Natalie Knopp, AGM is the National Merchandise Manager at Escalante Golf in Forth Worth, Texas.
Natalie Knopp on the importance of extending retail to the fitness center:
Sawgrass Country Club, a member-owned facility, has been recognized as a five-star Distinguished Club and a Platinum Club of America. Located in beautiful Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the club has also been recognized by Club + Resort Business for top-ranked experiences, including the golf shop, fitness & wellness and racquet experiences. This standard of excellence extends to the club’s retail areas, as well. After almost two years as the Golf Shop Manager and Assistant Director of Retail at Sawgrass Country Club, having recently accepted the role of National Merchandising Manager at Escalante Golf, I am proud of our success in providing an elegant shopping experience that meets, and often exceeds, the members’ golf and style needs. Of course, it makes sense to extend this superb retail experience to the fitness department. As Sawgrass Country Club Director of Fitness and Recreation Tia Casady says, “Fitness retail is a great new channel, in addition to the other merchandise concessions at the club.” The fitness center apparel area is located in the front lobby, catching gym-goers’ eyes as soon as they walk in. This retail addition became a welcome service for members who had expressed interest in athletic and leisure wear with the famous Sawgrass Country Club logo.
Natalie Knopp on the business impact of extending retail to the fitness center:
Up to now, the Sawgrass Country Club golf shop had carried activewear to cater to the membership. But we knew that many of the members participate in other activities outside of just golf and they might not frequent the golf shop often enough to know what merchandise we were carrying. Now that fitness has a retail outlet of its own on the property, all members have a destination shopping experience in store, whether in the golf shop or in the fitness center, and the partnership between the two is driving retail sales in both locations. We brought in high-performance brands to cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of our members. With men’s and women’s apparel offerings, the fitness center’s retail area will certainly continue to expand. There were even plans to carry youth apparel going forward. It will be a place for all our members, especially families living an active lifestyle, to shop!
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