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Creating the Right Product Mix at a Sporting Goods Resale Store

When you open a sporting goods resale store like Play It Again Sports®, you’re not only starting a business – you’re becoming a key resource for your community to help families get access to the equipment they need to participate in local sports teams and stay active.

With sports participation on the rise in many communities, it’s increasingly important to know which products customers will be looking to purchase. In 2019, the highest percentage of kids between 6-12 years old played a team sport since 2012. Roughly 60% of all children in this demographic were playing sports, with increased participation in team sports like baseball, softball, soccer, football, field hockey and ice hockey.

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At the high school level, more than 4.5 million boys and 3.4 million girls participated in high school sports in the 2018-19 academic year, according to research from the National Federation of State High School Associations. Again, team sports were among the most popular among this age group.

But to be the go-to, one-stop shop for local consumers, you have to ensure you have the products they’re looking for. Effectively identifying what will be top-selling products for specific markets and seasons throughout the year requires:

  • Access to relevant, accurate store-level data
  • The ability to interpret that information into meaningful strategies
  • Nimbleness to put those strategies into practice in your store

Here’s a closer look at how you can create the right product mix for your community as a sporting goods resale franchise owner.

How Do You Know What Will Sell?

Play It Again Sports franchisees have a unique advantage that other local sporting goods retailers do not: more than 20 years of transactional data collected through proprietary technology developed by Winmark, The Resale Company™. Our point-of-sale (POS), which is called the data recycling system (DRS), provides franchisees access to more than two decades worth of inventory data and insights drawn from store-level data.

Image Source: Cedar Rapids, IA

Every item bought and sold – across all Play It Again Sports franchise locations – is automatically logged within the DRS at the point of transaction. The software also creates unique identifiers for every item purchased, so franchisees can check their individual store metrics and easily manage their inventory down to the individual SKU level. Each item is cataloged and tracked according to:

  • Brand
  • Color
  • Size
  • Style
  • Condition/quality
  • Demand
  • Category and Subcategory affiliation

The DRS also keeps track of a product’s lifecycle, including its original purchase date and cost and final price at which it’s resold. So, you’re able to see not only the aggregate but also seasonal fluctuations.

How Do You Make Strategic Decisions Based on Product Data?

By analyzing reports from millions of data points, the Winmark corporate team can identify product and category trends over time and across markets. These insights inform marketing campaigns, inventory management processes and other system-wide strategies — from clearance and markdowns to first-in/first-out back stock, merchandising, signage and floor sets — that are provided to franchisees.

Image Source: Cedar Rapids, IA

Equipped with this valuable information, you can clearly see which items are most in demand at your store, whether it’s baseball equipment, free weights, hockey equipment and many other products. At the same time, you receive the tools to market the top-selling, high-margin items, so you can attract more customers, move more inventory and generate more profits.

How to Remain Agile with Your Sporting Goods Resale Business Strategy?

Sporting goods resale retailers need to become comfortable with seasonal fluctuations and use the insights drawn from the DRS and online reporting systems to market products both for sale and for buy backs.

The Winmark corporate team provides franchisees with guidance and tools when it comes to pricing strategies. Goods cannot be uniformly priced, especially in highly fragmented groups of sellers and buyers, so each item receives a unique price tag based on historical data. Markdowns and clearance sales are key to moving inventory in any business, but especially in resale. You want to ensure the right products are on the shelves at the right time to capture demand for seasonal sporting equipment. Reinvesting in new inventory enables you to generate higher sales margins than holding onto older products.

Some of the most effective channels for highlighting markdowns and clearance sales are social media, your localized website and email marketing to your customer list. Once you understand the rhythms of your business, you can deploy marketing strategies that will drive consumer traffic, which is the first step in generating higher sales volumes.

Support from Winmark

In addition to Winmark’s reports, tools and proprietary systems, we help franchisees be proactive in inventory management through initial and ongoing training. The reporting programs and software are most effective when franchisees know how to leverage them effectively. Winmark offers initial training for utilizing their reporting features, so franchisees are ready to use these efficient, streamlined systems as soon as they open their doors.

To learn more about running a successful and efficient sporting goods resale franchise backed by Winmark’s industry-leading tools and support, contact us today!

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