5 ways to create a better golf shop

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The subject of retail seems to be in the news almost every day. Retail stores are going away, malls are closing, and e-commerce continues to grow. This is all true, and to anyone in the merchandise transaction business, it can be worrisome. At the golf course, how can we compete? Why should we compete? Unlike stores that rarely know how solid their foot traffic might be on any one day, you know as long as it does not start raining, you will see traffic, and maybe lots of traffic on most days during your season.

 The golf shop was once the place where the golf professional owned and managed the sales of merchandise. Although there are still many shops owned by the golf pro, more times than not, the shop is another revenue source for the club……your club. My suggestion, despite the changing world of retail far outside your door, stay in the merchandise game and build the best team and shop you can.

Golf shops must be about service and convenience. The good shops carry a variety of good merchandise, new merchandise, and unique merchandise that will create interest, excitement, and sales. Never stop digging for that next item that excites you. If you and your team see the value, your members/golfers will too. Although you may be in a seasonal market, your team has seven months or more to build a successful season with merchandise. Here are 5 ideas that can help in creating a better golf shop:

  1. Begin the season with a very complete, full shop. Keep it full with variety & color
  2. Create interest with e-blasts, special shop events, and ideas to educate, inform & sell
  3. Always avoid using percentages to create markdowns. Use dollars off instead
  4. Create a demo day/vendor day on each tee.  Have a vendor set up on each tee to show and test their goods. Shoe brands should be on 17 and 18.  Sales will build after event
  5. Build surprises into a day of golf. Offer every golfer a sealed envelope with a dollars off deal for the day.  Once they pick their goods, they open the envelope to see their price
  6. (bonus) There are more high priced golf clubs being sold today than ever, if you have a solid teaching program, consider a golf club program with lots of demos & little inventory.  Let the vendor own the risk.  You be the showroom.

 Your team can run a profitable, successful golf shop. It begins with not being afraid of merchandise as well as having the right brands as your partner. The golf shop can be a magical place, but you need good people and product, not only a special order program to succeed.

Jack Dillon is the author of the highfives post.  Jack is a golf expert, a speaker and longtime merchant and operator.  Reach Jack at 407-973-6136.  Jack lives in Orlando.

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