Our biggest pet peeve is naive skating parents or skaters buying their skating gear at a big box department store. Or a skater looking through the sock aisle at Target or Walmart for their practice pair of skating socks.
Why do we think you need to exclusively buy your gear at your local skate shop and not a department store? Here are our top 5 reasons:
1- Niche is better. Niche brands, like Floquiya, specifically make products for their sport. They are experts in the sport and the people designing your products are more than likely former avid competitors. That means they know what it feels like to be in your position. They know what it feels like to wear certain apparel and how it moves. They are no doubt the most knowledgeable people to trust when designing your products.
2- Owners of niche stores such as a skating pro shop know what they are talking about. They know the best products to recommend and they know how to hook you up with appropriate gear to make your experience the best. And guess what…. ask any of them, I’m sure they were a former competitor. You are guaranteed the most informative service when choosing to shop at your local skate shop.
3- Big box store products are meant to fit the general public or the average person. The fit and function of these products are not meant for your particular sport. Big box stores are only experts in satisfying the general public. Most of their products will be low quality, not meant for any particular function and most definitely not designed to fit an athlete. They are average products at best.
4- Pro shops have a wider variety. You will find multiple colors, styles, sizes and just a way better selection at a store that is actually meant to cater to your particular sport. These niche stores are usually a one stop shop and you can get everything you need including technical service along with extremely knowledgeable customer service.
5- You are supporting your sports community by shopping at a local pro shop or buying from a niche brand particular to your sport. You are supporting former skaters, dancers, skiiers, etc. You are sustaining the market and the need for companies to make the absolute best and most functional products for your sport.
Aislinn Munck, owner of a skate shop in Boston called Home Ice, mentions a long list of concerns for skaters who decide to order their skates online from sites like Amazon instead of shopping niche:
"Amazon does not get to sell skates at any lower price than what we do in pro shops. The most important thing missing from your Amazon purchase is the skate boot service. Skates almost always need adjustments: heat molds, punch outs and sharpenings. If you choose to support your local pro shop and buy these in store, most skate techs will provide these services complimentary if the skates are bought through them. You end up saving time and money in the long run. We as consumers have a lot more control and power than we realize when making purchase decisions. You can chose to give your business and redistribute wealth and opportunities back into your sport community by shopping niche. The overall benefits of local business and niche brands will continue to grow and support the community."