Have you had to make any cutbacks so far?
Yeah we have, an employee who worked with us for six years left, we had a replacement lined up for them but we were unable to offer them that job in the end. Our profit margins have been slashed by almost 20% so we have to be really careful. I’ve cut print advertising in all publications going forward, I love magazines – I’ve never thrown away a skate mag in 28 years! So that’s really unfortunate. We’re also trying to keep lower numbers of stock and just generally make the business a lot leaner. I love working with smaller brands too, and they really don’t have much profit margin to work with, so now I have to be a bit more cautious with things like that.
What long term effects do you expect to see?
I think we’re going to have less people working here, be a lot leaner, we’ll probably keep less stock, and unfortunately the price of a hat, a t-shirt or board is definitely going to go up. I was speaking with a distributor friend last night, and if the pound keeps falling then sadly the prices are going to have to go up again.
“The way I would put it is that it’s a complex truth to remain, and an easy lie to Brexit.”
I mean I don’t have a crystal ball, there’s huge uncertainty regarding how the negotiations to leave will go down and what kind of deal we’re going to get. It’s a very complicated thing to unpick, it’s going to take years. That means there will be uncertainty for years, I can’t see the pound bouncing back for a good two to three years. It’s a nightmare. The way I would put it is that it’s a complex truth to remain, and an easy lie to Brexit.
What knock-on effects do you see for the U.K scene?
At the moment I think boards have gone up roughly around about £5 retail. So say there’s a lad who bought six boards a year last year, is he now going to be buying only five boards a year this year? People can say it’s only a fiver, but no one is getting paid any more, things are going up in price but wages aren’t increasing. I would imagine that people will buy less product, that’s the main thing I see.
This year two big skate shops have gone out of business, the industry is definitely tough at the moment. And with the price increase we don’t really know how that’s going to affect businesses. Obviously we hope that people will be able to afford the extra fiver for a board, but often it’s younger people without a lot of money – so that extra fiver can mean a lot to them. We’ll just have to see what happens.