Shop Your Shop… What Does It Mean?

    TGI Golf Retail Team Manager Chris Taylor outlines what to look out for when analysing your retail space.

    Life as a PGA Professional moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. As much as I’d love to claim that philosophical line, I’m afraid I’ve slightly adapted a famous phrase from Ferris Bueller… any fans of 80s comedies will get it.
    However, it is as relevant today as it was back when it was first uttered, especially when it comes to today’s PGA Professionals, who at this time of year can be pulled from pillar to post.

    Long days, many different hats to wear whether you’re coaching, retailing, custom fitting, sitting on one of many committees, it can be very hectic.

    So, it’s very easy to let little things just tick over and not always get the full love and attention they need.

    As we get into the busy period it is very easy to just let your shop look after itself, but if we want to make sure the Pro Shop continues to be successful, we must make sure customers are shopping a well-loved and run store.

    One way to ensure you maintain the highest of standards is to regularly shop your shop. Now this is a phrase often used when talking about running successful and profitable businesses, but what does it actually mean? How do you shop your shop?

    Well, essentially it means walking through your shop and looking at it as a customer would, so you see exactly what they see. However, it’s important to take the rose-tinted glasses off and give it a full overview.

    Here’s our top tips and questions to ask yourself when shopping your shop…

    Start Early
    While it might seem the obvious thing to do, don’t start by the front door of your shop, start your journey from the car park. How does your shop look as the customer walks towards your door? Is the entrance clean and tidy, does it look welcoming? A welcoming shop entrance will entice customers to come in.

    Talking of your door, believe it or not, no one really reads anything stuck on a door or in the first few strides through it, so keep this area clear.

    Once in the door research shows that more than 90% of customers look up and right when entering a store, so this is a key focal point. What do you see?

    Keep your head moving and look down too, what does your carpet/flooring look like? Your floor will tell you a thousand stories, most importantly, if it’s been down a while it’ll tell you where people walk as you’ll see where it’s worn out…also, is it clean?

    The Magic Triangle
    The most trod route in a golf club Pro Shop is the pathway from the door to the fridge and then to the counter, so keep them as far apart as you can so people have to walk a triangle around your shop. This will mean they need to walk past everything in your shop to pay for their refreshment, giving you ample time to grab their attention with well-placed signage or hot products.

    Is this, or any other clearly defined route around your shop, clear and free of clutter? No boxes on the shop floor? Your customers should be able to walk freely around your entire shop without any obstructions. This may seem basic, but I’ve walked into many Pro Shops where routes are blocked by various obstacles.

    Does your shop have clear areas for clothing, hardware, shoes, accessories etc? You may well know where your stock is, but your customers don’t. Make sure it is clearly defined.
    Look closely at your apparel area, are all items of clothing, whether hanging or folded, priced, and sized consistently? Can they be easily seen? We need to make things as easy as possible for customers. If they see something they like, make it simple for them to find the right size. For example, is the waist and leg length of trousers easily identifiable? Are your shirts lined up in size order?

    If shoes are stored in their boxes on the shop floor, can the correct style and size be found easily?

    These points are very important. Research shows that customers will not wait around for a member of staff, if no one is free to help them and they can’t find what they need, there is a high chance you will lose that sale.

    Finally, once you make it to your counter, is it free of clutter, with impulse purchases – snacks, golf balls, tees, ball markers etc – close by? If this feels cluttered it won’t feel welcoming and customers won’t want to pay.

    Most importantly, take your time. Don’t just rush through your shop and glance and everything. Take your time to shop your shop. How does it look? Does it feel welcoming? Is the carpet clean? Are the windows clear? Is it dusty? All these things that seem so simple but can easily be missed when we’re busy and spending many hours there.

    If you’re a TGI Golf Partner, get in touch with your Retail Consultant and ask for their assistance, they’ll happily come and shop your shop. GR