Gearing Up For The Next Season In Youth Sports
Seasonal youth sports purchases are planned long in advance if you are a sporting goods retailer. For the customer, however, each new sports season often means a shopping trip to get supplies and equipment. Families usually don’t know what they will need until they are at the first meeting with the coach. Subsequent siblings may need a new item even if the sport is one the family has participated in for years.
Connect With Coaches
Even if you have long-standing contracts to provide uniforms and equipment for local schools and organizations it’s a good idea to connect before the season starts. This allows you to verify what’s in place and find out if there are changes that will affect your stock. New regulations in safety gear may mean an update in inventory is called for. Ask for the shopping lists that parents will receive so you can have both list and inventory available when they come in the store.
Update Staff Training
The big advantage to a brick and mortar location is knowledgeable staff who can fit and recommend the best gear for an athlete. Chatting online is good, but being there in person is better when it comes to selecting the perfect sports gear. Provide sales associates with mobile tools to look up information on products. An internal messaging ability can provide instant answers to questions. Making sure your staff is confident in their knowledge of the items they sell pays off in more sales and fewer returns.
Add Impulse Buys
Think through the placement and selection of impulse buys. At the shoe department, shoelaces in team colors might be a good idea. Create a display of spectator gear — chairs, water bottles, sun shields, hats, and all the little things that make watching from the sidelines easier:
- Sunscreen and bug repellant in travel sizes
- Wipes in handy packaging
- Coolers for snacks and drinks
- Blankets for sitting or bundling
- Sunglasses in all sizes
- Bubble stuff for younger siblings
- Lip balm for chapped lips
- Rain gear for the inevitable spring shower
Scattering impulse buys through the store is good but adding some duplicates near the cash register is better because it is another nudge to buy something they saw in the store earlier.
The most important way to gear up for the next season is by using the power of ChainDrive Sporting Goods to optimize your management. Local youth sports do best when local sporting goods retailers can provide all they need for the coming season.