In the Pro Shop with Oliver Hunt 

Oliver has been at Headingly for 16 years: starting off as Assistant Pro and has now been the Head Pro there for the past 6 years. Oliver has been using Crossover’s XPOS system for 3 years now, and we caught up with him two weeks after he was pronounced TGI’s Partner of the Year at the buying group’s annual conference in February 2018.

Congratulations on your award. What’s the secret?

Well, it’s definitely not one thing in isolation. I had a real shock a couple of years ago when, at the end of the financial year, we realised we were £10K down on the previous year, and I couldn’t work out why. So, we really pulled the figures apart and you’d be amazed at how the smallest changes can make a big difference. We realised we’d made quite a bit of money from Jelly Babies the previous year, but had taken them off the shelves the year after. We soon brought them back in. That’s just one example. Since then we’re always looking at new ways to improve what we do and offer the best service possible.

Is there anything you do on a regular basis to the shop?

One thing that works for us is that we change the shop around on a weekly basis. So, when the members come in on a Saturday, the shop looks slightly different to the week before. It might not be that we’ve received any new stock that week, but it keeps customers interested if they always see products differently.

And what about systems you’ve put in place?

I don’t hold onto too much stock. That’s a big thing. And in fact, we offer trade-ins so we’re helping customers to shift their own items. We’ve also started to capture whether a customer is a member or visitor, and we note that against every sale. In a few months’ time, we should get some interesting information back from this, that may, or may not, change the way we do things.

We’ve had the XPOS system for 3 years now. It was a big investment for us but you soon see the value, and I wouldn’t be without it now. The stock taking app and XCODES are fantastic – the time spent on stock takes has been halved, and I really appreciate the benefits of the reports you can run from the system.

I use XPOS to run the sales stats and VAT analysis on a daily basis, and feed them into my accounting system. It really helps me stay on top of where I am. Some days you may not like what the figures tell you, but you’ve got to be aware of any bad sales days so you get do something about it.

Apart from that, my assistant Josh, carries out stocktakes on about 3 products each week so we can keep on top of any potential discrepancies.

And finally, what do you think gives you the edge?

Again, it’s never one thing. But to compete in this tough environment you’ve got to offer something that the online sites can’t. Yesterday a member came into the shop and wanted soft yellow balls, but we didn’t have any. I went to another shop today and managed to swop some, so the gentleman will have his yellow balls when he comes in to play on Sunday. I want to prevent him from going online to get them, where he could buy himself some new shoes, or a wood, at the same time.   Price-matching is something we also offer, and keeps customers coming back.