Fitness Studios Improve Retail Sales

Fitness Studios in Retail.

From Wall Street to Main Street, athletic apparel continues to be the fastest growing niche in the apparel retail market. In late 2014, Fortune reported publicly traded companies Nike and Under Armour saw sales growth of 14% and 29% respectively compared to 2013. Both companies attribute the sales increase to the demand for athletic gear that makes a statement in the gym and on the streets.

Women’s Marketing reported in mid-2015, “athleisure” sport-casual pieces are driving traditional clothing retailers to expand their designs to reach the workout fashionistas.

The goal? To see the same sales revenues benefits as the Nikes and Under Armours of the world.

Lululemon, the now infamous show-er of extra skin in its yoga pants, has seen tremendous growth with men. And not just because the fellas are buying the yoga pants for their ladies, but because Lululemon launched an effort to attract men and it’s proving to be effective. Men’s sales are outperforming Lululemon as a whole.

The most enterprising fitness studios want in on the retail action and are creating their own gear for their clients. But, how does a studio compete with giants in the fitness retail world? We’ve got a few tips that will get your #FlyFam, #BarreBabes, #F3Nation, and #CrossFitFollowers wearing your merch in a hot second.


1. Limit the Quantity of Each Item Sold

We all know showing up to a cocktail party with the same outfit as your bestie (or worstie) is a fashion fail.

But, seeing everyone in class with the same tank can get a tad bit awkward too. If I know everyone in the studio will be wearing the hot pink razorback top shouting I Fly For Stress Relief, I’m not as inclined to buy it. I want my tank to reflect my personal mantra; not the entire studio’s mantra.  Limit the number of each item you sell in the studio and watch your clients purchase them as soon as they hit the racks.

This gives you higher initial margins as well. 

2. Encourage Staff to Wear Your Merchandise

Most pay high dollar for a premium studio in an effort to get bodies similar to the model-like instructors’ bodies. Whatever that body, ahem, the instructor does the client does. Obvi, if the instructor is covered with incredible gear, we’re gonna need to purchase it too. Give your staff a tank or two a month to sport around the club. They’ll get your members buying in no time.

3. Gear Up on Social Media

Who doesn’t love an #ootd (outfit of the day) post when you have NO idea what to wear that day? Well, use that trending hashtag to your benefit and encourage your clients to #ootd in your studio’s gear. Throw out an incentive (free class, percentage off another purchase) to the client who gets the most likes in his or her post. We suggest making sure the post include gear you’re actually selling this season. If the client isn’t showing this season’s looks, you’re more likely to miss a sales opportunity. Everyone wants what’s hot now.

4. Give a Discount for Highest Performing Members

Your clients work off their tails (literally and figuratively) with you each week. Many bring friends to endure the burn.

You love their positive energy and wish you could reward them. Why not offer a discount on your merchandise to those who perform at a certain level each month? Maybe every person who makes it to class five times a week for six weeks gets 20% off leggings or shorts. It gives your clients an extra incentive to get to class and gives your retail an extra boost in sales. And acts like a loyalty program which customers crave. 

5. Sell Really Good Gear

No amount of social media or rewarding will compensate for crummy apparel. Your studio’s gear should reflect the high standards of your fitness routine. Ensure the tanks, tees, shorts, and leggings you’re selling will hold their shape and allow for breathability while in use. And, get creative with the artwork and taglines you use. Every person who wears your products is a walking advertisement for your studio.

Make sure what they wear reflects what you want the public to see.   

It’s a fab time to be in the athletic gear business. Get out there and show off your studio’s style with these tips!