Q-and-A With Wilbur Rice, NSSRA Board Member and Owner of Equipe Sport ad Mountain Riders
NSSRA is in the process of strengthening its voice and retailers are joining in the effort. As the re-launch gains momentum, we checked in with Wilbur Rice, a long-time NSSRA board member and owner of Equipe Sport and Mountain Riders, to hear the latest on NSSRA’s goals for its strengthening efforts, and to find out where things stand for the organization.
SIA: What is your main goal for re-launching NSSRA?
WR: The main goal for strengthening NSSRA is to enable it to become a viable partner with NSSA and SIA to better help our winter sports business. We need an organized and stronger membership of specialty retailers to create an alliance with our industry organizations to enable us to grow our sport.
SIA: What are the steps you think are necessary to get NSSRA to a point where it can have a stronger voice in the industry?
WR: In order for NSSRA to have this energized voice we need to have a strong representation of the country’s specialty retailers as members. We are making very good progress on that goal; we’re ahead of last year’s subscription rate and we’re seeing renewed interest from retailers that want to be a part of this process.
SIA: What do you see as the main benefits to retailers who become members?
WR: There are many specific benefits of being a NSSRA member. As a matter of fact, it is a very good investment for the winter sport retailers. Here is a list of membership benefits and services.
- Specialty retailers cost of doing business survey
- A compensation and benefit survey
- cost savings programs for freight and credit card processing
- G.E. Capital financing programs
- Binding indemnification list
But most important is the available interaction amongst fellow retailers who face the same issues and share similar goals. Having some other retailers to talk to that face the same issues is really important, and we encourage as much interaction between our members as possible, Also, having the resources of the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) behind us is really helpful. They’re very cooperative, and their organization is very large and strong so that helps a lot. We also have our website and our newsletter, which is run by Brad Nelson and Larry Weindruch. These resources are full of information and are another way for members to get information and begin conversations among themselves.
SIA: Do you have specific plans or goals in mind for growing participation that you’d like to see NSSRA undertake?
WR: My hope is we work on specific promotional plans retailers can use locally that are in concert with SIA and NSAA national programs. We should create outlines and specific steps that retailers can choose to put their names on and utilize in their markets. For example, we had a meeting in May with some folks from NSAA and SIA to talk about the specifics of the Bring A Friend Program. We want to build retail oriented programs around that. The most successful programs will be ones that are locally oriented but support the national program.
In order for the NSSRA relaunch to be successful, retailers need to join in. Click here to find out more about NSSRA and to find out how to become an NSSRA member.