Occasionally, Club + Resort Business discovers products ripe for the golf and country club market which leave us lamenting: “Why didn’t I think of that?
In this instance, we’re referring to Whiskers, maker of men’s and women’s premium, golf-specific shoelaces in more than 70 colors and patterns. We came to find out this accessory is well on its way to becoming ubiquitous in pro shops and shoes of PGA and LPGA Tour players. It’s also a favorite among the country clubbers, weekend warriors and traveling golfers.
Upon further diligence, we connected with Whiskers Co-Founder Mike Gossett. His background in product development and retail at Nike and Crocs – as well as the uniqueness of non-commoditized, high-end shoelaces – fits well with our magazine and website’s editorial mission of education.
So, we put Gossett to the task to simply outline his top 10 keys to selling through Whiskers laces at retail. Rest assured, we have no commercial gain here. Rather, the simplicity of his merchandising thoughts hardly torments one’s memory, especially in today’s world of information overload.
It’s time to lace up (pun intended), so here we go:
• Merchandise at the cash wrap to prompt impulse purchases.
• Cross merchandise with polos, socks and footwear.
• When you sell shoes, offer a la carte laces to customize.
• When you sell a polo, sell a matching lace color.
• When you sell a hat, sell a matching lace color.
• If you have popular sports and / or college teams nearby, have laces in those colors.
• Require your sales associates wear the laces, so they can quickly point to and sell them.
• Educate sales associates about technical specs and sizing.
• General benefit of having that small detail and the ability to customize your outfits.
• Embrace standing out by adding color without going over the top.
• Consider carrying Whiskers sneaker, dress and boot laces for more cross-selling.
Gossett continues his wisdom: “Mentioning products, like Whiskers, are made in the U.S.A. is another advantage.” Typically, what’s domestically manufactured is of higher quality and durability, and is a big reason 60% of Americans are willing to pay more than what comes from overseas.
Shoelaces aside, as merchandisers, we also need to take in account the era of intense personalization in which we live. Self-expression is how we display our individuality – emotionally and physically. Why be like everyone else? Step into something new by being fun, fashionable and remaining refined.