April Pro Shop: Retail Tips



With the 2019 Augusta Masters tournament firing off on 11th April, this month sees the unofficial launch of the golfing season. Excited? You should be. After some great weather at the start of the year, UK golf retail is off to a flying start: up 7.5% in value across on and off course.

April is generally the 5th best month for UK golf retailers and, whilst it may not be the biggest in terms of overall turnover, it should be one of your best months for woods and irons.  Now’s the time to ditch bad habits, and put in place a new plan to boost sales. If you’ve lost your sales mojo, our “How to Sell More” Summer Series will give you some great strategies.


If they weren’t already, your customers are definitely thinking about golf his month, and now’s the time to catch sales from new product launches.  Is your shop ready for the new season? Are your team prepped and briefed? What are you doing with new stock that comes into the shop?

Amazingly, around 80% of pro shops fail to carry out basic retail strategies which could hugely increase their bottom line.  Ted Maher, Head PGA Pro from Great Barr Golf Club, said, “I’m really confident when it comes to stock management and, as a result, we have great margins and good stock turn.  But over the past couple of years, we just didn’t seem to be selling enough, and I couldn’t work out why.”

“I asked Mark from Crossover Technologies to join us for a day, as I wanted his opinion on why we seemed to be a bit stuck. It makes sense to get that third-party insight sometimes”.

Amazingly, around 80% of pro shops fail to carry out basic retail strategies which could hugely increase their bottom line.

Part of the issue was that when stock came in, it was displayed in the same place in the shop month after month. There was no plan for new stock. Stock sold when it sold, with little, or no, marketing to promote new product launches.  Said Mark, “Retail is the type of game where you have to cover off all the bases to really excel. It’s not enough to just think about one area, such as stock. You’ve got to have a plan in place for everything. In this case, the lines of responsibility within the team were unclear, and staff were in need of some motivation.”

As the Head Pro, you’ve got a million balls in the air and shouldn’t take on everything yourself. Allocating roles to team members brings the team together and there won’t be one person doing all the hard work.

At Great Barr Golf Club, team members now have new responsibilities.


Marketing Manager (Matt)

This role involves planning campaigns around new product launches and drops, and bringing customers into the shop. At Great Barr, it turns out Matt’s a genius when it comes to ideas for product launches: recently putting on a competition in the pro shop, so customers could win a putter.  This involved changing the look of the shop, as well as generating new interest and excitement around the product.  And when new wedges came in, Matt had the idea of a swing room challenge to win one of the new wedges.

When planning these competitions, the team got together to calculate how many putters, or wedges, they’d need to sell in order to give one away: the answer determining the difficulty of the challenge. When it comes to giveaways, make sure you look at the numbers and agree a tactic first.


Merchandising Manager (Tom)

Working closely with the marketing manager, part of the Tom’s role is to look at the competitions and work out where new stock will go to support these events. Promotional posters should be created, and positioned correctly. Do you need to move the coffee machine to encourage people to stay and join in?

The merchandising manager is not only responsible for excellent product knowledge, but also for educating the rest of the team.

Product knowledge is key to selling to customers.  “At Great Barr, staff knew a lot about hardware, but had less knowledge about clothing and shoes. If a customer wants to know about a particular range of shoes, you need to know the benefits of the more expensive pair”.  Tom isn’t only responsible for excellent product knowledge, but also for educating the rest of the team.


Statistics Manager (Ted)

This is usually the role of the person with access to the sales figures: namely the Head Pro, who’s also responsible for setting goals and budgets.  At Great Barr, Ted now also leads weekly team meetings where feedback from his marketing and merchandising managers, help him decide what to buy in the future.

Great retail requires constant reinvention, creativity and enthusiasm: and every member of the team has a key role to play.

“It’s only been a couple of months since Mark’s visit, but there’s more energy within the team, now”, says Ted, “we’ve seen improvements across the business, and definitely more sales than normal.  We’re all excited for the season ahead and there are lots of plans in the pipeline.”

Next month, we continue our “How to Sell More” Summer Series, and look at Upselling.