Retail Opportunities:
Driving Fitness Programming Through Retail

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.

When it comes to retail and those revenue opportunities, there is a huge connection between fitness and golf. Athleisure attire is more welcome than ever before, and brands like FootJoy, lululemon and adidas 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, we converted the tennis shop into our lifestyle shop, with lululemon as the anchor brand and other lines, such as Alo, Alala, NUX and Levelwear Verve, as additional complimentary athleisure brands. We still offer a select amount 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 run through our fitness center, such as nutrition and self-defense classes. 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.

We also offer an assortment of recovery equipment at our sports clubs and at a select number of our golf shops. We usually keep the 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.