those units and fill in the gaps faster. The days of buying 400 jackets were gone a long time ago.
How do you make the decision to pick up a new brand?
Generally from people asking for it in the store. And who else around us is currently carrying it. And after you’ve been around a bit, you can just get the vibe if it’s going to work.
What works best to move a product?
A little bit of everything. The rep working hard in the area, the staff being able to provided details about the product, the brand being run properly, updating Instagram, etc… so the kids can see what’s fresh and their riders are doing.
What can vendors be doing more or better to help your business?
The ones that are easier to work with we tend to do better with in the long run. No matter if it’s a good or a bad season, work together with us. Create partnerships so there’s not as much risk.
What are your biggest challenges as a retailer?
That there aren’t enough hours in the day. Our biggest challenge right now is getting our online store running. If I could name my biggest failure to day, is not dedicated the time, or paying a full-time salary to someone to take that on.
What are your biggest concerns for the industry right now?
The oversaturation of product. There are more big chain retailers coming in, and there needs to be a better differentiation of what the stores are carrying. As brands get larger, they start to lose value to us, because our customer base has more options now.