Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Visual Merchandising Center

How many times have you started building a new presentation of merchandise and thought, “I need a new idea,” as a matter of fact the better you’ve done it in the past the more it will be remembered and the staler the repeat. Perhaps you are putting out a new category of goods or want to create a new theme even the best merchandisers will tell you that they are constantly looking for new concepts to beg, borrow and steal. They may give their personal touch and tweak according to their space and props but everyone needs a resource for new ideas. Finally there is such a place and it is easy to access, put together by golf experts who understand the needs of the industry and covers a multitude of subjects – think of it as the Pinterest of golf merchandising. has developed and launched a much needed tool and resource that everyone in the industry will benefit from and can contribute to – it is completely interactive. The Visual Merchandising Center is a link on the home page that allows you to choose by category (Men’s Apparel, Ladies Apparel, Headwear, Footwear, Inspiration, Props/Fixtures, etc.) and browse “the best of the best” imagery on merchandising and ideas in that category. It has obviously been built for PGA Professionals, AGM members, shop buyers and the golf retailing community with contributions and sponsorship from the vendors catering to our industry. You can upload your own imagery which will be credited to you and your facility and describe what the theme is or what you were attempting to accomplish and you can comment on the images that are put up by others.

There are actually seventeen categories and an archive of thousands of photos which are updated daily. Manufacturers will also be invited to submit education and share “White Papers” on whatever topics they choose to share their expertise on – e.g. “How to Maximize Floor Space For Footwear Displays,” as well as submit photos of great fixtures and displays. In the interest of full disclosure, I work closely with PGA Magazine on a number of projects and was asked to provide my comments and suggegtions during the development process of the Visual Merchandising Center. Therefore, while I am biased, I am also genuinely very impressed with this new tool for golf shop merchandisers.

"I love it. I usually cut out photos from the magazine when I see displays that I like, so this is even better for me. Thanks for sharing."

- Jeff Kidde, PGA Head Professional at Aronimink, 2011 National Merchandiser for Private Facilities

The first impression that is made when a member, guest or customer walks into your shop decides a lot about their experience and how it will be remembered and discussed. Good merchandisers will appreciate this new tool immensely and come back often. This has been needed in the industry for some time and I congratulate the PGA Magazine team on taking the time, having the vision and bringing the technology to bear on the project.

Everyone agrees that shops need to be remerchandised often as this creates new perspectives and thus sales. This is not always easy and often requires inspiration. One of the great things about the golf industry that I have come to realize over the years is the willingness of everyone to help the other. This is the perfect place to gather and share retail and merchandising images and help and be helped. The link to the page which you will want to save as a favorite is                                              

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mettlers – Rittenhouse Square

Rick Summers, CEO of PGA Magazine, asked me to attend a launch party of a haberdashery two blocks from his home in Center City Philadelphia. I could go on and on about the location, the party, the staff, the service and the merchandising: but these images tell the story.

We all agree with the importance of the first impression and the image many remember is the attention to detail of both the property and the shop. This is almost as important a "wow factor" as the service provided by the staff. I was obviously wowed by Mettlers. Thank you Rick for the invite.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Winning Golf Culture

Since making the Merchandise Buy Plan Guide available in July of 2009 I have had a number of requests to offer a manual of service and sales advice for those clubs attempting to raise the bar regarding staff and facility culture as I do with my clients.

I have written a 40 page handbook entitled “The Winning Golf Culture” providing tools and inspiration and taking advantage of the unique relationships that are a fundamental of pro shop retail to help you and your staff move forward in today’s market to wow your customers. It offers techniques employed by professional salespeople from approaching customers to cultivating their future business. The mind set and methods discussed have impressed every shop owner or manager as well the CEO’s and sales managers of companies in the golf industry that I have advised over the years.

 There is no question that service is the most important and lest expensive differentiator in the golf industry today and that great service that creates 'word of mouth' business is the result of a passionately created culture. All business plans and staff considerations should have this culture as their primary consideration. This manual is a timely pro-shop and golf facility management tool as well as an invalueable read for anyone calling on these shops and wanting to help them with their business. Here's what some leaders in the industry had to say about the manual.

One of the great things about Mr. Kirchner's Service Manual is that Craig shares his successful formulas for success. He does not stand on circumstance, nor hide behind his paid consultancy services with some secret messages. Instead, his easy-to-read booklet reveals his wisdom regarding service, initiative and plain ‘good sense.’ Craig shares his powerful sense of observation with examples of how we all benefit from customer care. We think so highly of his writings that we have made his manual required reading for all our employees...his insights are as useful for vendors as they are for merchants.

Richard White
President, Atlantic League of Professional Baseball
Strategic Marketing Affiliates

Craig Kirchner’s ‘The Winning Golf Culture – A Service and Sales Manual’ is inspiring to any PGA Professional who desires to take his or her service operation to the ‘next level’. It is one of the best things I have read in 30+ years in the golf business. It will be ‘required reading’ for my staff, present and future. After reading it carefully, it simply makes you want to do a better job providing service to your members and customers. Not only does the manual motivate, but it is enjoyable to read also. From this point forward, my entire staff will look for opportunities to create ‘wow factors’ each day. In the golf business, staff complacency can sometimes set in. Craig. Thank you for the wake-up call.

Dean Hurst, PGA
Bayville Golf Club
Head Golf Professional

Quite simply, Craig Kirchner gets IT! “The Winning Golf Culture” is a road map to a successful Golf Retail Enterprise. Golf Shops in America today are poised to succeed unlike ever before because their members, guests and customers believe and value the Clubs/Shops own Brand. That Brand is the sum of many parts, quite possibly the most compelling being SERVICE. That SERVICE element is completely under the shop’s control….it is the shop’s choice to make it important. Golf facility owners, GM’s, Professionals and Shop Managers can accomplish great things only if they raise the bar of expectations of their shop operations, understand their unique opportunity to compete, and execute as the best retailers in the world do every day. Craig can absolutely help them along that path.

Mark Killeen
Managing Partner
Pima Direct

‘The Winning Golf Culture’ is required reading for anyone in the golf business or the service business period. After reading the manual I feel like I could run a marathon. Craig inspires you with his stories and first hand experiences to be better and better with each customer interaction. His experience and superior knowledge has enlightened our staff and has made us aware that everyone’s WOW factor may be different and that our attitude will influence the desired results and for that we thank him.
John H. Marino
Head Golf Professional
Old Chatham Golf Club

Another home run for Craig Kirchner! This service manual is the blueprint for creating a culture of connection with the customer. Apply these principles and you WILL be more successful. And work will be more fun too.

Buddy Sass
Head Golf Professional
Ocean City Golf Club

The cost for this bound primer is $79.95 including shipping and handling. You can easily purchase it on PayPal (“BUY NOW” button to the right) or send a check to:

Craig R. Kirchner
1610 Stonegate Blvd.
Elkton, Md. 21921

The Winning Golf Culture

A Service and Sales Manual
for the Successful Pro Shop

Craig R. Kirchner

I am confident that this manual will provide your facility an incredibly competitive edge and fresh new outlook and therefore be money well spent.
For group presentations call me at 4443-309-3005. I look forward to hearing from you if you have questions or comments at