Bobby Jacks, the 2016 and 2020 Gulf States PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and 2019 Section Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA Head Professional at Wichita (Kansas) Country Club.
Bobby Jacks on the importance of taking a holistic approach to promoting athleisure wear:
It’s been well-documented that athleisure wear has become a popular trend over the past few years. Lululemon has made its mark and has become what many individuals wear every day. People want to wear something to the gym or the course and then be able to go to the store, lunch and other appointments without having to change their clothes. To capitalize on this trend, we wanted to bring in a line that had similar offerings but had its own brand recognition – and we found that in tasc. After discovering them at the 2022 PGA Show, we placed one order for both men and women. Since that time, we’ve had short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, gym shorts and hoodies for men, and skirts, leggings and casual sweatshirts to put over a tank for women. As the line has continued to do very well, we’ve continued to order more. We’ve built a relationship with this vendor that’s become more of a partnership. They work with us when we need something at the last minute or to fill in some gaps in the golf shop. Even in our relationships with vendors, it’s always about the personal touch that’s so important in our business.
Bobby Jacks on the business impact of taking a holistic approach to promoting athleisure wear:
To get the word out about this brand, we recruited all of our tennis pros and trainers in the fitness center to wear it, and we educated them on the products so they could explain the benefits. We also put Wichita Country Club-logoed tasc items on men’s and women’s mannequins in the fitness center, along with signage about where members could purchase them. Our golf shop merchandiser makes a note of who buys it and notifies those members when new orders come in. As the athleisure business continues to grow, I’m planning to do more than just dress the mannequins and build upon our early success. I plan on implementing an in-stock T-shirt and sweatshirt program with a small display in the fitness center to ensure our fitness-minded non-golfing members are aware of the retail opportunities in our golf shop. I’ll even pay 10 percent of our profits to the fitness center as an incentive for them to promote and sell the product. With limited space in our golf shop, we want to continue to expand beyond our tennis and fitness facilities and offer some product options at the pool to widen our potential customer base even more.
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