Picture the scene. It’s been a cold winter. No one has been through the doors since 10.30, when the last of the seniors teed off. You and your staff are keeping yourselves amused by having chipping contests In the store to stave off the boredom. You’ve all been there…
The challenge is how are you meant to make any money when you have no customers? Well sometimes you have to accept that it’s not just about the here and now, but what you can do to drive future traffic to the shop. So rather than get frustrated by the lack of footfall through the store, utilise your time so that later in the season when you are busy, you can maximise your return. Here are some simple but oft forgotten tips to help to give your store the MOT it needs.
OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW
How many pro shops have you walked into that have seemingly antique putters, sometimes new in the plastic, but still at a full RRP. They might have been the latest and greatest clubs at one point, but your customers will want the shiny new clubs that they’ve read about online or seen the pros using out in Hawaii and Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the season. We’re sure you’ve all had January sales, but that won’t get rid of all your stock. Use a service like GolfBidder to liquidate your old stock, and free up some cash to invest in products that will sell.
When was the last time you redecorated the store? Let alone fitted it out? If you haven’t, you’ll be sure that another retailer in the area will have. A simple repaint of the walls and a deep clean of the carpets will instantly make the store look better. Do you need to replace tired store fittings, or at the very least run around the store and give them a good dusting? Even something as simple as putting new outfits on your mannequins once a week to display fresh stock. It’s not rocket science but when the season is in full swing often these are the small steps that are easily missed. Make use of that quiet winter, don‘t be afraid to get your hands dirty and save yourself some cash doing the work yourself.
MAKE SURE YOU POS ISN’T A PIECE OF S…
Do you have posters of Nick Price extolling the virtues of Precept and Nick Faldo waxing lyrical about Rextar? Actually you probably don’t, but you get the idea. Make sure your POS helps you sell current product, and you’re not still using materials that date the store. Big suppliers have departments that are constantly working on ways to help you at retail. From printed materials to store fittings and fixtures. Utilise them. Take Under Armour for example. The apparel brand is killing it at the moment, and one of their key marketing drives is installing impressive store in store concepts. Maybe a solution like this is right for you to heavily promote a brand.
THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE
As a golf retailer you have competition wherever you look. From the internet with its perceived best value, pro shops in the area that may be more proactive in marketing, to the big box retailer offering a vast selection of choice. There are plenty of places a customer could spend their hard earned cash. You need to provide a retail experience that they can’t get elsewhere.
Look at your mix of brands and identify what works in your store. Just because you like your rep and sold a product for a long time, check you’re making a decent ROI on it. Be ruthless and clear out the brands that clutter your store and concentrate on the products that make you money. Are there any gaps in your line-up that would help you target different price points or is there a brand with limited distribution that will help make you a destination store?
Launch monitors are buzzword in golf retail. Fantastic bits of kit that when used properly for coaching and custom hitting will help you sell more product. But are you using them properly? Ensure your staff know how to interpret the data to provide better results, and don’t get fixated on best shots, focus on the numbers that show improvement on the bad shots. And find ways to monetise these expensive units when you’re not coaching or fitting. Hire them out to other coaches or utilise them as simulators to encourage people to come to your site all year round.
All of these suggestions have been simple and relatively easy to implement. But some of you may have bigger plans for the future of your business. Big change can take months to come to fruition. So if you want to build a swing studio. or refit your store from top to bottom. start planning now. working with your clubs board. your director of golf. your buying group. or even your bank manager to ensure you can make the positive changes that will improve your business long term.