Outdoor Industries Association Blog

Archive for March, 2011

Columbia UK reaches out to help engage independent retailers with a win win offer to join the OIA.

Monday, March 14th, 2011

One of the challenges that was put to members at the OIA conference just gone was to help the association reach out to the smaller independent retailers.  The OIA already has 47 retailers as members, but there are a plethora out there who are either unaware of the OIA at all, or still judge it by the association of old, and others who perhaps simply cannot see the value in their membership subscription.  A fair enough observation if they haven’t seen any of the latest communications.

So Columbia are offering a helping hand with this great offer: product at wholesale to the value of their membership fee for the first year.

The independent retail sector represents a hugely important part of our industry. And whilst the industry dynamics are changing in terms of supplier/ retailer distribution to the consumer, which for the most part can be directly attributed to the proliferation of the Internet, independent retail will always have an essential role to play in the make up of the outdoor industry. But change and evolution is also needed, necessary even, to ensure long term survival.  This is where being part of an overarching industry body can help.

The OIA conference demonstrated that the smaller, independent retailer would directly benefit from significant savings through their membership, more than offsetting their subscription.   But just as importantly, and ignoring the direct cost savings, free business support services and access to vital data and research, the benefits of membership are also derived from direct promotion of their business to the consumer via the new consumer portal The Active Guide, and reduced rates for the soon to launch industry retail training programme, helping to increase business’s productivity and raise standards across the board.  And in times of crisis being part of an industry voice is invaluable.

Newly appointed OIA Board member Anthony Greasby from Countryside Ski & Climb, comments “I think it’s time for independent retailers to sit up and take notice. This is the only trade organisation that’s specifically going to make a difference in our own industry, and I really can’t find any reasons why you wouldn’t want to be part of that.”

Columbia’s UK Country Manager, Dan Trapp, also advocates this notion that we need to work together across the whole sector for the benefit of the industry, and that means joining and supporting the OIA.  So much so that he is putting his money where his mouth is and is offering all independent retailers product at wholesale to the value of their membership fee for the first year, even if they are not current Columbia accounts.  There’s your value for money straight away.

All in all it is a pretty compelling proposition.  But it’s your opinion that counts so here’s our call to non OIA member retailers:  get in touch with us to find out what your industry body can do for you, and is already doing for the wider outdoor industry at large.

And with Columbia’s very generous offer, you literally have nothing to lose!

Contact as today on info@outdoorindustriesassociation.co.uk or call 0131 333 4414