Do you run a yoga studio and you want to expand by adding a retail line? If YES, here are 20 steps to follow to add a yoga clothing store to your yoga studio.

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of people practicing yoga increased by 50%, and approximately one in three Americans have tried yoga at least once. If these numbers aren’t enough to assure you that the market for yoga and retail sales of yoga products is wide open, consider this: Americans spend approximately $16 billion on yoga classes, yoga clothing, yoga equipment, and yoga accessories each year.

This goes to show that it would be a good idea for your studio if you can include clothing retail to your yoga offering. Adding retail will increase revenue at your yoga studio, serve your students, and build value for your community. It is a fact that studios that sell retail items bring in an average of 10-20% more revenue than studios that don’t. But the revenue increase can often be higher if the program is run well.

Having a retail line at your yoga studio can be a fun way to add an extra stream of revenue while marketing your brand and serving clients’ needs for awesome fitness gear. That said, simply having products for sale does not mean they will sell. These things follow procedures and certain rules. We are going to analyze those procedures here.

How to Expand Your Yoga Studio By Opening a Yoga Clothing Store

As we mentioned earlier, well-run retail programs make the most money, whether they be inside a yoga studio or not. That means it’s important to be strategic when launching a clothing store in your yoga studio. Here are some things to consider as you start to plan your program.

  1. Know Your Customer

Before you can start off in any aspect of retail, you must first of all have a good knowledge of who your customers would be. And there is a good reason for that: when a customer walks into a store, it’s incredibly important that you pull out all the stops to ensure that they find what they were looking for or what they didn’t know they were looking for, and that their experience while they shopped at your retail space keeps them coming back for more.

That is why, when you engage in retail sales, it is important to know the kind of people that would make up the crop of your customers, both online and offline. You have to know that aside from saying hello and asking a customer if they need any help in your studio, you must help them before they even get there.

Buying an item or service can be an emotional experience – whether the customer is buying that item or service for themselves or for a loved one – so do all that you can to make their shopping experience something that they’ll be talking to their friends about for weeks to come. This can even help you increase visibility for your yoga studio.

  1. Start on a simple note

If you are still unsure of how your students will react to your yoga studio retail store, then it is very important that you keep your offering simple and stripped down to the basics. You can start by offering yoga mats, blocks, straps, towels, and water bottles, all items that are necessary for a yoga class. That is going down to the basics. In a short while you can now decide to add more items or decide if the store would not be the best for you in that location.

  1. Consider Creating a Brand

If you want your yoga clothing retail space offering to stick, then you ought to consider offering t-shirts and sweatpants or leggings with your studio’s logos on it. You’d be surprised how into the idea of wearing your brand around town and to your studio your patrons will be, especially if you’re offering a unique and welcoming environment to get a good workout. Creating a brand will start you out to something bigger in the future.

  1. Sell What You Believe In

Your students trust you. And because they are in your studio, every product you sell comes with your implicit endorsement. A good rule of thumb is only to sell something you believe in or are proud to carry. Besides, a great way to jump-start sales is to be seen using the product you just started retailing. By only stocking things you believe in, you’ll be able to uphold this important principle. You will also be able to defend it.

  1. Consider the Interests of Your Students

You know your yogis best. To ensure you don’t end up with un-sellable items, consider their interests and habits. You have to know what they like and dislike, what they can very easily relate with, and what they can’t. Doing this would ensure that you always sell out your clothing in record time, especially if you do some good publicity for them.

  1. Price Your Items Right

Setting the right price for your retail products is critical to your success as a yoga studio selling retail clothing. Yoga Journal suggests marking clothing up 2 to 2.3 times the wholesale price. If items are too highly priced, your clientele might not be able to afford them.

Consider the average incomes and current yoga spending of your regular clients when selecting items to sell in your studio. However, if you are lucky enough to get items at a lower price by buying in bulk, then you can keep the retail price higher, increasing your profit by a good amount if you make a sale.

  1. Make Presentation the Key

Clearly labeled items ensure that your customer can read the packaging and understand the items that you’re offering at your studio. When items are easy to read and understand, then your customers will be more compelled to take that next step and purchase your merchandise.

Remember, you spent time curating your store, picking items that you felt would best fit your studio’s offering and its message. Now, it’s time to ensure that you or your supplier labels those items for sale very neatly, ensuring that all the labels are facing the customer when they walk around your studio and over to where your inventory is being sold. Make use of all the effort that goes into the packaging and design of the items that your studio is now selling in your store.

When items are easy to read and understand, then your customers will be more compelled to take that next step and purchase your merchandise.

In addition to labeling your items clearly and ensuring that the labels are crisp and customer-facing, organizing your store so that like-items and like-colors are grouped together, will allow visitors at your studio to shop your products in a way that is the most visually pleasing to the eyes and to their sense of time.

When your inventory is out of order – with blues matched up with reds and purples, or green items with orange – your customer might feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to go and what to do in your store. If they’re coming in while in a rush, the chances are they that they will leave empty-handed because you failed to make the experience easy for them.

  1. Optimize Your Location and Space

Yet another way to get the best out of your yoga studio clothing store is to optimize the available space you have. The inside of your retail space should be easily reached from outside, and from within your studio’s workout space, and your patrons – new and old – should be able to walk around your displays and tables easily, so make sure that you don’t display too many items on your sales floor.

If you have a small handful of that same item, people feel like it’s a ‘hot’ commodity that they must have and they’re more likely to snap it up quickly. Again, shopping is an emotional and sensory experience, and people must feel compelled to make a purchase at your retail space over anyone else’s.

The next thing you need to take into account is where you’ll set up your retail area.  You needed a space that won’t be crowded or congested, while also having good lighting. The items you place at eye level will be those you’re most likely to sell first. Items on high or low shelves aren’t seen as easily, so they will sell more slowly.

  1. Consider Color

If you want to take it one step further, consider buying inventory with a color theme in mind: if your studio’s logo or décor utilizes a baby blue, then buy yoga mats, t-shirts and yoga leggings of that color and place them strategically within your yoga studio retail space.

However, if you prefer to offer your clientele a variety of colors, ensure that each color is spread out with similar colors alongside them so that your buyers will be able to gravitate towards whatever color they happen to be interested in.

Consider grouping all red and pink products together or all navy and black items together. It’s important to make a clear distinction between colors so that customers can easily see what colors you have and where to find them. This can help you when you need to find something quickly for a customer.

  1. Pay Attention to Seasonality of Clothing

Consider seasonality when stocking clothing items in your yoga studio clothing store. Try to buy a little ahead of the upcoming season, as  major retail stores do. It’s better to start stocking hoodies and wraps in August than in April. Likewise, tanks will sell better in March than in September, if you are in countries prone to winter. This may sound obvious, but clearance racks are usually filled with leftover seasonal clothing.

  1. Make it Easy for Your Students to Buy

The easier you make it for your students to buy from you, the more you’ll sell. Simplify the payment process as much as possible and let your yogis know how to shop with you. Also, develop a system that doesn’t require cash, such as Square. Most people carry a credit card but not as many carry cash. Most people are likely to buy on impulse if you accept credit cards.

  1. Start Small and Grow

As with many things in life, it’s better to start your yoga studio clothing store modestly and ramp up as you get your systems in place. Starting slowly also gives you the chance to make observations and tweak things as needed. For instance, you might feel confident that a certain brand of yoga pants will sell best, only to end up completely surprised that the less expensive ones that people seem to be gravitating towards. So start small, and ramp up.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out

Most people when starting out on a venture want to fit into a niche already created by others. But this should not be you when you are starting your clothing store. Offer products that make sense for your studio but are unexpected.

If your patrons can find a yoga mat for a cheaper price on Amazon, then they’re not going to buy them from you unless your mat is truly something special. A basic tenet of a competitive Business model is to provide a product that no one else offers.

If you carry a product that clients can’t find at other retailers, they will be inclined to buy from you. So, make your inventory stand out: today, people want products that are environmentally friendly, safe, cutting-edge and clean. Why not sell yoga mats that are made of recycled materials, recycled denim pants or organic cotton t-shirts and workout pants.

  1. Think of Your Point-Of-Sale

Your point-of-sale register is something you have to keep in the right area. Make sure your register is located near your retail space and well-equipped to handle the added traffic your retail space will bring. Choosing the right software to manage your sales is vital. If your studio uses an all-in-one software solution, you can sell products online and in-studio using the same simple platform as you use for scheduling, marketing, and everything else.

  1. Set Up Your Online Store Quickly And Easily

No rule says that you cannot have an online store if you are setting up a yoga studio clothing store. In fact, an online market will help with your visibility and give you greater reach in your market. In addition to selling any or all of your inventory online, you’ll sell more yoga classes and memberships with digital payment options.

Don’t wait for prospective clients to find the time to come into your studio; lock them in as soon as their interested. You can even give your clients the option of booking directly from Google Search or Google Maps results, encouraging immediate lead conversion.

  1. Run Promotions and Flash Sales

Another trick to increase retail revenue for your yoga studio clothing store is to run promotions and flash sales. You can be creative about promotions and flash sales based on your clients’ interests, the location of your studio, and the season to promote products that you may want to clear out. You can do a buy-one-get-one sale, a post-winter sale, a buy-more-get-more (e.g. 15% off a purchase of $50)—the possibilities are endless. Experiment to see what works best for your clients.

  1. Offer a Range of Price Points

Another easy technique to promote retail revenue at your studio is to offer a range of price points. If all your products are in the same price range, say $35 to $55, clients may be less likely to buy more than one item since it will add up quickly and feel prohibitive.

Instead, offer a variety of prices on products to cater to all budgets. You can have smaller, less expensive things like socks, headbands, beauty products, energy snacks, and other “impulse buys” near the desk where clients pay while also stocking pricier products like yoga mats, bags, and athleisure apparel for people who want to do more serious shopping. It’s the variety that is key.

  1. Do Giveaways

Do a giveaway promotion every so often in which you give one product away as a prize for a contest winner. By giving away a product and asking for client participation, you not only market that item as something covetable, but you also promote community around the fitness lifestyle you teach. It’s a win-win situation all around.

  1. Market Items on Social Media

Social media is a good place to market your yoga studio clothing store. You can utilize social media platforms like your Instagram account to promote your products. You can post a flat-lay or retail feature once a week and do giveaways once a month. Both methods are very successful and you can easily see a spike in your sales.

  1. Offer Staff Discounts and Free Retail

Having the people working the front desk, as well as the trainers, wear retail items from your yoga studio clothing store is a great way to subtly promote sales. Clients tend to admire their trainers, so seeing them modeling the clothing and gear you offer in the store is a simple strategy to influence your clients to buy.

Ejike Cynthia