Closed Upper Mt Gravatt Sports Hobby Shop Sees Online Resurgence Amidst COVID-19

In mid-2019, Skate Connection rolled out of Westfield Garden City in Upper Mount Gravatt after ending its 5-year lease. Less than a year after, the pandemic struck and other Skate Connection stores closed up shop too. Now, however, things have taken a turn for the better as the sports hobby shop has become busier than ever in an unexpected way.

Online demand for roller skates and skateboards has surged as families look for activities to enjoy in this distressing and unpredictable times.

Photo Credit: Skate Connection/Facebook

Shelley Hedley and Brett Vowles, the co-founders of Skate Connection, said that the first two months of lockdowns affected their sales. Skater parks, events and competitions had to shut down as well.

Over time, however, their online site’s activity picked up despite closing their outlet at Westfield Garden City. Ms Hedley revealed that there have been sales during weekends that topped their Christmas holiday activities. 

The owner believes demand for rollerblades and skateboards, which surged in popularity during the 1980s and 1990s, saw a revival since wheel sports counts as “individual exercise” and will work for COVID-19 social distancing rules.

Some of their customers have devised “isolation stations” and clever skating activities to do in their backyard or the garage driveway. 

Meanwhile, Mr Vowles said that they are putting their focus on improving their online site and their remaining physical Queensland stores in Ashmore and North Lakes with a staff of 25 people. 

Photo Credit: Skate Connection/Facebook

Admittedly, the business partners said that there are operational problems to sort out as they are learning how to thrive in this pandemic. However, great opportunities also open to every problem. They’re keeping a positive mindset over what they can control in this new normal. 

Follow Skate Connection on Facebook for updates on their latest stocks, contest and promotions for their online stores. The company also needs staff at their remaining Queensland sites.