Michelle Kempe, the 2013 Carolinas PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA National Director of Retail at Escalante Golf in Dallas, Texas.
Michelle Kempe on the importance of driving fitness programming through retail:
When it comes to retail and the potential revenue opportunities, there is a huge connection between fitness and golf. Athleisure attire is more welcome than ever before, and many apparel brands are adding pieces that can be worn during multiple activities, including running, golf, pickleball and so much more. We use our social media pages to highlight both brand- and club-specific content to cross promote these brands with different activities throughout our clubs. At The River Club in Suwanee, Georgia, for example, we converted the tennis shop into a lifestyle shop, with lululemon as the anchor brand and several other lines as additional complimentary athleisure options from which members can choose. With the segment being pretty new, members enjoy seeing what multiple brands have to offer. We even offer a selection of tennis-specific activewear, along with other sports and lifestyle accessories, such as Corkcicle water bottles, Parker & Hyde tote bags, beach towels and Revo sunglasses. For this particular shop, we created a QR code that all customers can scan at the register that links to our social media page. This page offers updates on training class schedules, new merchandise drops and other specialty programs that are run through our fitness center, such as nutrition and self-defense classes, among others. We have trainers at each sports club who are TPI-certified and offer classes focused on golf swing flexibility and strength training to increase clubhead speed.
Michelle Kempe on the business impact of driving fitness programming through retail:
We also offer an assortment of recovery equipment at our sports clubs and at a select number of our golf shops. We usually keep a demo device at the counter, and most of our trainers will use the recovery units at the end of individual training sessions. We also piloted CBD and other recovery supplements at our sports clubs and a few of our larger shops. Through member engagement in our retail facilities, we have not only seen success with sales of these products, but an increase in fitness programming participation, as well. Innovation and technology is driving many aspects of golf, fitness and retail – this QR code creation is a winner across multiple departments for us.
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