Nearly All Major Surf Brands Attending Surf Expo – Liberated Plants Flag
We all know it’s a challenging market out there, but it looks like most of the industry’s surf brands are still turning out for Surf Expo.
And, in an interesting twist, Liberated Brands appears to be making a statement to the market that it is ready to compete. The Surf Expo floor map shows Billabong, RVCA, Volcom, and Captain Fin grouped next to each other on the show floor.
Liberated is the licensee for Volcom, owns Captain Fin, and is expected to get the licenses for Billabong and RVCA in North America when Authentic Brands Group’s acquisition of Boardriders closes at the end of this month.
We reached out to Liberated to ask them about their booth plans at Surf Expo, but they declined to comment.
Liberated is hiring a significant number of Boardriders employees as it brings on two large, new brands to its platform, including some upper management, SES is told.
With Billabong, Volcom and RVCA in attendance, it looks like nearly all large, medium, and smaller players in the surf market will be at the show except for Quiksilver, which is also part of the upcoming Boardriders sale and will have a different licensee than its sister brands.
It also appears that Roxy swim will be at the show with a new licensee according to the floor map, but not Roxy sportswear which will have a different operator.
Other big surf players that are attending include O’Neill, Hurley, and Rip Curl. Then a wide array of brands that have been gaining traction in the market – and are looking to gain more with the Boardriders changes – are also turning out in force, including Katin, Vissla, Salty Crew, Roark, Dark Seas, Rhythm and more.
Some other notable additions include the Aloha Collection, the growing bag and accessories company, and Skullcandy, which is making a renewed push in the specialty market under new company leadership.
Overall, Surf Expo is expecting more than 775 exhibiting companies to participate this September with a 20% increase in square footage compared to last year. See the exhibitor list here.
In addition, the buyer turnout is forecast to climb by 30% with more than 5,000 qualified retailers expected at the show.
Surf Expo takes place Sept. 7-9 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.