New retail consultancy launches

JSH Proshop Outfitters, based in Hamburg, Germany has launched a new consultancy arm aimed at providing ‘One-Stop Retail Marketing’ for golf pro-shops and golf clubs. The company will provide marketing support and consultancy to golf clubs and golf pro-shops to enable them to maximise on space and POS (point of sale). Jaqueline Hillson, CEO of JSH Proshop Outfitters has over 30 years of experience in the pro shop retail market and has built up a successful pro-shop and retail business.

Hillson outlines her approach. “For many new golf clubs as well as established ones, a pro-shop is an excellent way to encourage members to spend on-site. Whether you are a small independent or a multisite group, it is easy to overlook the basics and what the customer’s needs are.”

The JSH Proshop Outfitters team is able to offer evaluation and advice on all aspects of planning, sourcing, marketing, store design, team development and most importantly, customer retention. This results driven approach increases the through-flow of customers and increases profit. “Whilst we are based in Germany, we welcome the opportunity to work internationally and eventually hope to open up offices wherever there is a demand.”

Much of Hillson’s experience comes from owning and running the Treudelberg pro-shop where establishing best-practices have brought retail success. “When I took over the Treudelberg Pro-shop there was far too much stock and the shop was crammed full and constantly had ‘sales’ on to try to get rid of surplus stock. It was also a nightmare for clients to shop as everything was so close together. The previous person who had been running it in the first year wasn’t a golfer so first of all had no idea what golfers needed (or wanted). Because the hotel also had a swimming pool and tennis courts there was a vast array of swimming and tennis clothing and equipment to accommodate.”

JSH-Trudelberg-shop-INTERIORBy rationalising stock levels Hillson was able to maintain revenue while reducing inventory. “The first thing I did was to reduce the stock levels by a third and began to monitor the stock that was actually selling, therefore revising what was actually stocked yet oddly enough the turnover remained the same.”

Success continued even after the pro-shop was moved out of the hotel onto what had been the tennis courts. “Although the Treudelberg shop is half the size and not in the hotel, it now caters mostly for golfers and we have increased the turnover by 30 percent each year over the past six years which is great.”

A key factor Hillson believes is understanding and catering specifically for your core customer base. “What is important is to know your clientele. In other words what percentage women are to men and the average age of members. If the average age is over 60 you don’t need a programme with short shorts or skirts way above the knee. However don’t be deceived; even women who wear size 16 still want the latest golfing fashions.”

It’s also important to recognise that buying patterns vary between the sexes. “Male golfers tend to spend more on equipment so it makes sense to stock more men’s clubs and hardware and more women’s clothing. The secret is to get the balance right and not to be afraid of trying something new.”

Hillson has found a fresh look for displays pays off. “When I had to move out if the hotel I still had the same turnover although I had a third of the space and no hotel guests. I placed a glass cabinet in the hotel corridor with a pretty display with directions how to reach the JSH Pro-Shop – It worked. You buy with the eye!”

Incentivising customers is critical and the occasional freebie can help. But Hillson believes discounts should be offered on future not current purchases. “Keeping your customers coming back is also a huge challenge. Displays are changed every week, both in the hotel and the shop so even someone who plays golf regularly always sees something different and there is always a goody thrown in such as a pair of socks when someone buys shoes or a matching cap or glove with a bigger item. Members get 10 percent credit vouchers for even larger items encouraging them to come back at a later date. You get the full price, they get a voucher they have to spend with you. It is not rocket science just common sense. We also encourage our clients to sign up to our newsletter which offers them special discounts, news, previews of the new season stock and the chance to attend preview evenings and other events.”

Hillson believes that brand exclusivity is important to avoid competing on price. “Making the most of a small space but keeping it classy and exclusive is also very important, it is no use stocking labels you can buy on the local high street. Yours have to stand out from a crowd!”

Summing up Hillson says, “It may look easy on paper. However putting it into practice is of course a challenge. Every golf club setup is different and so are the pro-shops and it is well worth getting advice from the team at JSH Proshop Outfitters as even the smallest mistake can cost you dearly.”

More at: www.jshproshopoutfitters.com or enquiries@jshproshopoutfitters.com