Updated shop = upturned sales

Peter Durham is Head of Membership Services at Foremost Golf, leading a team of four Business Development Consultants for green-grass retailers. Here he takes pros through a step-by-step guide on how to revitalise the pro shop this autumn

I want to talk about Tesco. You may have heard of its continued decline in sales. I believe this is the result of the company taking both its customers and its number one position for granted. My local Tesco Extra hadn’t changed for years and shopping there had become mundane. However, things are changing.

On a recent visit to the same store, I was simply blown away! Gone were the boring, regimented aisles, and they were replaced with stylish, coordinated shop fittings, creative feature displays and superb signage and lighting. Each product category now has its own unique style and identity. I have to admit, as someone who works in retail, I get excited when I walk around the store and I look forward to my next visit.

 Grip BarSo, how about doing the same with your store?

I am always watching golfers walk in and out of pro shops without looking up or seeing beyond the counter. So make some changes of your own and wake them up!

How do you do this? By completely changing their surroundings.

The timing for this exercise couldn’t be better because you will soon be entering the difficult trading period that follows your summer sale clearance.

Once the transformation is complete, I guarantee that members who normally just wander in for a drink and a scorecard will feel compelled to walk around and spend money in your new-look store. They will also quickly spread the word to other members.

Here is a plan:

  • Schedule shop alterations for the last two weeks of August or even do a few late nights when closed (don’t forget to order in pizza!).
  • Draw an outline plan of your store and discuss the changes with your staff in order to get everyone on board.
  • Look at the customer flow and counter location. If possible, consider a counter move to really make customers notice. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to reduce the size of your counter and a counter de-cluttering exercise is always a bonus.
  • Use this opportunity to deep clean your store. When was your carpet last shampoo cleaned? Does it need replacing? Do the light fittings need cleaning?
  • Make sure all the consumable and impulse purchase items are on the main route to the counter with clear ticketing promoting multi-buy offers.
  • De-clutter your store. Entice the customer to walk around by creating clear, logical walkways.
  • Introduce professional ticketing and signage throughout that reflects your value, brand and expertise.
  • Approach your key accounts and see if they can assist in creating a branded feature display with digital media (such as a flat screen with a video loop).
  • Place busts on top of gondolas to promote your new Autumn clothing ranges and introduce offers that encourage multiple purchases.
  • Simple things can often make a difference, so make sure all your hangers have the same wood veneer and have size cubes attached to them.
  • Introduce a staff uniform to add that touch of professionalism, and to complement your new-look store, train your staff to deliver the highest level of customer service.

When you have completed this exercise, you and your staff will have a new sense of pride in your store and most importantly, your customers will be excited at the prospect of visiting your store.

Mark RogersAny excuse for a party!

When your shop update is complete, shout about it:

  • Promote it through personalised, weekly digital communications
  • Arrange a preview evening
  • Introduce an added-value repeat purchase offer that encourages follow-up visits from customers
  • Run a competition or free draw over the opening weekend

We recently carried out this exercise at York Golf Club. We relocated the counter to a more logical location, created branded hardwear and Motocaddy areas, and also exciting new impulse purchase displays throughout. The results were staggering. In fact, York is the first golf store where I now regularly see golfers queuing to pay. They simply can’t resist walking in without buying something.

I guarantee that your new-look store, combined with amazing customer service, will result in a profitable end to the year.