Online shopping and big players, like Amazon and Alibaba, are here to stay. Nonetheless, some 60% of American consumers, according to a study, still go for the in-store experience, especially for clothing and food.
Would a sports retail business still thrive amidst the dominance of Amazon and its kind? Experts say that retail stores won’t go the way of the dinosaurs just yet. Here are a few ideas for you to consider when starting your sports store business.
Why Customers Still Go to Retails Stores
The reasons vary depending on the customers. But some stores continue to innovate, and they get to keep a steady flow of in-store shoppers.
Customers are still attracted by the in-person experience, especially when stores offer inventive ways of presenting their merchandise. Some retail stores create themes around their products. Sometimes they even hire shopfitting solutions to do shelving and display racks. According to experts, while customers aren’t looking for a monthly change, this creativity in product presentation is part of the reasons why customers keep coming back.
Starting Your Sports Retail Store
Perhaps you’re a former athlete who wants to remain connected with your sport in some way or your just an entrepreneur who likes sports. Those backgrounds will help you either way.
- What will you sell? This is the first question that you need to answer. Will you specialize in specific items related to a particular sport? As an independent operation, you have the option to specialize or carry general sports goods. This gives you have greater flexibility in, for example, managing your stocks and targeting a specific demographic.
- Do your due diligence. There are big chain stores and other small independent players like yourself. Find out how you will position yourself amidst this competition. Dive into the details of your competitor profiles: what are their products and services (e.g., repair service, racket stringing, etc.), hours of operation, customer profile and overall look of the shop. Analyze these data points. Does your business concept still stack up? If yes, start organizing information about suppliers, possible customers, and third-party service providers.
- Draft your business plan. Your data analysis is a good starting point when drafting your business plan. This is where you fine-tune the identity of your store and set your business apart from the competition. Work out your finances properly from the cost of your rent to the value of your inventory. Your financial resources will also dictate the scale of your operation. Will you specialize in winter sports or perhaps offer lessons? Find out what your competitors are not offering.
- Staffing. You will rely on other people for your operation. Make sure that you screen your future employees properly and determine that they are fit for the role. Trustworthiness is a crucial trait that you should be looking for. Ask referrals from people you know.
- Your inventory. Think about managing your list rather than just “buying supplies.” The key is connecting with wholesalers that a) provide wholesale discounts, and b) can respond to rush orders. Manage your inventory by keeping stocks based on product turnaround and rely on your wholesale supply chain partner to respond quickly to your requests. This is an excellent way to manage your cashflow.
The location will also play a big part in the success of your business. Make sure that you’ve covered all the licensing and legal aspects. And don’t forget to be innovative with your in-store customer experience.