• Michael Weeding

As More Retail Doors Close, Billabong has the Opportunity to Open a Digital Door to Unimaginable Suc

It has been another interesting week in retail with the announcement that Billabong International will close a further 82 more stores as a result of it posting a full year loss of $275.6 million. In looking for new ways to increase revenue the label will be going under a major online revamp, the new and improved web-store is going to discontinue unpopular stock and promote sales of it youth surf, skate and snow brands. It is also important to note that it has the credentials to succeed as Billabong is already part owner of Australian online surf store “SurfStitch”, which was recently awarded Australia’s Online Retailer of the Year.

Online retail sales in Australia grew by 29%, while total retail sales only grew by 2% in the last year. As Internet purchases continue to grow traditional Bricks and Mortar retail stores will need to evolve to support a multi channel shopping experience to remain competitive and profitable as lower costs can be passed on as lower prices. This is obviously a central part of the four year strategy for Billabong as the company works to turn the brand around.

As a result, I think that Billabong will be an exciting company to watch in the future and with the right Digital strategy and investments in new and exciting technology they have the opportunity to build a very large and very engaged online community. Being a surfer myself and a proud Australian I am bias to the fact that I already think they are a great brand, although in a time when brands are looking to produce content to support their digital and social strategies and build new and engaged audiences, Billabong is not lacking in the content department, nor will they be a brand that should ever struggle in this area in the future. The real test is now putting this to work to build a globally leading and extremely profitable surf brand.


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