Using Outing Specials to Create Urgency

Chris-McQuattersChris McQuatters, the 2009 Northern Texas PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA general manager at Ratliff Ranch Golf Links in Odessa, Texas.

At the end of our 2010 tournament season, I stumbled upon the idea of announcing a special event discount where everyone who was a part of the outing could come in and buy certain pieces of merchandise at a reduced price. For the $1,000 in gift cards we gave out as prizes at that event, nearly $700 of it was spent immediately. When we started the next season, we developed a plan for each event in our schedule to have three categories of merchandise with discounts for that day only. This idea really came about because we were tired of having people play, eat their lunch and then head off to the parking lot to leave. The discounts have had a great effect on increasing foot traffic and creating a real sense of urgency that people participating in the events should take advantage of this one-time only opportunity, especially if they are from another club and have a gift card that is only good for one year. One category that does particularly well is apparel; I will sometimes put a 25-percent discount on apparel near the end of the quarter because it has bigger margins and we have more of it in stock compared to other categories. People will always buy hats, gloves and balls, so our discounts focus on things like apparel and eyewear.

From 2011 to 2012, our overall shop sales increased 20 percent. Approximately 10-12 percent of this increase can be attributed to the tournament discounts and subsequent activity in our golf shop. Our shop sales are projected to have grown another five percent by the time this year ends, and the event discounts have played a major role in helping make that happen.

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