With the winds of change comes the need to move with the times, and one local business is a great showcase of retaining its niche in Broome’s retail market while reinventing.
The much loved Barrell’s surf shop in Paspaley Plaza has recently undergone a considerable renovation and transformed to Rip Curl, featuring an edgy modern interior and fresh line of surf wear and accessories.
Owner Annette Fuller and her partner Ken have just completed a significant investment in the business, transforming the retail outlet in partnership with the international brand.
“Barrells has been going for over fifteen years as a locally owned private business, but times are changing and it was time to collaborate with the big company and accept some much needed help in securing the future of our business,” Said Annette.
With the transition to Rip Curl, the business owners are entitled to support which includes staff training, staff merchandising, computer systems and a streamlined stock process which guarantees immediate supply.
Rip Curl’s successful outlets in the East gave Annette and Ken the confidence to move forward with the transition. “The town has quietened down from 6 years ago and we need to go with the times. We’ve seen two other surf stores close in this time and we didn't want to be another statistic.”
“Now we’re an A Grade surf store which means we’re able to guarantee a quick stock turnaround for locals so if we don’t already have something in stock we will get it here straight away,” Said Annette who was frustrated by the typical 3-week turnaround of the past.
“By the time you realise you're low in stock you've almost missed the boat,” She said.
“We don't want people to think they have to go down south to buy their surf wear, its available now in Broome. That applies to the broader Kimberley and Pilbara region who we’ll be marketing to as the local surf wear supplier.”
Operating under a global brand has by no means taken the local out of this business who are deeply invested in meeting the needs of the local community.
“We’re running a survey to quantify where people are from so we know that apart from Broome locals Melbourne is where most of our interstate customers come from. By asking those questions we're working out that on long weekends we get smashed by people from the Pilbara.
“Our staff are trained to engage with the customers, understand what they’re looking for and offer tourists advice on where to go and what to do in Broome. But for the locals we encourage everyone to place orders where we might not already have the item.”