Skate Shop Day: on February 19, celebrate your local store

February 9, 2021 | Skateboarding
Skate Shop Day: on February 19, celebrate and support skater-owned and operated stores | Photo: Creative Commons

Skate Shop Day is a global initiative that aims to support, promote, and raise awareness for independently-owned skate stores.

The international celebration of skater-own retail businesses takes place every February 19.

While Go Skateboarding Day challenges skaters to get out to the streets and skateparks, Skate Shop Day invites sidewalk surfers to pay a visit to their local store.

Skate Shop Day was established in 2020 by Scotty Coats and Chris Nieratko.

Coats is a senior marketing manager at Capitol Records; Nieratko is the co-owner of NJ Skateshop. They're longtime friends.

The duo did not randomly choose the date.

February is often a cold, windy, rainy, and snowy month in most of the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, it is also one of the worst months for skate shop owners.

So, getting skaters inside specialized stores is key to keeping them afloat and open for business, especially in the dead of winter.

Skate shop: always the best place to buy skateboard gear and apparel | Photo: Shutterstock

Exclusive Products for Skate Shop Day

Scotty Coats and Chris Nieratko dream of having the greatest skateboarding brands in the world developing exclusive products for skater stores on Skate Shop Day.

The first brand to join the project was New Balance.

For the 2021 Skate Shop Day, the American footwear company founded in 1906 in Boston delivered a special, limited edition, Numeric 440, white/burgundy leather model.

The shoe will only be available in skate shops.

"Skate shops are the cornerstone of skateboarding culture and skate communities around the globe," notes Chris Nieratko.

"Skater-owned and operated stores have helped nurture and grow the sport to the massive size it is today."

"Skate Shop Day is meant to be a celebration of our cultural hubs, the foundation of the skate scene, and the places that bring skateboarders together."

"We hope this initiative gets skaters into the shops and support the men and women that float them a bearing, throw in free grip, and always act as ear or shoulder for any rider."

New Balance: the Numeric 440 Numeric 440, white/burgundy leather model created for Skate Shop Day

The Ultimate Skater Store

A skate shop is where skaters can find the big and independent brands, gear, and apparel they like the most.

But it's never been a big business.

To put things into perspective, a skate shop retailer makes on average less than $5 for each deck sold.

In most cases, they have to split the profit between manufacturers, distributors, and shipping companies.

A skate shop is not a business to make real money. Most of the stores are small and don't offer an extensive range of products.

Tony Hawk once wrote that "a skate shop owner operating a store that sells $475,000 worth of goods might only net about $30,000 in profit."

That's why it is important to support your local skate shop. In the majority of cases, it's a boutique run by a passionate skateboarder-entrepreneur.

These men and women will gladly help you replace your old grip tape, bearings, trucks, and wheels. And once in a while, they even give away freebies and skateboard stickers for free.

Skate shop: find everything you need for your skateboarding sessions | Photo: SurferToday

Buy Locally

Skate shops often hold demos to provide test-runs for their loyal customers and attract new visitors and clients.

Skate shops have always provided the first layer of sponsorships deals into the aggressive and highly competitive skateboarding world.

But before thinking about being sponsored, do your homework.

Skate and practice hard. Breathe and live skateboarding and make sure to pay a visit to your local skate shop every time you need to replace your equipment.

A skate shop owner's worst nightmares are giant online retailers and shopping malls.

An independent retailer has very low margins because he or she can't afford to buy in bulk.

A store manager is often asked to match large retailer prices, but that's simply impossible with some products.

If you can't physically get to skate shops, visit their websites and order directly from them. Believe it or not, you're helping a lot.

For more information, visit skateshopday.com.

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