Building Brands for the Future: Behind the Scenes at EuroSIMA with this Unique Surfing Community
- Better understand the triumvirate power of sport, health and nature as surfers drive sustainable thinking
- Learn about a more positive mindset as we consider global recession and post pandemic life
- Discover the role of community in the future
This is the first vvlog in this new Shop Eat Surf vvast D4C series. Do catch up on series one here.
In this episode we reflect on 2022 and the EuroSIMA Surf Summit conference to take a look behind the scenes of this extraordinary surfing community with JL, President of EuroSIMA and Richie Jones, the CEO of vvast.
The EuroSIMA summit is an industry event across two days hosted in Hossegor, France. It is a chance for industry leaders to share experience and initiative; to explore the challenges; and to look forwards to the year ahead. An opportunity to meet brands and peers to be inspired by speakers and hold open conversations with like-minded business leaders with a shared passion for surfing, and the great outdoors.
The focus for 2022 was on the UK marketplace. There has been a 20% YOY growth in the European industry as a whole. Post Covid, digital growth has clearly been substantial and the 2022 summer was very strong for hardware (15/20%) and marginal growth in apparel products (up 5%) with more kids taking to the sport and jumping into the sea. It was a long summer season, but moving into winter there is a focus on big swell and winter waves – which is less mainstream.
One big topic for 2023 was of course around the threat of global recession. Discussion around inflation and brands pricing up were a key consideration when exploring the challenge for consumer propensity to purchase. Numbers are on the decline, but this is a reaction to Covid and also a drive for sustainability. There has certainly been a shift from pushing more products and consumerism to building quality product and being more considerate of the environment. Sourcing local and understanding where brands are from and what they stand for will be a growing theme for 2023.
Related to this was the benefits of surfing and the blue health movement to well-being. JL mentioned that surfing is in a magic circle – combining nature, sport and health. Being part of a community leading the way on sustainability and taking responsibility is a privileged position. Richie, supported this view and went on to explain vvast’s unique position to influence brands.
What does good growth look like?
There is a renewed mindset around markdown. A perception shift that brands markdown stock because there has not been due consideration and diligence. Overbuying or misjudgement on trends is increasingly considered irresponsible behavior by the consumer. It is great that we are now having an open conversation around building brands for the future.
Join us soon for the second vvast vvlog in this new series The Inconvenient Truth About Retail.
Editor’s note: vvast offers brands D2C services in Europe and its clients include Stance, YETI, Troy Lee Designs, JanSport, and Florence Marine X.