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How to Open a Sporting Goods Store

Opening a retail store is a big decision. There's so much to figure out, from operations to marketing and everything in between. Luckily, franchising gives aspiring entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to succeed.

Sporting goods stores are becoming increasingly popular, growing even faster than the retail trade sector overall. As a $65 billion market, it shows no signs of slowing down. Whether you're casually browsing at opportunities or ready to put your dreams into action, there are a few key steps to consider when it comes to opening a sporting goods store.

Do Your Research

As with all business ventures, research is the first step toward setting yourself up for success. When researching which sporting goods stores to open, be sure to take the time to go through all the different factors such as outlook, recognition, timeline and, of course, investment.

You should also consider whether you'd like to have a "traditional" sporting goods store or a resale one. The resale market, which is expected to reach $64+ billion by 2028, is a rapidly growing sector in the business world. Not only is it an environmentally friendly alternative, it's also a budget-friendly one for sports enthusiasts everywhere.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, more people invested in at-home workout equipment. As time goes on, this trend is expected to continue. Not only do resale stores like Play It Again Sports® allow customers to save on their shopping trips, but it also allows them to get paid for the items they no longer use.

The best ways to learn more about resale sporting goods stores are by visiting your local stores, conducting online research and, for franchises, signing up to receive a free franchise report.

Select Your Business Model

When it comes to business models, retail stores offer some of the most flexible ones around. One of the best ways to evaluate your investment is to look at the different revenue streams your prospective business offers.

These days, ecommerce provides a generous and reliable second revenue stream for retail entrepreneurs. Of course, it's helpful to have your ecommerce site on the same platform that your physical store uses. For instance, at Winmark®, our brands have a completely integrated system between the point-of-sale system, ecommerce site and inventory management.

If you're looking into franchising, you should learn everything you can about the business model. Contacting the Franchise Development Department as well as talking to current franchisees are excellent, hands-on research methods, especially when getting an inside look at the operations.

Look At The Numbers

Of course, every business owner wants to get their money's worth. The best way to determine whether an opportunity is right for you is by examining the brand's track record.

What is the initial investment? What about their annual costs? On the flip side, how many revenue streams are there, and how much can you make as a franchisee?

In addition to the financials, other statistics can tell you a lot about the business you're looking to invest in. If you're considering opening a franchise, it's equally as important to look at the company's renewal rate. With a near-perfect renewal rate of 97%, our team works hard to ensure that all franchisees receive 360° support and the resources they need to successfully operate their resale store.

Begin Marketing Your Retail Franchise

Of course, it's hard to achieve success without a strong marketing strategy in place. The first step to building it is to know your target audience. This includes demographic and geographic information, as well as behavioral factors.

Once you know who your ideal customers are, consider all the different channels that you can use to reach them. From in-person signage, events and networking opportunities, to your website, television and social media, you'll want to use several different platforms for marketing your store, both before and after your grand opening.

Our marketing team has extensive experience in marketing retail stores, and we can help you allocate your budget to the tactics that will help your business the most.

Put Your Dreams Into Action

As the demand for sporting goods continues to grow, there's never been a better time to open your retail franchise. Take the first step today by taking all your research and aligning it with your goals. As a Play It Again Sports franchisee, our team will be here for you every step of the way.

Ready to take the first step in your entrepreneurial journey? Contact us today to learn more about our franchise opportunities!