The New Role Merchandising Serves In Gym & Sales Retention

A few years ago, it wasn’t the norm for gyms to sell things like protein powders and branded t-shirts. Today, gyms are more than just gyms — they’re brands.

There are promising reasons for selling merchandise, like increasing your gym’s revenue, and proving your expertise in the health and fitness market. Selling merchandise also plays a role in boosting your gym’s customer referrals and creating a loyal community.

The Merchandise Market Is Growing

Fitness experts agree that the sports fitness food and drink industry is rapidly increasing because customers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable
on nutrition and healthy eating habits.

According to the Global Industry Analysts, Inc., the global fitness food and drink market will reach AU$83.2 billion by 2020.

As for the sports apparel industry, reports show that consumer trends for licensed sports apparel is at its highest and is only growing. The sports apparel industry was worth AU$37 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach over AU$65.7 billion in 2024.

Dip your toes into merchandising by honing in on these fitness-related fields.

How To Merchandise With Little Risk

As with all new business models, selling merchandise can come with both risk and reward.

At first, choose only 1 to 2 different types of merchandise to see if your customers warrant interest. Don’t invest in 20 brands or materials at once.

Once you get an understanding of how your new merchandise model is selling, you can invest in more merchandise and continue to increase your gym’s revenue.

If your merchandise flies off the shelves, that still doesn’t mean add other SKUs to your lineup. Keeping it simple limits the distraction of 5 options of t-shirts, 4 different ball-cap styles, and 3 sweat-pant designs. Too many options = more confusion for customers, and less interest in merchandise altogether.

Merchandise Strengthens Your Members Community

Creating a strong member community within your gym is crucial in increasing client engagement, retention rates, and even customer referrals.

Selling merchandise can help you strengthen your member community by creating lasting bonds between your members and your brand.

Customers love to show off their loyalty to their favourite brands, why can’t your gym be one of them?

What Kind Of Merchandise Should You Sell?

Start off by considering the needs of your members. Offer apparel that is relevant to the type of classes your gym offers. Not interested in selling clothes?

Consider selling branded water bottles customers can grab for an affordable price and offer high-protein foods that are convenient and healthy for rushed clients.

Article written and provided by Raj Sareen for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Spring 2018 Edition.

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