Bid'niss Is Down Like An Erection

Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 by Rob

By Rob Meronek

As far as this economic crisis thing everyone's ranting about, here's how our numbers shape up. I always hear the bid'niss people writing about how "things are down." No one ever really offers up anything specific. I'm a numbers geek, so I dive right into the details. I can't give out actual amounts so I'm speaking in only percentage terms here.

In the last year, our sales have dipped 7% compared the the one year prior. When you compare only the last 90 days time to the same 90 day period a year ago, things are down 14%. That basically means not as many people were Christmas shopping. This year, we packed it in the ASS (Asian Sweat Shop - online order packing) a full 30% less than last year's ASS ramming that had us working on weekends all through December. So what's everyone doing? Rolling with razor tail and yellow wheels until they can scrape up some spare shrapnel to get new gear? Or is it that people are skating less? Let's take a look...

The chart below shows the percentage change in total skate sessions each year at Skatepark of Tampa. From 2002 to 2003, the number of skate sessions increased 24%. In 2004, skate sessions increased 15% more. Then in 2005, we either had a crappy street course or everyone started playing baseball again. Skate sessions decreased 12%. This trend continued in 2006 with another 16% decline. Then for some reason, things bounced back for a 34% increase in 2007. Then in 2008, sessions went down 10%. Maybe the Lakai video dropping in late 2007 made a bunch of people give up hopes of making it in skating.
It seems that the real decreases in everything have been happening the most in recent months. When you look at the last three months of 2008 compared to the last three months of 2007, there was a 25% decline in the number of skate sessions. This of course leads to a corresponding drop in sales in the Shop. In that same time period, sales in the Shop dropped 8%. When you exclude the only brand that had growth in sales in 2008 (guess which one that is), the drop in sales in the Shop is a huge 16%. The percentages for online sales are very similar.

I would imagine the whole industry is feeling it like this or even worse. My overall take on this? Everything's fine. There will always be ups and downs. Be prepared for them. Get yourself a Ryan Clements to run your business proper. Shut up. Don't complain. Ride your skateboard. Oh, and spend it all before you die.


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