Pro/specialty retailer of the year: Serious Tennis
If you’re in the Atlanta area and are a die-hard player or just starting out in tennis, you should seriously consider one of the six stores that share the “Serious Tennis” moniker. Lianna Jones opened the first store in 1990, with the help of her mother. Later, when her husband Scott got involved, the number of stores grew.
Scott deals with hard goods and shoes, big sales and any pro tournaments where Serious Tennis has a presence. He also works with teaching pros and academies. Serious Tennis also supplies 10 tennis club pro shops.
“They have a great pulse on the local tennis community and work closely with area pros,” says Greg Mason, vice president of sales and marketing for Head/Penn. “One indication of their involvement is that almost all of their employees play in the ALTA league. They do basics very well and take the time to make sure every customer has the right equipment.”
Most of their 50 employees have been with them for at least 10 years, and both Lianna and Scott play tennis and work with a lot of area teams and organizations. “Between our variety of products, knowledgeable staff, and stringers, we’re always trying to give our customers the best experience,” Lianna says. And because they succeed spectacularly, Serious Tennis is TI’s Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year.
One store, at Toco Hills, has a unique “stringing bar,” where customers can relax, visit and talk tennis. Often the stores will host events around Grand Slams, and with the big TVs, customers spend even more time in the stores.
“Serious Tennis services consumers so well, we’re proud to be a partner with them,” says Babolat’s Mickey Maule. — Cynthia Sherman
Tips for Success
- Hang onto great staff. Longstanding employees have lots of experience, and offer great customer service.
- Get excellent stringers; service is everything.
- Offer a wide variety of product lines.
- Make sure your shopping environment is user-friendly and inviting.
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.