In recent news, there is a story of a 12-year-old girl writing to Dick’s Sporting Goods stating she just received one of their printed catalogs, and upon reading it she was disappointed to find that no women were represented until Page 6, and on Page 6 the only woman was a women spectator. The interesting part I read, is that Dick’s Sporting Goods is claimed in an article by The Christian Science Monitor to be “down” in sales of hunting and golf categories, but up in women’s and youth athletic apparel. I shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and I have noticed they utilize a large area and the best real estate in this store is dedicated to apparel sales. Key brand names like Nike, Under Amour and Adidas have invested greatly in the in-store marketing space with this retailer and other sporting goods stores. The women’s department is the same size as the men’s, and it is up front.
According to the National Sporting Goods Association, 55 percent of all athletic wear have been purchased by women in recent years. Women’s participation in sports has boosted. The fitness craze of cross fit, popularity of yoga, and the group of ladies that either work from home or have family maintenance jobs has created a need growing need for casual athletic wear. In the powersports industry, the ladies are a forgotten or underserved opportunity. I don’t think we have real numbers that accurately estimate a range of women that ride their own bikes or those who are passengers. We also don’t always see that women may make purchases in our stores for loved ones (boyfriends, husbands, kids family, partners).
If you’re looking for growth in 2015, take a serious look at your sales metrics. Research how many ladies made purchases on motorcycles or how many ladies items you sold, such as helmets and jackets, in recent years. Married ladies have a significant amount of control of the discretionary spending of their household.
What should powersports retailers do to be more lady-like?
- See if your store’s metrics can be analyzed, and determine the amount of women customers.
- Reset your store to attract ladies’ interest. (Women LOVE to shop in most cases! Use NEW, colorful, clean, well setup merchandising.)
- Put your ladies goods in a fronted location to main traffic zones!
- Try new ladies products; don’t get scared and stuck in what didn’t sell last year. That was then; this is now!
- Try to stock products in styles and colors that are popular for the season.
- Make sure you’re age appropriate! (Baby doll belly shirts in small sizes when likely most of your customers are over 18 and womanly is not a smart purchasing move.)
- Make sure your goods are not too BORING or TOO PINK! Ladies have a variety of tastes; keep your products to a blend of girly style feminine to clean tailored look, sport rider, edgy mamma and smart technical designs.
- Remember, ladies will throw down the money when they find the goods they want! We make them work too hard to find products. You know the deal; one store has jackets, and she has to go to two more stores to find the boots she wants it all.
The Ladies Nike display at Sports Authority (Seattle), this is the first display you see when you walk in the door. Professional merchandisers know that ladies will be drawn to this display, even if they are not in the market for athletic wear. The color and the packaged and grouped looks spark shopper interest.
It’s as simple as a 4-way rack with a body form next to it dressed in the goods you’re selling, like the one shown here from an REI store. It is so effective to draw lady shoppers this way and not complicated. It’s not that a store needs to stock a large section of ladies goods, but you should have at least two 4-way racks of apparel for ladies to choose from, presented in a way they can find it, and if they are interested, try the product on. Make sure you show your goods in groups and layers like this image.
Win the ladies; grow the business!
Jennifer Robison’s career began in 1987 when she served as a service writer/parts sales for a high-end import auto dealer before becoming one of the first generation of Harley-Davidson Motorclothes managers at a Northwest dealership (1991-2000). From 2002 on, Jennifer has been with Tucker Rocky Distributing. Jennifer has educated the Tucker Rocky sales force and dealers about the powersports apparel business and powersports retailing. Jennifer’s expertise is in powersports retailing, merchandising and display, promotions and in-store marketing. She has lectured and written about powersports retailing and continues to perform dealer educational workshops and seminars across the United States.