Creating a Profitable Pro-Shop

A private golf club with a pro-shop and around 300 members will gross around $300,000 in merchandise sales in a single year. While that may not be a realistic figure for any martial arts school it does show just how much income can be generated from a small captive audience.

You have a small captive audience eager to buy. The question is do you have anything to sell? And if so does anyone in your school Know?

The main reason that merchandise sales in martial arts schools are so poor in comparison to lesson income is simply that the merchandise is usually not made available to customers. If it is it is seldom presented in such a way as to create a desire which is essential for any type of sale to happen.

Where to put the pro-shop?

The best place to locate your pro-shop is just inside the door of your school. If the office is on the left then locate your pro-shop on the right. In this way, the window display becomes a part of the pro-shop much like a mall store.

You want to put it here so that students, parents, and passers-by can easily see the merchandise that you offer. If they can see it easily and get to it easily then they can buy easily.

How to set up the pro-shop

If you need help in how to set up a pro-shop or what yours ought to look like go to the mall and look at stores like the Limited or the Gap. Better still find a Tennis pro-shop, they are very similar to what a martial arts pro-shop could be like.

They sell mainly shirts, shorts, and caps. Along with rackets, balls, books, and videos and yet despite having a smaller clientele than a successful martial arts school they sell well over $100,000 of merchandise a year. Golf shops are a more sophisticated example but the principles are the same.

The most effective way to sell merchandise is to put it on display. A good display rack is an excellent way to display uniforms and equipment. Buy a glass showcase and put it in the lobby.

Keep your eyes open in the local classified ads for stores selling their display racks. Stores go out of business all the time, so it’s not expensive to pick up some used racks or displays.

Display t-shirts and patches in your lobby walls at eye level. Use a grid to hang clothes on. Set your pro-shop up with walls or grid work on three sides and the front open so that people can walk in and see and feel the merchandise.

Change your displays on a regular basis, at least every couple of months. Even if you don’t change the actual merchandise, rearrange it.

You will be surprised just how many people who have gotten used to seeing a piece of merchandise in one place for two months, will suddenly notice it as a brand new item when its location is changed.

Change creates interest. Take some merchandise off the display and rotate it so that it never appears to be the same old stuff

You can have the best stock of merchandise in your state but if people don’t know you have it, don’t see it or can’t touch it, it’s not going to sell.