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Starboard Access for Smaller Stores

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Created by Damienpc Two weeks ago, 26 Dec 2020
Damienpc
QLD, 15 posts
26 Dec 2020 2:23PM
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Since Auswind departed the scene it's impossible to buy a Starboard from the smaller local board stores. In the past they could order ones and twos from the wholesaler but now only a few larger stores that are able to support the volume and order a container at a time are able to stock Starboard. That's all good if you happen to live near these stores but pretty crap if you don't or you simply just want to support your local guy.

Apparently no such issues with smaller stores accessing Naish and Fanatic for example, so what are they doing that Starboard aren't. As you may have guessed, I'm a Starboard fan so it's very disappointing. I've been told this is not doing any favors for Starboard's overall sales either.

There's always more to a story but that's what I've heard, but I'd like to hear what others out there may know about the current situation.

Thanks, Damo

juniorburger
41 posts
26 Dec 2020 4:31PM
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Hey Damo,

Naish and Fanatic have Australian based distributors so they are the ones who import stock and hold it on the ground making it accessible for smaller shops as they don't have to have massive MOQ's or pay ahead of time.

It's a tough in the distribution game though, you really have to be doing a lot of volume across many disciplines for it to add up financially. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the future, will more brands go the direct route? The current buoyancy in the market is definitely favouring the local distributors.

supsean
101 posts
29 Dec 2020 5:21AM
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Here in the north east of the USA, there are very few shops with stock of surf sups, which makes it really difficult to make a choice. Kind of a chicken and egg situation. I guess as most brands are from far away, and SUPS are so big, it makes it cost prohibitive. Kind of a bummer. It pushes you towards used boards that you can actually see and try.

Chuck46
NSW, 33 posts
29 Dec 2020 1:30PM
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Opportunity for Starboard in NSW for sure. Blue Planet too.

paul.j
QLD, 3051 posts
29 Dec 2020 2:42PM
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Select to expand quote
Damienpc said..
Since Auswind departed the scene it's impossible to buy a Starboard from the smaller local board stores. In the past they could order ones and twos from the wholesaler but now only a few larger stores that are able to support the volume and order a container at a time are able to stock Starboard. That's all good if you happen to live near these stores but pretty crap if you don't or you simply just want to support your local guy.

Apparently no such issues with smaller stores accessing Naish and Fanatic for example, so what are they doing that Starboard aren't. As you may have guessed, I'm a Starboard fan so it's very disappointing. I've been told this is not doing any favors for Starboard's overall sales either.

There's always more to a story but that's what I've heard, but I'd like to hear what others out there may know about the current situation.

Thanks, Damo


Yeah tough gig for some of the smaller shops these days foresure!! But also just as tough for many brands.

As someone who owns a brand here in Australia we have seen all sides and it's really hard to have it all ways and still be fair to everyone. For us these days we mostly sell direct from our Gold coast HQ but we are still also more than happy to sell to any of the smaller local stores if they want to buy something or a local in that area wants to support their local shop. No ones getting rich that's foresure but most of us who are still in it do have some fun at times

When Ian left Starboard he was always going to be hard to replace as doing it like he was with the price of boards and volumes that were happening was always a tough gig and for many smaller stores buying bulk is hard when cash flow is tight and then a few big stores who can buy bulk discount the small store out anyway.

Maybe Starboards loss might be others gains, but it is a hard job to keep everyone happy as the margins are pretty tight and getting tighter!!

gregjet
QLD, 58 posts
30 Dec 2020 5:45AM
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I have an alternative take on this.
Most of the towns in Queensland ( for instance) have zero SUP stores. Having a central(ish) seller allows access from the non metro/big centres much easier and allows a bigger range to be kept economically. I have bought every board from Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and even Western Australia, by email and phone. EVERY person I have dealt with has been extremely helpful and gone out of their way to help IF they have a board in stock.
Because these bigger outlets sell larger amounts they have good arrangements with freight companies and do enough business to ensure the freight companies do the right thing by them.
There is no real SUP shop here with any real stock so the bigger non resident outlets have been a blessing.
Actually true story. I bought my last SIC race board from a Gold Coast dealer. I am older and still have balance issues, so I was going to a wider board. I was ordering a 28" and the guy I was talking to mentioned that the boards were so stable that ( after I told him what I was currently paddeling a flat deck 24") I could almost certainly go to the 26" in this board. He was right. I should have listened to him. Slightly lighter and slightly faster.
Still you gotta feel for the smaller guys trying to do their best for their locals.

Damienpc
QLD, 15 posts
30 Dec 2020 8:53AM
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Thanks for the info guys, maybe Starboard just aren't doing the volume to support a dedicated Australian distributor, though I would find that hard to believe. But as Jacko said as margins get tighter it just makes it harder to keep a business viable. Maybe the mix of brand agencies that Auswind had were all on the decline. As I have seen from my own industry, in the distribution game if you want to be in it for decades you have to be adding and subtracting brand agencies over that time as different brands and fads wax and wane in popularity. That's a skill that isn't as easy as people think and involves a lot of politicking and good dose of luck too. As Chuck mentioned, in this case it could be an opportunity for someone to pickup the agency or add it to their current stable assuming Starboard international even want that.

I suppose the current few stores ordering containers are pseudo distributors in a sense anyway. Lets face it, unless we want something really common we're unlikely to ever be able to walk into a store and touch and feel it let alone test paddle it, so most of us are ordering off the catalog anyway, and the vast majority paying freight to have it shipped within Australia as well. So looking at it that way maybe there's no necessity to have a wholesaler when you boil it all down.

Much appreciated, Damo



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"Starboard Access for Smaller Stores" started by Damienpc