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Beach closures drives tourists to shops

Jessica Perry//September 28, 2011

Beach closures drives tourists to shops

Jessica Perry//September 28, 2011

With the New Jersey Sierra Club reporting beach closures increased by 50 percent in 2011 — from 109 to 160 since May — one New Jersey shop owner used social media to take advantage of a “captive audience.”

With the New Jersey Sierra Club reporting beach closures increased by 50 percent in 2011 — from 109 to 160 since May — one New Jersey shop owner used social media to take advantage of a “captive audience.”

Specialty surf shop owner Phil Browne, who opened Glide Surf Co., in the Normandy Beach section of Toms River earlier this year, said he used his computer to take advantage of days when the beach was off-limits.

“For me, being where I am, it gives me a captive audience — it almost does better for my business, because they’ve got nothing else to do but go shopping and cruise around town,” Browne said. “I had a busier day because of it.”

Browne said days where the waves were rough also produce extremely busy days for the shop, which specializes in high-end, specialty surf gear.

“I do a lot with social media, my Facebook updates for the day or my Twitter post for the day, would probably throw something out, especially towards the end of the summer … mention this add and receive a 20 percent discount, or 15 percent discount, depending on the day and what I wanted to move,” Browne said.

Browne said his first summer in Normandy Beach went well, and he’s ready to handle the crowds next summer when the beach is not an option for tourists.

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