The Port Royal Racquet Club at the Port Royal Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C., has hosted some of tennis’ top stars, including Steffi Graff and Martina Navratilova. The club’s dedication to excellence is evident off the courts, too; its tennis pro shop was named a “Top Five Tennis Resort Pro Shop” by the Tennis Buyers Guide.
From its location to its interior layout, the shop is designed to appeal to a wide range of members and guests looking for high-quality gear.
Located at the entrance of the Racquet Club, the shop serves as the hub of tennis operations. It’s housed in the middle of stadium seating that overlooks both the hard courts and the clay courts, making it visible and convenient for all. “This is a great layout, because we can greet every guest and direct them according to their needs,” says Tanda Bianco, Club Manager and Tennis Professional.
Port Royal Racquet Club
Size: 1,800 square feet
The shop’s unique circular design is divided into several areas, with a checkout counter at the center. To the right of the front entrance is a racquet and stringing station, while a shoe area with cubbies and chairs sits to the left. Additional merchandise is displayed throughout the shop on custom-built wooden wall racks, waterfalls and round racks on the floor.
“The circular design with the counter in the middle lets us greet guests from either direction, as soon as they walk through our door,” says Bianco.
A TV at the front of the store helps to establish a sense of community within the shop, by offering guests and members a place to gather. Custom-built wooden chairs are arranged around the set, which is typically tuned to the Tennis Channel and is also used by club pros to provide immediate feedback from video lessons.
One of the shop’s top goals is to offer a variety of clothing and equipment to members and guests. To highlight the merchandise, the shop staff is constantly changing displays. “It’s important to have mannequins and full displays to help increase sales,” says Bianco. “We have forms that stand on counters, and we display outfits on the walls and on the outside arm of each hanging rack.”
To make displays pop, the staff uses accessories to complement the outfits. For example, the shop recently displayed a leopard-print tennis outfit and combined it with a matching leopard-print racquet bag, water bottle and luggage tag. The shop has also introduced sparkle tennis hats, which have been popular sellers that also add panache to the displays.
“It’s fun trying different items, to see how they’re received,” says Bianco.
High ceilings and soft, cream carpeting give the shop a fresh, inviting feel, while strategic interior lighting warms up the space. Track lighting runs along the ceilings, and up-lighting atop the hanging racks runs in a circle along the back wall. Six outdoor display units are lit throughout the day and night. The shop also has natural light flowing through the front and back doors. Custom-built wooden fixtures, including displays, cabinetry and furnishings, provide a distinguished look.
“Our shop stands out due to its unique interior shape, the beautifully crafted wooden fixtures, the attention to detail with displays and the wide selection of merchandise, along with our friendly staff,” says Bianco. “We have so many regular customers, they become like family to us.”