SIA Newsletter

Now’s The Time for Retailers to Band Together and Support the NSSRA Re-Launch

Retailers, it’s your opportunity to have a collective voice – please get involved with your association’s reboot to help build participation and address specialty retail issues.

Brad Nelson, NSSRA ChairmanThe NSSRA is stepping up, and now is the optimal time for retailers to get involved to ensure its success. “Our goal is to develop an organization that reflects full time on behalf of specialty retailers,” said NSSRA’s Chairman, Brad Nelson. “We need to turn NSSRA into an organization that is capable of partnering with SIA and NSAA with the goal of growing snow sports.”

We all know that snow sports participant numbers fluctuate slightly with snow, but have remained relatively flat for the past decade. And we know that many brick and mortar retailers are struggling to compete with online retailers. Nelson said that he believes that between baby boomers aging out of snow sports, the growth of the digital age and more competition for young people’s attention, the industry is at a tipping point: “With all these factors to contend with, the time to come together and act is now,” he said.

“If we don’t stay in front of this issue it’ll be too costly to catch up. These are our livelihoods that are being threatened, so we need NSSRA to become a voice to partner with the other stakeholders in the industry, SIA and NSAA, in order to come together and grow participation in snow sports,” Nelson added. “It’s essential that the retailer perspective be a part of this effort, because we work and represent the industry where our customers live. It all starts at the front door of the specialty retail community.”

SIA President David Ingemie has been working with the NSSRA Board to develop its plans, in hopes of gaining a better retail voice and perspective as the industry works to grow participation. “It’s essential to have an organization that the rest of the industry can rely on to represent the biggest element of the snow sports industry, in terms of individual business,” Ingemie said. “It’s very important to affect a number of industry initiatives to grow participants and participation.”

Nelson explained that getting involved is easy and affordable, especially when you consider the benefits.
To get involved, retailers must become a member of NSRRA for $299. You can find out more and sign up in one of three ways:

  1. Read and respond to the letter that has been sent to all retailers by SIA on behalf of NSSRA.
  2. Stop by NSSRA’s booth at the SIA Snow Show to chat with NSSRA Board Members, who will be taking shifts there. Sign up on the spot – super fast and easy.
  3. Find out more, join the conversation, and sign up for membership by attending the NSSRA meeting at the Snow Show on Thursday, Jan 30 at 5:30P.

Nelson and the entire NSSRA Board of Directors, all volunteers, are hoping their first step can be to hire a full-time employee to carry out the plans; specifically, a retail-oriented growth program similar to LSSM/BAF. “My biggest frustration is that, as a volunteer, the other board members and I can only do so much. I hear so many wonderful ideas from retailers across the country about how to grow the industry, or address specific retailing problems, but we don’t have the manpower to implement anything,” he said.

National Ski & Snowboard Retailer's AssociationNelson commented that he believes a partnership between NSSRA, SIA and NSAA will be extremely effective and powerful in the effort to grow participation. “There is a tremendous amount that can be done, and I really appreciate the help that David Ingemie and SIA have given us to get this effort off the ground. It’s so important for retailers to lend their perspective, and I’m very optimistic that with a full-time, paid employee we can make a lot of progress,” he said. “I know we can move the needle. The question is whether the retailing community is of a mindset to band together and make this happen. I sure hope so.”