We can all agree that the last few months have been strange! Whilst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected everyone, the ways in which our lives have been effected vary on our own situation, family and community we belong to.
The imposed lockdown/quarantine has hugely affected us as a shop, among many other independent shops and businesses. Within this blog post i’m going to discuss the ways in which we’ve been effected, both negatively and positively by the past months of national and global lockdown.
One of the largest factors which have effected us as a business has got to be the imposed lockdown prohibiting people leaving their homes. We are a small independent skate shop/ cafe based in Winchester. Not only are we a shop but we are also a hub for Winchester and south coast skaters to hang out and catch up over a coffee, before and after a skate. Firstly, we have greatly missed seeing and hanging out with all our regulars and getting to meet new faces too! Aside from the personal aspects, a large amount of our sales come from in-store purchases especially due to the fact people like to look at boards and try on clothes and shoes before purchasing them. We have got a website with all of our stock and we are incredibly grateful for every customer who continued to use us throughout the pandemic by making use of our website and delivery service.
It is all good and well having a loyal customer base paired with an effective website but when there is a very reduced amount of stock to sell, we are faced with another issue. During the pandemic an awful lot of the factories and manufacturers where forced to close creating a deficit in skateboarding products being made. Each day has been a matter of closely monitoring distributers websites trying to get our hands on whatever stock we could. There were occasions where we simply didn’t have the products to fulfil customers requirements and even now due to a backlog of stock production are still finding ourselves in a similar position from time to time between orders. As frustrating as it it we have had to send customers elsewhere to purchase the products they desire, all we have and do ask if that does occur is that customers go in search of another independent brick and mortar skate shop because we are all in this together and are doing our upmost to provide the UK skate scene with the equipment they need while trying to combat corporate buy outs.
One HUGE positive of the lockdown put in place by the government is the massive increase in popularity skateboarding has seen! Since reopening we have seen a large increase in new faces all saying very similar things, they’ve started skating throughout the pandemic as something to do. As a shop owned and run by skaters we are always over the moon too hear about people so fascinated and passionate about our sport! Skating lends itself perfectly to have been started during the imposed lockdown as it is an individual, isolation sport with limited close interaction. It is also a recognised sport as it has now been added to the list of sports competed in during the olympics.
Once again we are incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful customer base both old and new.
Beans & Boards crew x