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Merchandising Strategies: Sports & Outdoors

Blog / November 18, 2021
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The sporting goods landscape continues to evolve as consumers focus more on health and wellness activities, participation rates in team sports change, purchases migrate online, and retailers continue to rationalize and consolidate. The pandemic brought about an increase in participation for categories such as outdoor individual sports, home exercise, etc.

The National Association of Sporting Goods Retailers found that nine out of ten sporting goods shoppers visit a physical store prior to purchasing a product and half of the purchases were made by shoppers who only shopped in a physical store. With brick-and-mortar a key component of the purchase decision process, retailers need to ensure the in-store experience emphasizes the key benefits of in-person shopping—ability to interact with the product, opportunity to get the product immediately, and ability to obtain sales support, utilize expertise and ask questions.

The focus of retailing is slowly changing from POS (Point of Sale) to POE (Point of Engagement). Stores in the future no longer will have sales as a primary objective but entertainment and experience that in turn result in sales. People will no longer go to stores to buy something. Instead, they are primarily interested in experiences, something the internet does not offer.

To maintain physical stores as the preferred shopping outlet, retailers must find ways to integrate in-store and online shopping experiences and provide access to products that are not immediately available. Vanguard Companies can help brands and retailers in their omni-channel efforts by bridging the in-store and online experiences with targeted messaging on displays, signage, and packaging.

Sustainability is another key trend among retailers and brands in the sports and outdoors categories. Having products made with recycled/reused products, along with end-of-life recycling programs will be beneficial for these category partners. Vanguard Companies can help retailers and brands by providing sustainable display, signage, and packaging solutions.

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