National Ski & Snowboard

Retailers Association

Member Update
June 8, 2012

NSSRA Member Update
is transmitted via e-mail and contains news of interest to members of the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association.


Those of you who are not NSSRA members are encouraged to join and take advantage of the exclusive member benefits and to add your voice to those who advocate for all specialty snowsports retailers.


Larry Weindruch

NSSRA President
(888) 257-1168, Ext. 129


Please feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues. 
In This Issue
A Letter From the Chairman
Receive Free Personalized NSSRA Cost of Doing Business Benchmarking Survey
Snowsports Participation Survey Now Available
Watch Your Mailbox; It's Membership Renewal Time

A Letter From the Chairman

Brad Nelson

This spring, NSSRA received an invitation to attend the NSGA Management Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The reason for going was to determine if this retail educational conference is something that might be of interest to ski and snowboard retailers (membership in NSSRA includes membership in NSGA so NSSRA members would be eligible to attend the conference).


In short, the conference was awesome. The presentations were given by some of the most knowledgeable consultants and educators in the retail world. There were many case studies given on trends and strategies from the country's largest (and smallest) retailers. There were three presentations in particular that spoke to trends in retail that the big retailers were all experiencing.


What I learned was that even the largest retailers are struggling with the trends that are affecting snowsports retailers. The same strategies and tactics that have been implemented by them have an application to snowsports retailers. The research presented and the case studies cited were extremely interesting.


What impressed me the most was that I was able to listen to speakers that I would never have had access to before. Below are a few of the many highlights I took away from the conference;


-- Consumers do not care about channels of distribution; only retailers care about channels of distribution. Retailers are being overwhelmed by the waves of technology but in the end retail is still about value and experience.


-- Lululemon Athletica was one of the retailers that was mentioned several times in different seminars as being at the forefront of specialty retailing. One strategy they use is every fixture in their store is on rollers and they change their floorplan weekly. The thinking is that they're looking to create a different, new experience for their customers every time they shop. While their customers are drinking the Lululemon Kool-Aid, their employees are bathing in it. They have committed to connecting with their staff as a means of connecting with their customers.


-- Experiential retailing was talked about constantly. If we assume that we're in the business of selling stuff, we're dead. We're in the business of creating new and exciting experiences around the passions and interests of our customers.


-- Trader Joe's and Whole Foods were mentioned as great examples of retailers that have edited their selections. Instead of an entire shelf of jelly and jam they only offer a few.


-- For consumers under 30, their first step in the shopping experience happens on the Internet.


I felt like I was taking a drink out of a fire hose. The speakers were great, the topics were extremely relevant and I had an opportunity to network with retailers from different industries.


I spoke with NSSRA President Larry Weindruch, who also happens to work for NSGA. He says if enough specialty snowsports retailers would attend, NSGA could create a session or two specifically for us. The timing of the Conference is good (first week of May), so if you're interested, take a look at the information we'll be sending out over the next few months.



Brad Nelson

Hi-Tempo, Inc.

NSSRA Chairman 

Receive Free Personalized NSSRA
Cost of Doing Business Benchmarking Survey

Quite possibly the most important work NSSRA produces is our Cost of Doing Business Survey. This benchmarking survey is requested by financial institutions, vendors and other outside sources because it is the only survey of its kind in the country that is specific to the snowsports industry. Bankers use this survey to analyze their customers' metrics.


If you paid a CPA to prepare this survey for your shop, it would cost hundreds - perhaps thousands - of dollars. As a member of NSSRA, you receive it for free.


The CODB survey is compiled by an independent audit firm, Industry Insights, hired to compile data from specialty snowsports retailers across the country. Industry Insights is not connected with, nor does it report to, any entity within or outside the snowsports industry. The survey is 100% anonymous and shows only average margins, expenses and financial ratios for similar sized area and non-area storefronts.


NSSRA members who participate in the survey also are entitled to a free personalized copy that compares your store's results to those of the entire industry.


How to Use the Survey


-- Compare your actual and projected expenses to snowsports industry averages of area and non-area shops that are your size.


-- Compare your store's hardgoods, equipment and accessory margins against like sized snowsports retailers.


-- Compare payroll and benefit costs.


-- Compare occupancy costs.


-- Compare sales per square foot and sales per employee.


How to Get Your Free Personalized Copy of the CODB Survey 

Option 1:  Go to the secure portal for the NSSRA Cost of Doing Business survey at  Complete the brief survey.  (It takes 4 minutes.)  Then fax -- (614) 389-3816 -- or mail a copy of your P & L and Balance Sheet to Industry Insights, P.O. Box 5440, Dublin, OH 43016-9957. They will take the data from your statements and enter it anonymously into the survey. This is the quickest, easiest option.


Option 2: Download the survey from the NSSRA portal  Print out, complete and mail or fax the survey and your financial statement to Industry Insights Inc.  Instructions and options are included in the survey.


Option 3: Contact NSSRA President Larry Weindruch at (888) 257-1168, ext. 129 or lweindruch@, and he will walk you through the steps.


The NSSRA Cost of Doing Business survey is published once every two years. After the season the industry has just had, this latest survey may be the most important ever.

Snowsports Participation Survey Now Available

Each year, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) publishes its Sports Participation Reports, which are divided into three distinct volumes, Series I, Series II and State-by-State.


NSSRA has taken all of the snowsports activities from those reports and created a single Sports Participation in Snowsports in 2011 report for NSSRA members. The 53-page report includes Alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding (net), snowboarding (at resort) and snowboarding (not at resort), with national and state-by-state totals for all activities.


Included are demographics for age, gender, household income, geographic region and frequency of participation. In addition, there is a participation correlation chart that shows participants in multiple sports.


In addition, the state-by-state report includes a participation index, which relates state participant proportions to state population proportions and indicates how strong a sport is in a given state.


This report, which sells for $150.00 to non-members, is free to all NSSRA members. It will be distributed electronically.



Watch Your Mailbox: It's Membership

Renewal Time


Many of you have already responded to our first membership renewal mailing, and for that, we thank you. For those of you who have not yet renewed your NSSRA membership, you will receive a reminder notice in the near future.


Your support is vital to the strength of the association. Counting you as a member allows us to aggressively pursue the issues that impact your business on a daily basis, as well as helping grow our industry.


In 2011, NSSRA repre-sented specialty retailers like you to:


-- Help return the SIA Show dates to their orig-inal late January time-frame;


-- Join with other major stakeholders in the snow sports industry to explore innovative ways to in-crease snow sports par-ticipation; and


-- Work with Amer Sports' snow sports brands to create a model that values the role that specialty snow sports retailers play in our industry.


We created a brand new website last year, and we're not finished. We have met with other industry stakeholders to explore ways to stimulate snow sports participation growth, and we have plans to provide more comprehensive market research for snow sports retailers in 2012. We will always be there to "throw the flag" when a company's actions jeopar-dize the long-term viability of specialty retailers.


NSSRA is working hard to assist you and to function as the retail voice for ski and snowboard shops. Thank you for the support and confidence you have shown us.


For those of you who are not yet members of NSSRA, please consider adding your name to the growing list of specialty snowsports retailers whose voices are represented by the only association in the snowsports industry that exclusively represents retailer interests.


Your membership mailing was sent to you recently. If you have any questions, please call NSSRA President Larry Wein-druch, (847) 391-9825, or e-mail:


By joining now, you will receive the Snowsports Participation Report for 2011 (a $150.00 value); the 2012-13 NSSRA Cost of Doing Business benchmarking survey (a $150.00 value), to be published later this year; and the 2012-13 Combined Indemnified Bindings List, compiled and published exclusively for members annually by NSSRA.


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