Head golf pros and merchandising managers offers these suggestions for boosting sales in the pro shop:
Lead the Way. “When I walk into a pro shop, I do what a customer does,” says Beth Ann Riecke, a former Midwest Regional Director of the Association of Golf Merchan-disers who is now a buyer for pro shops. “I look at the whole environment right at the door. Can I see if they have hard goods, and both men’s and women’s merchandise? Do they have things for kids or someone who’s not a golfer? I see if these things lead me deeper into their space.”
Make an Experience. “It’s more than buying the merchandise,” Riecke says. “You need to create an experience someone wants to be a part of. The longer they linger, the more they’ll buy.” She recommends lighting a candle. “It makes me feel warm, cozy and comfortable—like I’m at home.”
• Create Distractions. Provide coloring books and puzzles for the kids, a comfortable chair and a television for the men—as long as it’s far away from the ladies’ apparel, “so he’s not looking at his wife to see if she’s buying something that’s too expensive,” Riecke laughs.
Hire Women. “She is the eyes and ears for everyone,” says Riecke. “If you don’t have a female on staff in your shop, at least on a part-time basis, you’re not getting inside a female buyer’s mind. It’s that simple. And you’re losing money.”
Know When to Fold ‘Em. “We put our newest product on the front table, but it’s usually folded,” says Cathy McVean, Area Retail Manager for Troon Golf and based at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz. “It’s on the front table for a couple of weeks, then a new group comes. The shirts get hung and the shop gets moved around. It looks different when it hangs.” Also, “switch those cheap plastic hangers out for a nice wooden hanger to show that even though the item is $20, it looks like it costs $100,” Riecke suggests.
Wear the Merchandise. “I think it really helps when your staff wears the product,” McVean says. “Having your staff be able to vouch for it helps to sell it.” —LWB
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