2008 Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: Tennis & Golf Co.
When you’ve been in business for more than 30 years, you must be doing something right. Starting in a 750-square-foot space, Tennis & Golf Co. in Royal Oak, Mich., now occupies nearly 20,000 square feet, and that contributes to the “wow factor,” says Prince rep Matthew Haley. “Their assortment and variety is enormous, and the terrific staff is welcoming and helpful.”
Owner Dave Schwartz knows tennis inside and out. His pragmatic approach to business, as well as his devotion to tennis, his customers, and the community, has won him a large client base. “Dave really cares about tennis and the community,” says Wilson’s John Rapson, “often donating his time and money to get kids into the sport.”
A big attraction is “club pricing” — for a $55 yearly membership, customers can buy apparel and equipment at a substantial, unadvertised discount. The membership pricing is “the most aggressive I’ve ever seen,” says Haley.
The store has an 80- by 16-foot demo area for customers to test racquets. Schwartz says he wants to “educate consumers to where they can make judgments on their own and make an objective decision on what to buy.”
Stringing is huge, with five stringers churning out more than 16,000 string jobs a year. One-hour stringing is available — “It’s one of the features that keeps us one step ahead of the competition,” says Schwartz. And apparel is big, too, with a deep selection for men and women and displays that are refreshed regularly. The store also has extensive relationships with league and school teams and sponsors a yearly high school coaches conference.
“They have great merchandising, staff, and aggressive and creative programs,” says Greg Mason of Head. “Whenever I’m looking for a new idea or a different spin on things, Dave is the guy I turn to.”
- Offering a club membership/discount pricing plan encourages consumer loyalty.
- Educate customers so they can make informed buying decisions.
- Have a passion for the sport and carry it over to school and community programs.
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.