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What to sell at your gym

Business is booming, new members are signing up, regulars keep coming back. Everything is going well. The only way things could be better if people were to keep spending money after purchasing membership, right? Well, great news - you can achieve that by starting a shop within your gym. The UK retail health and fitness market has grown massively and is forecast to keep increasing in size. Having a shop in your gym is an easy way to significantly boost your income (according to Club Industry, gyms make, on average, £40,000pa from retail items). Here are some suggestions on what to sell to make the most out of your retailing venture.

1 Convenience items

Your customer was in a rush to get to work this morning. They were sleepy, they got ready and packed a gym bag in a semi-dark bedroom. They got to the changing room and realised they forgot a towel! How lucky that one can easily be bought from you. It's a bit expensive, but frankly better than going back home to get one. You could actually apply a 100% mark-up to the retail items you sell at your gym. Yes, 100%!

Think of basic items people could need once they are in the building and (almost) ready to start their workout. Headphones, padlocks, water, towels, shower items, sport bras, socks can be sold for good profit.

2 Healthy foods and energy drinks

Your customers joined your gym because they are looking to be healthier, perhaps shed some weight or feel more energised, and they trust you as a fitness expert/personal trainer to recommend valuable products and help them choose the right one for their needs. Food supplements, vitamins, energy drinks, energy bars, or perhaps guides to eating healthier could all be a profitable part of your retail offer. Be careful however: if you are unfamiliar with the products you're selling or are trying to place products you don't really believe in, you could lose your customers' trust. 

Working out is a great start toward achieving goals, but diet is responsible for up to 50% of weight loss. The right nutrition (e.g. making sure that protein comprises 12-15% of your calorific intake) can contribute towards muscle growth. Your members are doing a good job just by turning up to the gym, but they can improve their performance with the right education and products.

3 Cool gadgets

So, you have a plan on how to make money from people who forgot essentials at home. What about everyone else? They have all they need already, but perhaps they can still be tempted. Offer them some brand new, super-cool gadgets that they are unlikely to find anywhere else and watch the money rolling in! Research the latest trends in the industry to make sure you’re always ahead of the game. Some very cool gadgets are about to be released on the market - for example, there's a smart watch that creates a 7-day workout for you, and adapts it to your needs and schedule according to your exercise history. Or how about some sweat-proof earbuds that offer guidance on your workout in real time? Pretty cool stuff!

4 Clothing items

This is a bit of a cross-over area between convenience items and cool gadgets. In fact, your gym could intercept all the extra income from those people who forgot their gym t-shirt or sports bra, but could also offer an uber cool alternative to those who are looking for luxury and comfort from their sportswear. Would you consider buying futuristic yoga pants that help you with your workout, or trainers which not only offer runners improved support and shock absorption, but also track running time, cadence, duration and distance?   

If it follows its current trajectory, the global sports/fitness clothing market is estimated to achieve £140.8 billion by 2020. Why wouldn't you capitalise on this expanding trend and claim your share of it?


What to sell at your gym: trainers modelling retail items
Getting your staff/trainers to wear or use the items you sell will boost sales as members look up to them and will be keen to imitate them.


5 Branded merchandise

A total crossover for everything we've covered so far, branded merchandise can be anything from t-shirts to gym bags to water bottles. Branded items are a great way to foster an emotional connection to your gym and build loyalty to your brand (as well as a free form of advertisement)!

Don't Forget

Small daily sales quickly add up and make an impact on your bottom line. But, if you're going to sell things in your gym, be sure not to overstock. Having stock sitting in a cupboard somewhere, or gathering dust on a shelf is a waste of money. Do your research beforehand and find out what your members actually want. And while we're on the subject of members, we're sure you love them and trust them all but make sure that if your products are going to be unattended, you can lock them safely away somewhere.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep it easy for your members. Cash is fast becoming an outdated payment method (who carries that heavy stuff around anymore?) Consider setting up a contactless payment system, or allowing them to charge things to their accounts. If you're a technological, future-thinking gym, consider introducing thumb-print entry, payment, locker-systems etc. This will make the whole gym experience smoother and easier for your customers. The easier it is to spend money, the more money people will spend.

The brilliant thing about selling items in your gym is that you can increase revenue per member every time they are in the building (or every time they use your website). Helping customers choose the perfect products to support their self-improvement journey builds relationships. For more ideas on how to make your gym work harder, read this article on how to get additional income.


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