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NRHSA to conduct industry study

Hobby trade organization hopes results provide membership incentive
By Nick Bullock
Published: March 13, 2014
Ask a National Retail Hobby Stores Association member what the benefits are of joining the organization and the response will likely include camaraderie and relationship-building.

For NRHSA’s member stores, camaraderie, along with benefits such as the seminars and trade floor at the annual Table Top Expo, have been enough.

But in an effort to increase membership by improving its services, the NRHSA board or directors recently approved funding for a comprehensive “benchmark” survey, President Bruce Throne said.

“We’re really trying to put a little more meat and substance into the organization,” he said, “and give people a more concrete reason to join, to stay with us, and to try and help everybody better.”

Throne said he receives calls every month from prospective store owners wondering what’s selling well in a particular region or how they should best go about opening a store. “All I can kind of go by is talking to stores I know in NRHSA and people within the industry,” he said. “But I don’t have any factual information to give them.”

NRHSA hopes this survey will provide that information to new stores and current member stores. It’s something trade organizations in every other industry already do, Throne said.

NRHSA plans to hire a professional company to administer the survey, which is expected to take about a year to create, he said. The board also discussed continuing the survey on a yearly or every-other-year basis, Throne said.
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