With yoga gaining popularity in the United States, selling retail at studios has become expected by members. Whether you’ve considered selling retail at your studio or dismissed the idea all together, it may be worth weighing the benefits. In 2016, yoga practitioners reported spending over $11 billion on yoga clothes, equipment, and accessories. In fact, yoga studios that sell retail items bring in an average of 10-20% more revenue than studios that do not.
Furthermore, selling the essentials at your studio is a value add to your members. Yoga requires a bit more gear than some other types of physical activity, like running. At the very least, a practitioner needs a mat to practice on and a water bottle. By selling these retail items in your studio, you’re reducing the need for your clients to make a separate trip to the store to buy these items themselves. More importantly, if one of your members is running late and forgets their clothes and mat, you give them the ability to practice by selling the items they need in-house. It might seem like a big hassle to manage inventory and have the systems in place to sell these items, but with a bit of buildout it can be quite easy to manage and increase your bottom line. Here are a few tips to you help you start selling retail at your studio.
Start with the Basics
When you decide to introduce retail items to your studio it’s not essential to have every brand and color of apparel available. Make sure to have two or three different styles and colors for men and women. Use your fitness management software to report and track your sales over time and see what sells best before expanding your inventory. You’ll want to have the basics: yoga mats, water bottles, yoga props (straps, blocks), yoga pants and yoga tops.
Also consider including some smaller items that don’t take up a lot of space, like malas or essential oils. If you’re looking for a way to increase sales, create a ‘Yoga Beginner’ package that includes a mat, a towel or YogiToes, a water bottle and a block. Everything can be bundled and purchased together to get an overall discount and help your new students start off on the right foot.
Optimize Your Space
You don’t have to have an abundance of space to sell retail items, but you do need to use your space wisely. You can place small items, like essential oils or jewelry, on or near the front desk for members to see when they are checking in or purchasing other items. Place racks directly on the walls to display the items you have. If you are really short on space, consider having one size of each item out for display and keep the other sizes behind the counter or in a storage area. Items that are placed at eye-level will sell more quickly than items on high shelves or placed near the ground. For this reason, you will also want to rotate your retail items weekly. Rotating different items to eye-level each week will also help to make your inventory appear fresh.
Optimize Your POS & Reorder System
Make sure to build out retail items in your fitness management software so that members can easily purchase them. You’ll need software that allows you to add multiple sizes and/or colors of one item (a shirt or pants, for example). Ideally, the software will also allow you to track inventory and alert you once your inventory has fallen below a certain number. This will help you develop a simple reordering process so that you always have your top selling items in stock. You should also price your items appropriately and keep track of the wholesale price of each item to determine your profit margins. Zen Planner’s Staff App allows you to sell retail items straight from your phone or tablet, meaning you don’t have to be behind the front desk to sell these items to yogis in a hurry.
Make it Easy for Your Students to Purchase Items
For first time yogis or members that forget their gear, have items available for rent or purchase including plastic water bottles, mats and towels. When someone purchases these items, you can even put a bulk amount of money on their account to draw out of for future purchases. This way, you don’t have to charge their credit card each time they make a retail purchase.
A Few More Tips
Save yourself some money on transaction fees by bundling retail items or attaching purchases to a client’s membership. Once your inventory is no longer in season, have an end-of-season sale or markdown so that you can get rid of the older products on hand. Continuously check the reports in your fitness management software to determine how much retail you are selling, how many discounts you are giving, and if there’s any room for more retail items.
Selling retail items is one of the best ways to increase your revenue as a yoga studio owner. Your passion may not be retail, but the extra income will give you more resources and time to share your love of yoga with clients.