1. Pro Shops have customers by virtue of the game that other retailers envy.
2. Pro Shops have a brand by virtue of the course they are associated with that is unique.
3. Pro Shops have only their own lack of vision limiting their potential.
This being the case and the barometer for next year being only temperately optimistic, let’s review 2012, answering some tough questions with an eye toward the New Year. I have hyperlinked some key phrases back to appropriate entries to give the questions added meaning.
Is your staff comprised of likable assistants and clerks who will provide an incredibly pleasant atmosphere and experience for your customer ?
Are they educated with the product knowledge they need to talk intelligently about all the products you are attempting to retail?
Have they been inspired to provide that knowledge as a service and follow-up.
These are the toughest questions, as they may involve some tedious answers, but staff cannot be expected to produce if they are not educated and inspired. Once the bar has been raised and the culture has become one conducive to retail growth it will become quite clear which players do not enhance the team.
Some of the more meaningful in-between questions that should be answered by way of review are the following.
Is your inventory level at peak season one that your sale history says will turn 3-4 times a year or better?
If the answer to the above question is no, have you devised a strategy to get it to that level?
Have you developed a plan for 2012 that involves buying to space and projected turns?
Have you developed a promotional schedule that will inspire sales?
These are the considerations that should preempt any plans in Orlando or any decision as to how to invest in inventory for the coming year. These were the key topics discussed at the recent Merchandiser of the Year Conference at the Omni Champions Gate Resort which was an incredible event put on by PGA Magazine and I’m sure will be discussed often as the year progresses.