A Cornish retailer has been ranked as one of the most innovative independent stores in the UK.

Newquay surf shop Watershed is one of 14 ‘Remarkable Retailers’ to appear in the list compiled by software company Vend and the British Independent Retail Association (Bira).

The business was founded in 2011 by James Wright and Jake Patterson out of a love of surf culture, and this passion is a theme that runs in-store and in its own brand.

The Bank Street store sells a “beach culture” alongside custom surfboards and clothes. Last year Watershed introduced its own surf shack, allowing customers to stay the night and experience the surfing lifestyle, as well as gifting visitors the “chilled-out” time required to design their own surf boards. The store then makes these customer dreams a reality by making the board.

Patterson said: “Watershed is an independent brand with our passion firmly placed in making great products and a respect for the ocean. We’ve been in the industry a while and knew there was a gap in the market to sell boards that would excite customers in how they were made as much as how they are used.

“We’re proud to be recognised for our innovative approach to retail, and we believe there’s a space for more independents to design and manufacture their own set of distinctive products. We’ve found customers love the authenticity and chance to own something unique.”

James Wright and Jake Patterson

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