Try and picture this…you first start working with us. This is the first time you have worked with a vendor who is responsive and capable of creating a bunch of different designs in a very short time frame. You are so excited (and you’re so behind on offering apparel) that you want to launch all 3 new designs at one time to “catch up”.
Just like training, if you miss and skip your workouts Monday-Friday, you can’t log 7 workouts on Saturday to “catch up”. Like any training plan, your apparel strategy should be consistent, thoughtful, and intentional.
You launch the order and while you wind up selling 45 total items across 3 designs, you don’t hit the necessary minimum on anything and you wind up having to order a bunch of inventory to hit the minimums. Your plan of “catching up” backfires and instead of launching a successful apparel sale, you wind up dumping $1,000+ into inventory that will very slowly move and you just repeat the cycle next December.
There is a better way.
Take that excitement you had about working with a competent vendor, channel it into working on 3 new designs, and now let’s look at a calendar and spread them out. 3 new designs should get you at least 6 months worth of retail ideas. Since most of our clients work with us 4-6 times a year, you already have half the year finished and all you need to do is simply stick to the schedule.
If you offer all 3 designs at once, most members will pick just one. Yes, yes I know every gym has 1-3 die hard people that will buy all 3 at one time but the plan is to appease the masses and not just 1-3 die hards. Most people only have so much discretionary income to spend on gym apparel. However, if you spread out the apparel orders, there is a much greater chance that your members wind up buying all 3 designs because a new month means a new budget and a refreshed budget means more discretionary income.
For those who are still saying “but my members keep asking me for all these different items!”…We totally understand. Variety is important, but thoughtful variety works best. If a member asks for a hoodie in June, great! Tell them the hoodie order is only a few short months away in October. If a member asks for a crop top in December, awesome! April is just around the corner. Publishing a member calendar with the apparel orders for the year can really cut down on the requests for hoodies in June or crop tops in December.
Offering and planning for apparel orders doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little thought and foresight, you can offer apparel without sinking a ton of money into it while still providing members with the variety they demand.
If you need help spacing things out and coming up with a real plan, check out this resource https://foreverfierce.com/blogs/news/get-on-an-apparel-plan