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3 Water Sports and Surf Shop Retail Trends that Will Crest in 2018

January 25, 2018

Woman paddling a kayak that exemplifies the latest technology and design in water sports and surf shop retail trends.Water sports and surf shop retail trends in 2018 will see a resurgence of form and function — from state-of –the art design that allows consumers ultimate comfort and convenience, to products that enable adrenaline junkies to experience the thrill of exploring extreme environments. Merchandise options will be plentiful, and consumer demand will put pressure on your inventory management system. Can your retail management system keep up with these surf shop retail trends?

1. Product Innovations

Water sports equipment will continue to evolve in order to offer customers the greatest degree of functionality. Boats, for example, are being built with multipurpose use in mind. Fishing boats often double as entertainment vessels, with features that provide increased comfort and space. Advanced technologies such as touchscreens to control the engine, GPS, and fish finders increase ease of operation. In addition, digital throttles, shifts, and anchoring make it simple to maneuver to a GPS location.

Canoes and kayaks are also undergoing design improvements. Consumer priorities include seating that is comfortable for extended trips, and vessels that are as lightweight as possible for ease of transport. They can also be tailored for more specialized use: fishing kayaks, for example, are motorized and fully equipped.

Swimwear innovation is another major surf shop retail trend. Brands are marketing collections for other water sports activities besides just swimming. New designs combine visual impact with technical features such as compression fabrics for flattering silhouettes, molded injection zippers, and mesh inserts. Material innovations include wetsuits made from rubber that is plant-based rather than petroleum-based, and swimwear fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles and offers natural UVA and UVB sun protection. With the enormous array of sizes, styles, and colors available (not to mention accessories such as beach bags and surf shoes), retailers need a retail management system with robust inventory management such as a 3D sizing grid to take their inventory to the next level.

2. Extreme Environments

New and improved product designs help to make another surf shop retail trend possible: exploring extreme environments. Adventurists continue to seek new thrills in challenging conditions, such as surfing in Arctic waters, which requires special wetsuits, surf shoes, and accessories designed for harsh temperatures, or deep water soloing or cave diving that require top-of-the-line, reliable gear for safety.

3. Lifestyle Trends

In addition to thrill-seeking, other trends will influence buying habits in 2018. For instance, suppliers are reporting a major increase in sales of monofins or “mermaid tails,” especially among the younger demographics, influenced by pop culture and the presence of mermaids in movies, books, and other areas. These eco-friendly swimwear fabric innovations will appeal to environmentally conscious buyers. Water sports and surf shop retail trends are also providing opportunities to cross-sell to consumers involved in complementary lifestyle activities. One example is the increasing popularity of SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) camping, for which consumers will be looking for not only the latest board designs but also accessories and basic gear needed for camping. A retail management system that offers easy integration of new products and customizable bundles will be essential.

Water sports and surf shop retail trends in 2018 could have some retailers drowning in back office processes. Sophisticated inventory management will be key, as well as tools for floor staff to help customers navigate through the complex sea of options.

TallySoft’s point of sale (POS) software, TallySales, helps your team master the art of selling by providing flexible package customization, along with sophisticated inventory management with graphical prompts to help upsell and cross-sell products. Learn more about the features and unparalleled support of TallySales software that help water sports and surf shop retailers wipe out the competition.

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