We are doing a series of interviews with different vendors as they get ready to come to our annual tradeshow (Oct 1-2, Roanoke VA, wholesale only, not for the general public). We’ve already done interviews with Vicki from RollerBones and Tony and Will from Roller Derby. This new one is with Jim Ball and Steven Ball from Sure-Grip Skate.
How are things at Sure-Grip as the fall season gets ready to start? How do you see the skating market right now? Are your customers optimistic as the skate season gets started?
SureGrip: The fall season is always really exciting, lots of new item that we feel really compliment the current market. Looking at trends all over the country is the best part of what we get to do. Trying to see what’s hot and what’s not. In the past we have partnered with a few fashion brands that allowed us to develop items that might be out of the box but have proved to be successful on the sales front.
Over the past few years we have seen the skating market grow little by little every year. Dance skating seems to be the biggest market of late and we plane to target that market with a lot of the new items we have for the fall season and into spring 2019.
I think it will be interesting to see what consumers do this holiday season. I just saw a report that retail in store sales were up this year over last year. This is encouraging for our business and something the rinks and local skate shops should pay attention to. The key is to be educated about the products and education the consumers. Coming to the show is a great opportunity to learn about the products that our offered in our market. The roller rinks have a great advantage over a shop or even the internet as the rink supplies the venue for using our products. We need to use this as a sales tool and the opportunity to sell skates and other products is much better in a rink than anywhere else.
Who from your company is planning to come to our show?
Sure-Grip: Myself (Jim Ball) and my son (Steven Ball) will be attending this year.
Do you have any new products coming out this fall? Will they be in stock by the tradeshow? Or will they be coming out a little later in the season?
Sure-Grip: Yes of course. We have our new Prism skate that was a partnership with a local fashion brand. We also have a new rink speed wheel we are calling ICE. We also have new Glitter GT50 skate that is playing off the success of the Stardust skate. We also have a few new colors in the RX toe stop line and some new slip not laces to offer. Most if not all of this is available at the trade show but some will become available in the near future.
What are some of your best sellers right now? What sets them apart from other products on the market right now?
Sure-Grip: Our best seller so far is the Stardust skate and of course the GT50. We hope to continue the success of the Stardust with adding a new gold color that was requested by many of our social media fans. Most of the other new product being offered this holiday season is supplemental to existing product, new colors and styles. As of now we are the only ones selling a complete sparkle skate. Some of our supplemental items like slip Not laces and Rx Toe Stops are the only items on the market right now and we see sales growing with the newly designed colorways.
Anything else you’d like our customers to know as they get ready for our show?
Sure-Grip: Use this opportunity to learn about new products and trends. Skaters want to skate and skaters want to express themselves, give them that ability. We would like to thank SESSR for this opportunity to attend this show and speak to customers about our products. We are passionate about this sport and we are passionate about our products we offer. We take great pride in our products and we have been doing so for 80 years. Thank you again and we hope to see you at the show.