Back to the topic of retail.
In one of our recent posts we mentioned when you leave retail as a sub account or portion of Operating Expenses it requires you to be more critical of your purchasing in these areas.
Just like anything else in Operating Expense, we want to be evaluating and REevaluating necessary expenses constantly, including retail.
One easy way to ensure you don’t have extra supply or outdated supplements is to direct ship to customers. There are several reputable supplement companies that will allow you to private label and have options for getting supply to mutual customers. One option is to place large orders for all your members at one time. They prepay, you use that money to pay the supplier, goods come in and you disperse. A second option and one requiring less time in your gym is to have a kiosk (laptop computer) in your facility where members order direct, they pay, the product is direct shipped to your member and you earn a commission. Either of these options require NO inventory, no upfront cost, very little space and in the second option, no time on your payroll.
On apparel, one of our clients only sells apparel with pre-sales. He orders samples 3-4 times per year and then he has a 1-2 week window where members place their orders. The member PRE-PAYS for product orders and then they arrive within another week. Once the order is placed, the samples are given to the staff to wear for additional marketing. Again, no inventory, very small upfront cost (with a future return) and minimal room required.
If you’re considering a new product, many vendors will let you test it for a month or two. They’ll send initial inventory samples as a guest brand. Then, if and only if you get enough sale do you have to order. This does take some retail space and many lead to upfront cost in the future but only after proven success with your members.
We’re sure there are other creative ways to handle inventory. How are you doing it?