How to Win at Sports Retailing
Sports retailers have a special mission in life. They exist to help the winners win games, and to the extent that they provide the tools that allow winners to do what they do best, to that extent the sports retailer is a winner too. You can win at sports retailing just by adopting a few simple attitudes about your business, your customers, and your merchandise.
- Focus on the customer – The first rule of retailing is to focus on the customer. You can have the best merchandise on the market, but if it isn’t the merchandise the customer is looking for, it won’t matter. Golfers don’t go looking for baseball gloves. So, the first key to being a winning retailer, is to understand your customer. If your specialty is a particular sport, know what merchandise will appeal to the players, coaches, fans, and enthusiasts of that sport. If your sports retail shop sells merchandise for all sports, understand the seasons so that you can have product that is in season. It’s all about your customer.
- Use your foot space efficiently – Store layout, merchandising displays, and the amount of product you can shelve all depend on the size and shape of your retail space. If you lay out your store well, you’ll be able to stock the right products in the right amount. That requires making the best use of your foot space.
- Establish a budget plan – If you’re just getting started, this might be difficult because you have no past sales to draw upon. That means you must make reasonable projections. Set a budget and keep and eye on what is selling. Establish your budget on real numbers.
- Keep the product moving – Once you know what sells, you’ll know what to buy more of. But some items stop selling as quickly as they start, so you have to have a handle on the trends. Still, you know the popular products. Order enough of them to get you through the inventory cycle, turn on automatic replenishing, and allocate the right amount of each product to each store within your chain. That’s how you move your product and profit from your inventory.
Sports retailing begins with the customer, but it doesn’t end there. If you’re going to win at this game, you’ve got to have the right product at the right time, and sell it to the right customer.