Pumpkin kettlebells. Santa snatching his bodyweight. Your gym’s logo in tropical colors for the start of summer. Your members want these one-of-a-kind designs every year, and sometimes that’s complicated. But what if managing gym apparel orders for the holidays was simple?
Experienced gym owners will tell you that once October 31st has passed, selling the leftover “ghost doing a legless rope climb” inventory is tough.
But gym apparel orders are great for branding and increasing gym revenue. So how do you avoid blindly buying too much or the wrong sizes?
Matt Albrizio is here to help. He’s the President of Sales at Forever Fierce and an expert at managing apparel orders. When asked about holiday collections specifically, he explained that there’s a time and a place. And if done correctly, they can be beneficial for both the small business and its members.
The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Gym Apparel Orders
1. Do Tie it to an Event.
Have a hankering to design a spooky shirt this Halloween season? Albrizio suggests connecting gym apparel orders to an event you’re planning to host.
The event doesn’t have to be as sizable as hosting a gym competition. It could be anything from a Halloween-themed WOD to a gym-versus-gym lift-off. Either way, it’s a specific time for members to rock your new designs (and a reason for them to order).
Pro Tip: Want to spread the word quickly to your members about an upcoming event or gym apparel order? Use the power of automation in PushPress Grow! Book a demo with our team today to find out more!
2. Don’t Ignore Trademarks.
Oftentimes, because gym owners run a small business, they believe they’re immune to trademark infringement. With something like gym apparel orders, they see a design that seems perfect for holiday apparel orders and just run with it.
Albrizio warns that it’s not worth taking the risk.
“Be mindful of trademarked stuff,” he said. “You don’t want a lawyer from Universal Studios knocking on your door.”
He expanded further, “You might think it’s a fun, cool idea to have the guy from Scream riding the AirBike on your t-shirt. But there are legal ramifications. You might post it online with a hashtag, and there are lawyers sitting around all day whose job it is to hunt it out. And they’ll find it.”
3. Do Take Pre-Orders.
The key to not having an abundance of extra inventory with gym apparel orders is to do a pre-order. The goal is to start the pre-order with plenty of time for your members to choose the items they want. And then have everything delivered before the holiday.
“Pre-orders are always the way to go for holiday apparel because they’ll become stale after the holiday ends,” said Albrizio. He added that this will protect you from over-ordering. Especially if the apparel isn’t as popular as you had hoped.
Pro Tip: Use the PushPress Members App to organize apparel pre-orders! Now, members can place an order quickly and easily with just a few clicks.
Another reason for taking pre-orders is that there isn’t always predictable consistency when it comes to holiday apparel. Some years people are really into it, and other years they’re not.
“It’s challenging to predict,” Albrizio said.
4. Don’t Make it the Main Focus.
The best strategy for year-round gym apparel orders is to create a consistent rotation that members can rely on. For example, some gyms will offer a spring and fall collection.
Once that’s in place, Albrizio explained that your holiday designs can be an add-on to those orders.
“This should be an icing on the cake kind of thing, rather than the main focus,” he said.
5. Do Work with a Designer.
While some gym owners like to come up with their own designs, it often ends up being time-consuming and stressful. Want to keep it simple? Work with a company like Forever Fierce to help you come up with the perfect design for your gym.
“We give you bestselling options,” Albrizio said. “And we’ll also do custom designs and we do it for free, so it will save you time, energy and money.”
He continued, “There are some gym owners who want to be DIY-ers. But when in doubt, trust the people who have sold millions of shirts.”
6. Don’t Survey Your Members.
Each time you start thinking about gym apparel orders, it can be tempting to ask your community what they want. But generally, surveying gym members means you’ll end up with an excess of widely-varied feedback.
Albrizio says this just “puts pressure on the business owner to make everyone happy.”
Further, if you find yourself listening to one person’s requests, it might not be representative of what everyone wants.
7. Do Hammer the Basics.
Simplicity is key when it comes to gym apparel orders. There are a ton of options out there, so it’s tempting to try things like sweatpants or jackets. But Albrizio said it’s best to hammer the basics and stick with the tried-and-true apparel that always sells.
“Jackets, hats and sweatpants can be hit or miss,” he cautioned. But hoodies (regular, zip-up or crop), t-shirts and tank tops will always be winners.
8. Don’t Try to Compete with Black Friday.
Whether it’s a regularly-occurring apparel order or holiday special, Albrizio warns gym owners not to try to compete with Black Friday sales.
“You don’t want to compete with Amazon or Best Buy,” he said. “It’s a losing proposition. So just sit on the sidelines during Black Friday.”
Instead, he recommends introducing winter apparel in November before the holiday season begins. Especially for things like hoodies, which have a higher price point.
“People tend to loosen their budgets in November,” he said. So take advantage and grab the sales before the retail giants step in.
In Summary: Try These Tips for Scary-Good Apparel Sales.
Gym owners have an opportunity to capitalize on holidays with fun, creative apparel designs every year. Following the dos and don’ts from the experts at Forever Fierce can help you manage orders even more productively.
Do tie it to an event, take pre-orders, work with a designer and hammer the basics. Don’t ignore trademarks, make it the main focus, survey your members or compete with Black Friday. Follow these tips and check out other PushPress blogs on selling gym merchandise to generate additional revenue for your fitness business!