Once again, surfing articles and interviews provide me with incredible comparative analytics. I was reading an interview by Chas Smith this evening from the most recent issue of The Surfer's Journal with former Gotcha clothing founder and surfing stand-out Michael Tomson. When asked about what went wrong with the surf apparel industry, he had this to say:

From 1998 to 2008 the industry went through a period of unprecedented growth.

There were more people surfing than ever.

With that surge in participation came an influx of new brands.

Retailers were allocating large amounts of floor space to the new movement.

Big companies were hitting sales levels in the billions and were on an acquisition spending spree, buying up brands. 

It was reckless investing, corporate swagger at its finest, and to the uninformed it looked like the industry was heading towards an impossibly bright future.

What nobody was considering was the consumer and the speed at which tastes change.

What used to be the ultimate career lifestyle became a shit show of broken dreams with a host of bankruptcies and reorganizations, and today it faces a different set of problems, that being the internet and the changing nature of the way consumers buy products, meaning on their phones and not in stores.


Now let's look at the booze business:

From 2007 to 2017 the spirits industry has seen unprecedented growth.

There are more people drinking whiskey than ever.

With that surge in participation has come an influx of new brands.

Retailers everywhere are now carrying "craft" spirits including Target and Whole Foods.

Big companies have been hitting record sales numbers and buying out small brands and distilleries like crazy.

There's so much new development in Kentucky alone right now that one must assume the future looks bright for Bourbon.

I'm wondering: is anyone other than me worried about the fashion of alcohol and the speed at which things change?

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll