Skate Connection grew from one to eight stores with Vend

Sport & Outdoor

Multi Store Icon Multi-store

Location AU Australia
Skate connection

Skate Connection was born out of a passion for both skating and community. The initial concept was to sell skates, but upon opening, they decided to also sell skateboards and scooters. They now have eight stores across Australia.

Eight brick and mortar retail outlets using Vend integrated with Xero, Tyro, Afterpay and Shopify

At a Glance

Skate Connection has been able to grow from 1 store to 8 with Vend

With Vend, Skate Connection can now:

  • Open stores in other states with ease
  • Have confidence that their inventory is aligned with their sales and they are stocking the right products in the right stores
  • See how each category of product is performing in store
  • Seamlessly integrate with their accounting, website and banking software

The Challenge

Having expanded from 1 store to 8 in a short period of time, co founders Shelley Hedley and Brett Vowles have used Vend from day 1. Co-founders Shelley Hedley and Brett Vowles have used Vend from day one, allowing them to expand to a network of eight stores (and counting) across Australia.

Upon opening their first store Shelley and Brett weren’t new to retail; they’d run franchise stores in the past. However, opening up their own stores came with a new set of challenges. They had to do a lot of research into which system would best suit their needs. “We did a lot of research but Vend made the most sense as we’re able to have different outlets.”

They always intended to open more than one store, so they knew they needed a system that could grow with them “We choose to start our business with Vend because we’ve always planned to open more than one location. Vend makes it easy to identify where your business can grow, you’re able to have multiple users on it and the cost was adequately priced” says Shelley.

Their first store was in Ashmore, Gold Coast. Theym then opened a second location on the Gold Coast. Eventually, they opened further stores inBrisbane, Sunshine Coast and Newcastle. “Our plan is to get two stores per capital city; the challenge is finding good store leaders.”

“From the day we opened Skate Connection, we’ve always used Vend.”
Shelley Hedley, Co- Founder

The Solution

After coming across Vend through their research and knowledge from working in retail for years, Skate Connection opened their first store.

“We had one store when we started; at the moment we have eight stores, plus our online store. Vend is used as our inventory, POS and reporting system. We can also keep track of our customers and purchase history when needed, which allows us to give a more personalised service.”

Shelley and Brett were quickly able to make use of Vend’s advanced reporting features, to gain valuable insight into how their stores were tracking. “The best thing I like about Vend is the main dashboard, where we can quickly have a glimpse into how the stores are tracking for the day. We can choose a specific store from the pull down menu and compare sales with the previous week. At the bottom of the dashboard we can see how our major products are selling.”

There are multiple reports in Vend, that Shelley and Brett like in particular. They are the product reports, inventory reports and margin reports. “I use Product Type reports so we can easily see how each category - whether it’s scooters that month, or skateboards, or roller skates - is selling through. So based on our sales, we can adjust our inventory across our stores, see if there’s a category that’s underperforming and how to improve that.”

“Another report that we use that’s really handy is the margins report. This really helps the business because we can look at which area we can grow according to margin. The last report that we use is the Inventory report. We can go straight into an outlet, see up-to-date numbers on stock that store’s holding...we can decide based on turnover of a store, we can decide the inventory that a store should carry and check if it’s over stocked or under stocked. We do transfer stock between stores.”

“Vend has made it easy to add and delete outlets and keep a seamless inventory communication.”
Shelley Hedley, Co- Founder

Skate Connection brings their solution together with the best in retail

The Results

Having all of their in-store needs taken care of with Vend, Shelley and Brett are able to put their energy into their passion – their skate community.

Shelley and Brett have spent the last few years focusing on building their skate community - they’ve started a skate team which competes in local competitions. Their passion lies in seeing and facilitating their community’s love for the sport. “Some people take it seriously, some people take it for fun. There are young kids doing it, there are older people doing it” says Shelley.

Alongside their growing community, Skate Connection has become quite famous thanks to an unlikely marketing tool - their big, black, sign-written van. “The Skate Connection van is becoming very popular! It’s a big black van with the Skate Connection logo on the side…..when kids see it they wave it to the van and they also take photos with it, it’s so cute.”

Shelley and Brett’s skate community come together at one store even more than the others: “One of the coolest things we’ve achieved in our stores is having a skate park at the back of our Kotara store. It’s given us the ability to do skate lessons.” Shelley and Brett pride themselves on being a family friendly business. They’ve seen parents come in with their children to purchase a scooter or skateboard, and end up purchasing something for themselves too. “We once sold a scooter to an 84 year old grandma!” Shelley says.

With Vend making operations easy, Shelley and Brett have time to focus on building their business and their tribe.

“I love the challenge. Every single day you’re faced with a new challenge running your business.”
Shelley Hedley, Co- Founder

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