February 2013
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DEALER FACEOFF

Jason Minier

Georgetown Stars Pro Shop

 


Jason Minier was familiar with tackling challenges during his days as a defensive lineman on the football teams at Jenison High School in Michigan and Washington University in St. Louis. But the one-time field engineer would not have envisioned a return to his hometown to run the hockey pro shop and concession stand at the Georgetown Ice Center in Hudsonville, which is about 14 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

 

Minier moved into those roles in August, 2008 and to quickly get up to speed with the industry with another hockey season quickly approaching. He referred to Bob Raygoza, who came on board just a couple of weeks later with experience in skate sharpening and hockey equipment, a "godsend."

 

In this edition of the Dealer Faceoff, Minier talks about making the transition to a sport he wasn't that involved in as an athlete, the challenges he faces as an owner of a pro shop and some of the other issues facing hockey retailers.

 

Click here to read the interview in its entirety. 

 

HDA: What were some of the biggest initial challenges you had to overcome?

JM: Learning inventory. That was part of the Township's problem when we came in. Learning inventory, turning inventory and how much to have is still an ongoing process. We definitely have very informed consumers who ask about the first new thing coming out before I hear from my reps.

At this point, we've built relationships and have key vendors for the shop, so we're able to stay more up-to-date on what products are out and when they're released. Now the trick is how much product do you bring in, and that's one of the things we struggled with last season. The rink lost a bunch of teams to go to other rinks and our traffic went down.

 

HDA: What are the challenges you face in operating a pro shop at a rink as opposed to a retail store?

JM: The positive is you have a captive audience. Players will say, 'Oh, I forgot my mouthguard. My stick just broke on the ice.' When parents and players come in here, it's always an hour before a game, and they're always looking around.

The downside is you're hampered by space ... there's not a lot of room to grow and we're not a destination. People don't come to get stuff if they're not coming to the rink anyway. In the Grand Rapids area there are a lot of rinks (nine) within 20-25 minutes, so there is a lot to choose from and a lot of places available to skate. Every year is pretty cyclical and people move from rink to rink. We had one big coach who a lot of people liked and he decided to move rinks and took four or five (teams) with him. The rink itself was hurt because of that.

 

HDA: How has the Internet impacted your business?

JM: It's been huge, it's taken us awhile to evolve and we're still evolving. People come to us to try things on and test this out, say 'OK, thanks,' and leave. There are more outlets now and people can find things I can't buy for the prices online. We don't have a website but we've taken to eBay to sell some products. My fear is it's going to drive a lot of small businesses like me that are service-based out.

We have to keep evolving and we're turning into a service-based industry. There are definitely some customers who come in that have been loyal ... and will pay the extra $5 or $10. We get a lot of repeat business that way. Our store manager does a great job of building those relationships. We've almost turned into a shop of necessity.

 

HDA: What do you enjoy most about the hockey business?

JM: What I've said most when I made the career move from engineering is this is just an atmosphere of fun - skating for fun and recreation. Unless somebody breaks a stick, everybody is in a good mood. It's a totally different atmosphere, and you get to have a lot of fun.

                                         

evoshieldrib1
Check out the updated HDA New Products Digest!
 
Click here to check out some of the newest products and innovations on the hockey market in the HDA's New Products Digest. This is an updated edition with products from Beer League Sportswear, Brain Pad, Dalco, Easy Prints, EvoShield, HockeyTapeOnline, Kobe, Transfer Express and Tuff-N-Lite.
 
 

BUSINESS BEAT 

 

Warrior Wins Source for Sports 

 Supplier of the Year Award

 

warrior   

 

Warrior Sports was awarded the Source for Sports 2012 Hockey Supplier of the Year Award, presented at their Annual Hockey Buying Show. This prestigious distinction recognizes both Warrior's outstanding customer service and demonstrable product technology. 

 

"Warrior Hockey is a movement," said Dave Morrow, CEO and founder of Warrior Sports, which is headquartered in Warren, Mich. "This honor represents our commitment to the long-term growth, progression and success of the sport. We're here to stay."

"I'm pleased to present Warrior Hockey with the Source for Sports 'Hockey Vendor of the Year' award," said Source for Sports President Brad Hause. "This award is presented to the vendor who has best delivered on the needs of the over 150 Source for Sports stores across the country, from customer service to product innovation, Warrior Hockey has been a great partner to Source for Sports."

"To have your efforts in both product and service recognized by your customers is tremendous," said Warrior Hockey General Manager Jamie Hartley. "Our primary goal is to make the best product for the best athletes, and our retailers are essential in delivering that message."

 


allstarshirt
T-shirts, memorabilia from canceled All-Star
Game at clearance prices

Click here 

  


bauerreakthelmet
Bauer revenues 
grow 9.3 percent
 
 

AROUND THE ICE

 

Concussion discussion

 

concussions

Football usually dominates the conversation regarding concerns with concussions, but this is also a major issue in hockey. Click here to read "A Culture Problem" in the January issue of Team Business. Dr. Paul Echlin, a leading concussion researcher and expert, was the lead investigator for a study on hockey concussion and he discusses the ramifications for the sport and the potential effects on certain products in the sporting goods industry.

 

emrick2

The Doc Stays in the Game

During NHL Lockout 

 

Click here for the full New York Times story on how NBC Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick stayed sharp during the NHL lockout by covering a girls 12-and-under league game. Also, click here for a story about Emrick broadcasting an ECHL game with his mentor, 86-year-old play-by-play man Bob Chase of the Fort Wayne Komets.

 

wolveslogo

AHL's Chicago Wolves hold youth mouthguard giveaway

Click here 

 



beerpuck Puck lands in beer of Bruins' fan 

Click here to watch the video.

 

 

Back to top 

 

RENEW OR JOIN NOW!

 

Remember to renew or start your membership now with HDA! You can do it easily by clicking here to fill out an application and to learn more about the benefits of becoming a part of the voice for hockey dealers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chuck Suritz

Marty's signature.jpg
Marty Maciaszek
mmaciaszek@nsga.org 

 


                      
 
        

 

                                                   
In This Issue
DEALER FACE-OFF ... Jason Minier of Georgetown Stars Pro Shop
Check out the updated HDA New Products Digest
BUSINESS BEAT ... Warrior Wins Source for Sports Supplier of the Year Award
AROUND THE ICE ... Concussion Discussion
RENEW OR JOIN HDA NOW!
Did you know?
The Dallas Stars have ties to three other NHL franchises in California, Ohio and Minnesota. The California Golden Seals started in 1967 and moved to Cleveland to become the Barons for two seasons (1976-78). The Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars, who moved to Dallas in 1993.
NSGA News

49th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 15th Annual Team Dealer Summit

It's a great opportunity to meet leaders in the sporting goods industry May 5-8, 2013 at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The keynote speaker will be legendary Duke University and U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

 

Bauer President and CEO Kevin Davis will also be part of a panel discussion, "Looking at the future of the sporting goods industry" at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 6.

 

There are a variety of informational seminars and speakers. For more details and updates on the conference go to www.nsga.org/conference.

 

NSGA joins PHIT America

NSGA has joined the PHIT America coalition on our members' behalf to help educate Americans about the importance of sports participation and the sedentary crisis in the United States.

 

PHIT America, which officially launched in January, is an important step in helping to encourage increased sports participation, which will benefit Americans by making them healthier and create additional consumers to shop in our member stores. Messages will be shared regularly with NSGA, which the association will share with you and encourage you to push through your social media channels.

 

To help spread the word, please provide the contact information of your company's social media manager to NSGA's Director of Marketing & Communications, Bruce Hammond, by emailingbhammond@nsga.org or calling 847-296-6742.

 
Check out the HDA website!

If you're looking for more news, views and information you can use from the world of hockey, then click here to get to the HDA website. It's a great way to fill the information gap between newsletters.  

We want your news!

We want to stay on top of the latest industry news and information, so if you have something to share please send an email to Marty Maciaszek. 

  

Join now! 

Become a member of the Hockey Dealers Association and help us build a voice for the independent hockey dealer. Visit our website
by clicking here or calling (800) 815-5422, ext. 1260 to join today.

Please Contact Us 

c/o NSGA

1601 Feehanville Drive Suite 300

Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Phone:(800) 815-5422 ext. 1260.

 

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