ASB MAGAZINE: Star Surf’s Ian ‘Wooly’ Macpherson needs no introduction to our readers, he’s a multi award winning surf shop owner, surf school owner and he’s even got his own YouTube channel, Wooly TV. We caught up with Wooly to find out what he’s got planned for Board Shop Day September 19th. It’s no secret, the Australian surf industry has had the 2020 from hell so far, but there’s brands and businesses out there responding brilliantly and the early signs of recovery are already beginning to show. We started out with bushfires that ravaged the country, then a global pandemic struck. Fortunately, surf shops have rebounded strongly, up double digits on our ActionWatch panel.
With AfterPay Day (August 20-21) behind us and with Black Friday looming on November 27, the second annual Board Shop Day, will be held September 19th, 2020 worldwide, right smack in the middle of these two online sales.
Board Shop Day was originally scheduled for May 16th but was postponed due to COVID-19. The movement of that date, at least for some stores has provided a silver lining for surf shops. None of us could have predicted 6 months ago the very same virus that’s forced the cancellation of the World Tour, and surfing’s debut in the Olympics would provide core surf and skate stores with the much-needed cash injection they needed.
The second annual Board Shop Day this year takes on a special significance as we pause to celebrate and be thankful for the incredible industry we operate in. The goal is to put the special back into specialty retail and not make Board Shop Day a holiday of sales and discounting. This is a day to celebrate the board shops that breed culture. As World Champ Shaun Tomson says;
“If surfing is a religion, then surf shops are temples of stoke.” Shaun Tomson
Ocean and Earth are releasing a limited-edition Board Shop Day hat that will be available at Surf Shops in Australia and a handful of retailers in the USA. Contact O&E HERE
Wooly, like most of you, has been caught up with the unprecedented demand on hardware and supplies. He’s migrating a new POS system and hasn’t come up for air since this pandemic kick started the demand on hardware. However, earlier this year he imported a limited run of Support The Maker t-shirts from the USA, mainly for bragging rights as the only store in Australia you can get them, but also to support a day he feels very connected too.
“I liked what I was seeing on the Building The Revolution socials and wanted to support it, I think a lot of the stuff they do is great and I’m trying to find things I have to myself in this crowded marketplace. Over the past 3 years I have been morphing my business into more hardware based and hardgoods make up 80% of sales.
“Board sales were up prior to Covid and now way up. JS has been my best performer,” said Wooly. JS industries also coincidentally picked up ‘Shortboard Brand Of The Year’ through core stores, like Star Surf.
We just published an article about AfterPay here and I asked whether his store offered the ‘buy now, pay later’ brand AfterPay.
“I don’t do AfterPay only ZipPay but it doesn’t make up much of my business.”
“I have unsubscribed from most surf related brands and retailers now and don’t want to know what any of them are doing. All I was doing was getting frustrated with things that are out of my control, these days I focus on my businesses and make sure I’m doing the best I can for my customers.
“It’s all part of the plan of reducing my soft good business and focusing on hard goods and the surf school to ‘Share the Stoke of Surfing’. The days of Star chasing the latest fashion brands new tee shirt drop is long gone. Hard goods and core lines, that’s it,” said Wooly.
Despite the contraction of his apparel business, Wooly still thinks Board shop Day is a day worth celebrating.
“I think it’s a good excuse for stores to make an event out of it (that isn’t sale/clearance based). It’s hard to keep coming up with new events to do around your business so I think it’s good to get behind this one and make it an annual event,” said Wooly.
It’s hard to keep coming up with new events to do around your business so I think it’s good to get behind this one and make it an annual event,” Wooly.
Board Shop Day was started by Building the Revolution Founder Mike Vavak who echoes Wooly
“It’s been said before that board shops are the temples of our industry. Let’s protect our temples and celebrate them,” Mike said. “Is it too much to ask to dedicate a day for honouring the shops that created an industry and culture for so many of us?”
About Board Shop Day:
Board Shop Day is an annual event celebrating independent board shops that are vital to our Surf, Skate, and Snow industry. For More information on Board Shop Day go to @surfshopday or @Building_The_Revolution on Instagram.