5 Reasons to Sell Gym Merchandise in Your Club

Aug 14, 2017 - 6 min read
kettlebell and sport shoes

If you’re planning on expanding your gym with full-steam ahead, then you’ve probably already considered selling  gym merchandise. If not, then you’re lagging behind your competition. Extending your gym’s business model into retail isn’t only a strategy for maximizing revenue, but it also plays an integral role in your marketing efforts by leveraging your member’s engagement.

If you’re still not convinced why you should offer gym merchandise, here are the five key crucial reasons why you should start right away:

1. Gym Merchandise Helps to Increase Your Revenue

You’re a fitness professional. But no matter how passionate you are about your job, you should never forget that you’re still running a business. And in order to remain relevant, your business has to be profitable. Of course, integrating any new business model comes with increased risk and effort, especially at the beginning. But the payoff surpasses the risks.

By selling merchandise, you’re providing an additional service to your clients which will directly increase your income per member. Simply put - the amount of money your clients are spending during a one-time slot will increase significantly.

You don’t even need to sell 15 different brands and hundreds of products to get there. When you’re starting out, it’s better to sell from one to three brands. This way, you will have the chance to get used to your new business model and evaluate your performance before engaging in larger operations.

Quick guide on how to start selling gym merchandise
  • First, you can go start with regular items for performance enhancement such as protein bars or powders. Such products seamlessly align to your member’s fitness goals, so the expected demand for them is rather high. Alternatively, you can go ahead and come up with some unique ideas targeted at a specific market segment. For example, sports bras for women, weight lifting gloves or even earbuds (for your senior citizens)!
  • After familiarizing yourself with the retail business, you can add more products to your offer. If your clients have forgotten some of their equipment, they will be very grateful if they can buy replacements from you instead of doing a round trip home and losing time.
  • No time to handle gym merchandise sales yourself? You don’t have to! Start out by setting up vending machines. This demands less effort and time. Also very importantly, a vending machine is super convenient for your members!
  • Gym software can help you run your additional business activity by managing all your data in one place. You can easily enter all your products in an online point of sale and save time you’d usually spend on tracking your inventory, managing the payments as well as tracking your sales and growth. It will help your business make the next big step, just take the leap! Still on the fence? Check out FemmeGym , a successful club in Amsterdam, that integrated an online point of sale to sell their gym merchandise!

2. It’s a Growing Market

Fitness experts and market specialists agree that the health food industry is growing exponentially. This stems from the fact that an increasing number of people are becoming educated on nutrition and want to know the origin of their food.

According to the Global Industry Analysts, Inc. - a reputable worldwide publisher of market research - the global sports fitness foods and drinks market will reach US$ 60.8 billion by 2020. Additionally, the global sports and fitness clothing market is projected to reach US$ 196.2 billion by 2020.

The above-mentioned projections show that the opportunities to tap into the gym merchandise potential are just about limitless. This is a forward thinking way of boosting your business growth.

3. Nutrition is Essential to Fitness

Working out without taking care of the nutrition is redundant. Actually, a good balance between sport and nutrition is the key to reaching most of the member’s fitness goals. As a gym owner, you should make the most of that opportunity by proposing performance products.

That being said, be familiar with the products you’re planning on selling. Your members are aware of the fact that working out is part of the way to reach their goals, but some people don’t know that at least 50% of reaching their goals is all about nutrition. And you are there to help them to find that out. Obviously, helping your members to reach their goals is a win-win situation: they will happily feel more confident and hence more loyal to you which helps you increase your client retention.

4. It Strengthens Your Member Community

There are different ways for strengthening your gym’s community . Open any marketing guide, and you’ll find that community plays a crucial role in client engagement. Members aren’t only joining gyms to train: they are looking for social interactions and for a community that they can belong to.

Everybody likes to exchange tips and advice about the best way to get in shape. The most passionate members love to talk about the latest protein bar or gloves that they’ve found. Everyone enjoys belonging to a group in which one can find like-minded individuals. By selling from one to three food brands, and/or selling clothes, for instance with your gym’s name, you will strengthen your community of sports lovers.

gym merchandise

To make this community even stronger, don’t hesitate to use social media. Create a Facebook group or manage an Instagram account to interact with your members. Client engagement is a necessary component for the longevity of your business and selling gym merchandise is one way of doing it!

5. Because You Are An Expert

You have all the knowledge in sport and fitness. You must know what is - and what is not - good for the body. Your members are expecting to learn from how they can most effectively reach their fitness goals. With all this expertise, you should able to give your members advice and suggestions on the best fitness products.

So, what’s better than directly selling these products at your gym? The same goes for clothing products. You can sell good quality fitness clothes, that you are using yourself or which you consider valuable. Nowadays there are lots of technical clothes, solely created for sports purposes. The time for cotton t-shirts and sweatpants is over. The fitness clothing industry is becoming more innovative and nowadays we have breathable t-shirts, lighter shoes, you name it.

It’s time you start selling gym merchandise!

As a fitness professional, whether you are a personal trainer or a gym owner, it is normal to think about possibilities to grow your business. A recurrent question is about selling gym merchandise or not.

All in all, it is relevant for an expert as you are to start selling gym merchandise to add value to your service. For your members, you are a professional who is there to help them to reach their goals. They expect some help, advice and that you share your knowledge with them. Presenting new products lends credibility to your business, and shows that you know what you are talking about. But be aware of one rule: only sell products you know.

Maybe it seems complicated to launch your new venture, but if you start selling only a small amount of brands, you can evaluate the success quickly and easily. You can also use software with a point of sale option to help you effectively start this new business approach.

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Simret Samra

Copywriter at Virtuagym. I am a former sports and finance Journalist, and a devout Liverpool FC fan. When I'm not in the office I enjoy exploring Amsterdam, my new home city!