I hope this e-mail finds you well and hard at work at what we all hope is a prosperous summer season.
A number of things have happened since our last board meeting in Denver. Here's an update
This is a web hosting and e-commerce company that board member Todd Brewer brought to our attention. SmartEtailing started in the bicycle industry, which has done a great job of supporting specialty retailers; most bicycle vendors do not allow their bicycles to be sold online. The founder of SmartEtailing began as a bicycle retailer. He and a partner created an e-commerce solution that was designed to allow retailers and their vendors to collaborate on an e-commerce solution that works.
SE's solution allows vendors to sell bicycles through their specialty retailers, which gives the vendor complete access to the e-commerce marketplace and supports specialty retailers in the process. SE is the de facto e-commerce solution for bicycle retailers for several important reasons.
First, they offer the ability for small specialty bicycle retailers to quickly and easily create e-commerce websites. Anyone that has tried to create their own e-commerce website knows how incredibly expensive and time consuming that task is; it's simply not possible for most retailers. SE's solution makes it possible for even small retailers to create an e-commerce site by using a simple point and click process.
SE's move into the snowsports world is sort of a chicken and egg situation. They need to have the support of a few key vendors to make their solution work for retailers. NSSRA has written about SE in our newsletter and has sent e-mails to select members of the vendor community. SE is now in the process of making presentations to vendors.
This is an effort spearheaded by NSSRA board member Tom Gately (SMC president) and SMC chairman Tom Fuerst from Pedigree Ski Shop, N.Y. (NSSRA board members viewed this presentation at our board meeting in Denver). The Buy/Sell project is a conversation with the vendor community around the issue of the poor inventory turns that are plaguing our industry. Now that the buying season is behind us, the plan is to engage the vendor community in this topic and begin what we hope is a substantive discussion on the issue.
A meeting initiated by past NSSRA Chairman Wilbur Rice, Equipe Sport, VT, was held at Stratton Mountain on April 23. Attending the meeting representing the retail community were Rice, NSSRA board members Tom Gately, Steve Rogers and Chairman Brad Nelson, Michael and Tom Fuerst, Pedigree Ski Shop. Attending the meeting representing the area community were NSAA members Sky Foulkes, Stratton Mtn.; Tyler Fairbank, Bromley, VT, Jiminy Peak, MA and Cranmore NH; Carolyn Stimpson, Wachusett, MA. Attendees representing the vendor community were SIA members Tim Petrick, Rossignol; Mike Noonan, Volkl; Dan "Sully" Sullivan, Rome; Sasha Dietschi-Cooper and Hillary Sherman, Burton. Also attending was Adam Howard from Back Country magazine. The meeting was led by Hugh Harley past CEO of Rossignol USA and past Director and Chairman of SIA.
This goal of the meeting was to discuss how the various stakeholders can work together to grow the snowsports industry.
Some takeaways from the meeting:
- Significant effort is already being done on this issue by NSAA and SIA
- The retail community has found it difficult to connect with some of these efforts.
- "Growing Snowsports" is not in anyone's job description yet it is all of our responsibilities'. Waiting for some group or some person to "get it done" is not a strategy that we can afford. Simply put, if we work in this industry, our job depends on this effort.
- This is not only a "snowsports" issue. There are cultural and demographic issues that are producing the same effect on many sports and activities.
- While various members of the stakeholder groups are competitors, we need to be allies in this effort.
Communication needs to improve. The entire industry needs to be on the same page with strategy and tactics.
It was the hope that a leadership group could be formed from the stakeholder community that is tasked with just this issue. The group needs to meet several times during the course of the year; stopping and starting this conversation isn't getting us any closer to a solution. They will represent their stakeholder groups in this discussion and report back to their constituencies on recommendations and findings from the group. Work to get that group together is happening now.
Orders are in, summer season is upon us and with that we offer up a toast goodbye to the season that wasn't.
Hi Tempo, Inc.