Request Member Feedback
Michael DeJordy on the importance of requesting member feedback:
It is important for golf shop managers, PGA head professionals and merchandisers to know their members and what types of products they desire. At Mountain Gate Country Club, we use email, surveys and face-to-face conversations with members to determine what products and merchandise they would like to see in our golf shop, and more importantly what they would be interested in buying. Surveys are effective in gathering broad requests, whereas personal discussions render more detailed information on styles and colors desired. We also discuss with our frequent buyers to see what they would like to see on our shelves and use them as ambassadors to provide us with in-house marketing. We are willing to bring in requested merchandise, but need a certain level of assurance that we won’t get stuck with 80 percent of it by year’s end. With our core products from Nike, FootJoy and adidas, we are comfortable in knowing that a high percentage of our sales revenues will be from these brands. We do dabble in other, sometimes high-end brands like Peter Millar, Matte Grey and TravisMathew. The key is to ensure that the requested merchandise is not the desire of a single member, leaving us with an inventory to be marked down later in the year. It is a frequent practice to carry limited quantities of a brand or product. This method of accommodating members, but doing so in small amounts, has proven an effective way of conducting business. It is more prudent than jumping in head first.
Michael DeJordy on the business impact of requesting member feedback:
For hard goods, we follow a similar philosophy. With the cost of demo drivers around $300, we carry only a few, in addition to the fitting cart that aids in our custom fitting business that seems to grow each year. Virtually all of our club sales are special orders based on custom fittings conducted by a member of our PGA Professional staff. Golf shop sales of hard and soft goods are on the rise from one year to the next. We logo 60 percent of our menswear and only 10 percent of our women’s apparel. Our members enjoy wearing the clothing elsewhere, like out to dinner and social gatherings, and prefer the logo only on the apparel they wear when coming to Mountain Gate. These practices, from what to order, to quantities, sizes, and colors, to pricing, are the results of effective communication with members. We care about their input and value their feedback. We strive to increase sales revenues each year and have found that involving the members is a key business practice. As the club gets a little younger, it will be exciting to see how our inventory changes. Needless to say, we will continue these successful methods of doing business, reaching out to members, working closely with vendors and taking advantage of sales programs and promotions. One example is the Titleist Buy 3 Get 1 Free spring promotion. We sold over 700 dozen balls from that promotion last year, good enough to rank second in the state. Looks like we’ll have to work a little harder this year.