Surf Industry Gut-Punched by 84 Layoffs at Major Brands

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The surf industry looks a lot different today than it did, like, five or 10 years ago.

That’s primarily due to the major acquisition, mega-merger of a handful of the biggest surf brands all under the same umbrella – Authentic Brands Group.

And after the acquisition, which closed in September of 2023, came lots of layoffs.

84 jobs in total.

“Due to Boardriders Wholesale, LLC (the "Company”) recent acquisition by Authentic Brands Group and resulting restructure, the Company is initiating necessary but difficult measures,” a press release from September reads.

It doesn’t specify which companies, or which positions are included in the layoffs, but according to Fashion Dive:

“Impacted employees include c-suite members, including a CEO, global CFO, chief information officer and chief tax officer. The other employees include directors of design, creative and marketing, among others…

“Other affected employees worked at a building for its brand RVCA in Costa Mesa, California, and a Quiksilver distribution center in Mira Loma, California, as well as another location in Universal City, California.”

Acquisitions, mergers, and other business dealings of that nature usually lead to layoffs. That’s nothing new. But this is pretty major, in terms of workforce.

And at the time of the acquisition, Authentic Brands Group seemed pretty stoked on each of the new brands they picked up, and supporting their own individual futures.

“Authentic Brands Group is pleased to confirm the completion of its purchase of world-renowned super brands Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, DC Shoes, Element, VonZipper, Honolua, and Boardriders,” Authentic said in a statement. “Each brand comes with significant and recognized presence in the action sports and lifestyle industries.”

What will this mean for the surfers?

Is the surf industry dead?


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