UK Retailer Survey Report Fall ’03<

The following information reflects general sales activity at 24 skateboard retail shops across the UK. The information used in this report was provided by retailers via mail survey and telephone interview. These results do not reflect actual market share, nor do they imply endorsement of particular brands by TransWorld Media.

Respondents to this survey are from Central London, England, Scotland, Wales, and Jersey.

Overall Sales

Of the shops surveyed, 29 percent report an increase in sales activity in the past year, while 33 percent of the shops surveyed report a decrease in sales activity. Twenty-five percent of the respondents report sales activity as the same compared to 2002.

Respondents order 91 percent of their inventory from independent distributors and the other nine percent direct from companies.

Other than skateboards and skateboard-related goods, popular product categories include the following: juniors’ apparel (carried by about 46 percent of shops surveyed), girls’ apparel (carried by about 33 percent of shops surveyed), snowboard hardgoods, boots and apparel (carried by about 21 percent of shops surveyed), surf apparel (carried by about twelve percent of shops surveyed), in-line hardgoods (carried by about 25 percent of shops surveyed), surf hardgoods (carried by about four percent of shops surveyed), and in-line apparel (carried by about 29 percent of shops surveyed).

As a percentage of their total skateboard-related product sales, respondents report the following: decks (21 percent), shoes (19 percent), apparel (26 percent), wheels (10 percent), trucks (nine percent), softgoods accessories (eight percent), hardgoods accessories (seven percent).


Nationwide, shops surveyed report that skateboard-deck sales are dominated by blanks. Popular brands are Flip, Blueprint, Death, and Fracture.

Respondents report that skateboard-deck sales are dominated by blank/non-graphic decks (39 percent), followed by pro models (35 percent), logo/team decks (twenty percent), and shop decks (four percent). Another two percent of sales are attributed to longboards and other nonstandard skateboards.

The most popular deck width is 7.5 inches.


Shops surveyed report that truck sales are dominated nationally by Venture. Other popular brands include Grind King, Independent, Royal, and Tensor.


Wheel sales are dominated among respondents by Flip. Other popular wheels include Ricta, Spitfire, Blueprint, and Death.

The most popular wheel size is 52 mm.


Respondents report that the Flip and etnies brands lead apparel sales, followed by Spitfire, Dope, Element, and Blueprint.


Respondents report that etnies leads the skateboard-shoe category, followed by DC Shoe Co., Adio, Emerica, Savier, and ├ęS.


When asked how shops use the Internet, 67 percent of respondents report that their staffs use the Internet to learn about companies and products, while 29 percent don’t currently use it but plan to. Four percent report that they have no interest in using the Internet for business purposes.

When asked if retailers use the Internet to order products, nine percent of respondents report that their staffs use the Internet to order products from distributors, while another 53 percent don’t currently order online but plan to. The remaining 38 percent don’t use the Internet to order products and don’t intend to.

Of the 24 shops that responded to this survey, 24 percent report that their shops have Web sites, twelve percent sell products online, twenty percent sell products via mail or phone order, and 44 percent sells only from their storefront.

In the past year, the majority of shops have been satisfied with the growth and support of UK companies. Other things shops were satisfied with are the amount of kids skating; new skateparks; prices coming down on blannks; skaters who choose to support skater-owned shops; service from small, independent distributors; progression of local skaters; increased customer service with distributors; and more skater-owned companies.

In the past year, the majority of shops have been dissatisfied with mall and chain stores, and the distributors that sell to them. Other things shops were dissatisfied with: the price of U.S. hardgoods, mail-order companies undercutting everyone else, bright pink products, American brands, market flooding, and wood production going to China.