January 2011
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A Division of the National Sporting Goods Association



We hope you had the opportunity to attend the Let's Play Hockey Show recently held in Las Vegas. It was a great opportunity for the staff of the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA) to meet many new dealers and manufacturers.

While there, the HDA staff did a lot of listening.  Many dealers and manufacturers visited our booth, and shared their thoughts about a variety of subjects including the Internet.  It was surprising to hear such divergent opinions about its use and value. Some dealers told us they have no Internet presence, while others told us they do 100% of their business on the Internet.  And of course, many dealers told us they use both on-line and brick and mortar selling.

Many dealers praised the Internet, while others described it as a destructive tool being used against their brick and mortar businesses. One of the online only dealers told us that at the 2010 show, the exhibitors were reluctant to accept orders from him, but at this year's show, he could place orders.

Show timing was another popular topic. It was often expressed to us that the show was too late for the big dealers, but the timing was just right for the smaller dealers.  Yet, we talked to one of the largest hockey dealers in the country who praised the show for allowing him to uncover new sources for hockey accessories.

And of course, we heard about the absence of "The Big Three" exhibitors. It was generally acknowledged that the orders had already been placed with these companies back in the Fall, but we were told that their participation would have been a way of showing support for the Hockey Industry.


Small Businesses Still in Recession?

Though seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent in December, half of the improvement was the result of the 260,000 people who stopped looking for jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  The Institute is a think tank based in Washington, DC.

Bottom line---the economy has 7.2 million fewer payroll jobs than it did three years ago.  And the economy would have to add 3.7 milliion additional jobs for the people who have joined the workforce for the first time since the recession began. In other words, the current labor market is 11 million jobs below the level needed to return to the pre-recession unemployment rate of 5 percent.

Fewer jobs equal less consumption ---especially for discretionary purchases like hockey.

How One Successful Retailer Uses Video Online

At the recently completed National Retail Federation BIG SHOW, one of the presenters was Eric Mahlstadt of Golfsmith. He shared his experiences with adding on-line video to their retail website. Eric told the audience that there was a 35 percent increase in conversions on product pages that included video. And the videos helped with the search placement on Google pages as well. Also, YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet and it's all about video.

Eric recommended that video not be used on every product page--instead he recommends limiting it to products with the most traffic or highest profit margins.

Social Media--over hyped?

ForeSee Results, an Internet Research firm, recently shared data regarding the shopping experiences of  10,000 consumers who use the Internet. One of the interesting facts revealed was that only about five percent of online holiday shoppers reported being primarily influenced to make a website visit by social media channels such as Facebook. Nineteen percent visited a site because of a promotional email and eight percent visited because of search engine results. Takeaway--don't abandon traditional promotional methods for social media.   

Join some of the most successful dealers in Hockey

If you still have not joined the Hockey Dealers Association, take advantage of the special dues rate of $94 for the remainder of 2011. You will also immediatley become a member of the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

Please visit our website www.hockeydealersassociation.org to learn more or obtain an application.

Thank you to the Board Members of the Hockey Dealers Association who have been instrumental in helping us launch this new association.

Wayne Zwicker         H A Zwicker

Fred Berry                  Hockey Haven, Inc.

Bert Post                    Hockey Headquarters

Lenny Grigorian         Hockey1

Scott Maki                  Play It Again Sports/Winmark Corp. HQ

Rob Howland             Pure Hockey Headquarters

Michael Benoit          Total Hockey

Tell us what's on your mind.

We encourage you to email us at HDA@nsga.org or call us at 800-815-5422 x 130 to share your thoughts and concerns about the hockey industry.


Dan Signature

                          Chuck Signature
Dan Kasen                                    Chuck Suritz

dkasen@nsga.org                          csuritz@nsga.org 




In This Issue
Small Businesses Still in Recession?
How One Successful Retailer Uses Video Online
Social Media--over hyped?
Most Successful Dealers
Tell us what's on your mind

HDA Welcomes its

Newest Members 

The San Diego Ice Arena 


Georgetown Stars Pro Shop, Jenison, MI


Open Net Pro Shop, Baldwinsville, NY


Crystal Sports, Newark, DE


Ice Palace


The 5 largest stores selling hockey equipment and accessories based on the number of active listings:

1. Play Moore Hockey Go  Figure

2. Fogdog

3. Bargain Sports USA

4. JustHockey1

5. Stick Fix Texas South


Bags For Sports 

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47th Annual 
National Sporting
Goods Association
13th Annual Team Dealer Summit 


May 1 - 4, 2011


Loews Ventana
Tucson, AZ
Registration now open!
Click Here for more info
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800.815.5422, ext. 130

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