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Skate Shop Rewards: Incentives For Staff Members


In the business world of retail, especially in specific areas like skateboarding, employee incentives are crucial. This blog, based on industry practices and my personal experiences, looks at how well-planned incentives can improve performance and create a better workplace in skate shops.

A motivated and engaged employee is key to business success. Incentives play an important role by offering more than just a paycheck. They boost morale, increase productivity, and keep employees happy and committed to their jobs.

Different Types of Incentives

1. Monetary Incentives – Monetary rewards are straightforward and highly effective. For example, a skate shop might offer a bonus or a commission based on sales targets. This direct financial compensation is a clear and quantifiable way to reward employees for their efforts. Incentives vary from one employee to another depending on the contract given to them.

2. Product Incentives – Product incentives are particularly appealing in a skate shop. Employees who reach sales goals might earn merchandise, such as skateboards or accessories. This not only allows staff to enjoy products related to their interests and lifestyle but also encourages a deeper connection with the brand they represent. Like what happened to me and this motivated me more to work harder that time. 

3. Experience Incentives – Beyond money and products, offering experiences can be uniquely motivating. These might include tickets to skateboarding events, all-expenses-paid trips, or even opportunities to meet professional skateboarders. Such experiences can create lasting memories and foster a strong sense of loyalty among staff. 

Most perfect example would be action sports retailer Zumiez, with their Zumiez 100k which is an annual celebration honoring the top 1,200 salespeople from the previous year with the highest sales figures. It’s a multi-day event held in unique locations (like Keystone, Colorado in 2024) that brings together top sellers, representatives from over 150 brands, industry leaders, athletes, and even brand founders to party, participate in activities like scavenger hunts, and celebrate their achievements through award ceremonies.

Qualifying for Incentives

To ensure fairness and clarity in the incentive program, skate shops should establish clear criteria for eligibility. These typically include:

  • Sales Targets: Achieving or surpassing specific sales figures.
  • Customer Feedback: Positive reviews and feedback from customers.
  • Attendance: Maintain consistent and reliable attendance, which is the most important criterion for incentives, as both attendance and punctuality are crucial and show whether an employee is dedicated to their work.

Personal Experience on Incentive from Skate Shops:

While working at a skate shop in my mid-20s, there were months I earned incentives. The shop owner, kind enough, gave me two decks – a Cliché and a Blind – both were size 8.0, which made it even sweeter. Then, after a few months of working, I again hit the target sales. In addition to the deck incentives, he gave me a pair of Adidas skateboarding shoes – the white superstars, Pete Eldridge’s signature colorway. This simple product incentive not only motivated me to work harder and put my heart into it, but it also showed how my employer truly cared about me as an employee.

Incentive programs in a skate shop can transform an ordinary job into a rewarding experience. For business owners in the skate industry, investing in a well-structured incentive plan is an investment in their employees and, by extension, in the health and success of their business. As someone who has experienced the benefits of such a system, I can attest to its effectiveness in fostering a passionate and committed workforce. It’s about giving employees not just a job, but a role in a community and a culture they love.


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