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Apparel plan for the first half of 2020

For gym owners, Q1 was always an easy layup for apparel orders due to the Open taking up much of Q1. Now that the Open has been permanently moved, what now? In this post, I hope to provide some direction was to what you should be doing for for the next 6 months. I know most owners like to offer apparel “when it feels right”, but we’re going to take the guess work out of this and tell you exactly when to order.

February/March- This will be your last shot for ordering hoodies/zip ups/crewneck until the Fall.  If you dropped the ball on offering something in the beginning of winter, this is your last shot to try and sell a high ticket item like a pullover or zip up. From April-September, it is usually all tees and tanks.  If you’ve already offered a hoodie this year, this is the perfect time to offer a longsleeve or baseball tee option to help bridge the gap between Winter and Spring. 

April/May- This is a slam dunk time to offer apparel. Memorial Day provides an awesome opportunity to create a new design that is specifically geared towards the patriotic holiday. Whether you are doing a specific hero WOD or a RED themed month, we can help here. 

June/July- Summer designs. This is a great opportunity to switch things up and get away from the black, dark grey, and other dark colors that tend to dominate gym apparel. Summer designs are usually brighter garments (bright blues and greens) and different tank options. Will this appeal to everyone in the gym? Nope. That is not the point. The point is to stimulate some variety and break up the monotony of dark colors. This is a very strategic apparel idea and it will set you up for a bigger and better Fall.

That is 6 months worth of apparel. As always, stay tuned for our new design ideas. We’re working on new design ideas every month and we have a ton of new designs for 2020 in the works already. 

If you prefer some individual planning and something a little more specific to your gym, shoot us an email,  and we can carve out time for a quick phone call to go over your needs. 


The Importance of Spreading Out Apparel Orders

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

Play the Long Game

This week's guest post is by Jason Fernandez of CrossFit Rife. Jason has been around long enough to see, hear, and experience it all when it comes to running and owning an affiliate. Check out the post below for some hard fought wisdom!

In Simon Sinek’s new book, The Infinite Game, he discusses the perils of short term thinking and trying to “win” vs playing the long game with the only objective being to “stay in the game”. 

Which one of those mindsets do you bring to your brand apparel?

This begs the questions we should ask ourselves about our brand:
Do you like people associating with your brand?   
Does it make you happy to see a gym full of folks wearing your logo? 
Do you want that to happen without being painful to you or your staff??

Then stop trying to sell 100 T-Shirts when you have 133 members!!!!!

Just so we can talk objectively selling to 50% of your member base would be incredible.  100/133 is 75%.  That is not realistic

You know what is??  30%  And even that is high.

As gym owners we get upset because we don’t know anything about retail, but we do know it is a profitable market.  So, we force the issue.  We put all our hopes and dreams on that one sale, that one design, that one color.  None of which were tested, polled or requested.

This is the definition of foolishness.  And it’s short sighted.

Play the long game.  The long game is to have 80-95% of the member base to have at least one item with your logo on it. 

This means we have to think in much longer time periods.  Not months, YEARS!  This is going to be potentially dozens of designs.

But it will happen, with patience.   People are picky.  They might like the design, but not the color or the color and not the design.  Or they like the design but prefer it on the front and not the back, or they think it would have been better on a hoodie not a T-Shirt.  Then you did put it on a hoodie, but they wanted a pull over and you ordered zip ups. 

I didn’t do well in college, but I know my odds based on all of those personal preferences aren’t anything I would bet on in Vegas.

We have done dozens of designs over the years.  Some were a hit some weren’t.  Some did great, and I hated them.  Who would have thought?

If we want to sell hundreds of shirts, we have to be ok with doing that in smaller increments and multiple designs.  The more the better.  People are picky but most of them like variety. 

We’ve been doing 3-6 shirts a year for the past 3+years.  We have done so many designs that sometimes people walk in with a shirt I forgot we sold.  Cool! 

Smaller orders create novelty.  It gives us more opportunity to appeal to the entire community and lets them know that we will get to them because we are creating another design soon.
All the while we are putting more apparel on our members, creating association with the brand, loyalty from our members and pride in what we do.

Doesn’t sound half bad.