fitness gear

One of your goals for the coming year is to get back into shape. That means purchasing some fitness equipment and supplies to use at home. You’ll soon find that not all fitness stores are exactly alike. In fact, you will want to make sure the store where you buy the equipment possesses a few key qualities. Make sure these eight are present before you buy anything.

Excellent Equipment at Competitive Prices

Your plan is to invest in fitness equipment and supplies that will last for a long time. While you want quality, you also want to pay the lowest price possible. That means the fitness store that you choose must offer the perfect combination of pricing and quality.

For example, you notice that a store has dumbbells for sale this week. The ad seems to indicate they are made of heavy-duty materials, but you still want to see them for yourself. By making a trip to the store, you can examine them closely, decide if they are worth the price, and make a decision.

Remember that thanks to the Internet, you can do some quick comparison shopping online. It’s easy to find out if there are other stores in the area that carry the same brand and see what those stores are charging for the dumbbells. In the best-case scenario, the sale price is competitive and you will be going home with a new set you can start using tonight.

Wide Variety of Equipment and Supplies

Inventory is key when consumers enter fitness stores. They want to look out over a sea of possibilities rather than being able to take in everything at a glance. The manager of a properly operated store will ensure the signs for each department are displayed prominently so the customers know where to find whatever they are wanting today.

Along with the variety of equipment types, it’s also important to offer a reasonable range of brands. Some people prefer to stick with a specific brand because they know the quality well. Others like to compare the features offered by different brands of the same type of equipment before they make a purchase.

How do these three brands of jump ropes compare? Which of the six different brands of chin-up bars would work best for mounting in a doorway? By having a wider range of brands and equipment options, customers are more likely to find what they want and make a purchase. They’re also more likely to come back the next time they need something, simply because they are convinced the store will carry it.

Equipment That’s Right for Beginners and for Seasoned Athletes

Not everyone is at the same fitness level. People who have not worked out in a long time are simply not ready for some of the equipment found in most fitness stores. They need equipment and supplies that are designed to help them get back into the habit of working out and provide them with the chance to build some endurance and a little muscle tone. The ideal store will have plenty of equipment that’s suitable for the beginner.

At the same time, the store will feature benches, barbell sets, resistance machines, and other more advanced types of equipment. Those are for the person who already works out regularly and has achieved a reasonable level of fitness. These customers are looking for equipment that will help them move to closer to their latest set of fitness goals and provide something of a challenge at the same time.

Others are looking for equipment that will help them maintain what they’ve worked so hard to achieve. This includes people who are happy with their current body mass index, like the sculpting of their muscles, and in general think they have a reasonable amount of cardiovascular and muscular strength. These people want equipment that is gym quality but will allow them to work out at home when getting to the gym is out of the question.

Associates Who Know the Equipment Well

There’s a lot to be said for store associates who know quite a bit about the equipment and supplies they sell. When a customer has a question, the response provided by the associate can make or break the sale. For example, an associate who can do little more than say “I don’t know” is not likely to win the confidence of the customers. By contrast, an associate who can provide a direct and helpful answer to any question about a piece of equipment just might convince the customer to make a purchase.

Consider what happens when a customer is looking at a set of dumbbells for sale. Being unfamiliar with the brand, the customer asks an associate a question about how to care for the dumbbells properly. If the associate can provide a quick overview of how to take care of them, the customer has more motivation to buy a set.

Associates Who Know When to Help and When to Keep Their Distance

The thing about store associates is that customers want them close enough to get help when they want it, but far enough away to not leave the customer feel as if someone is looking over his or her shoulder. That’s a balance that a properly trained associate can manage with ease.

This type of associate will greet the customer and ask if the store visitor needs and help. If the answer is no, the associate invites the customer to browse as much as he or she wants and feel free to signal if there are any questions. At that point, the associate retires to a discreet distance while still remaining close enough for the customer to call out if he or she does want some help during the visit.

Like other elements of creating a customer-friendly environment, an associate who is too pushy may push a customer right out the door. One that is too disinterested could motivate the customer to go to another store where he or she feels appreciated.

Special Orders Aren’t a Problem

There’s bound to be situations in which the store does not have something in stock that the customer wants. What happens next determines if that customer will ever be back.

Fitness stores that are happy to order special items from a customer are sure to make the right impression. In this scenario, an associate helps the customer find what he or she wants in one of the supply catalogs provided by manufacturers. The associate quickly confirms the pricing, the shipping terms, and how quickly the item can be delivered. That information is provided to the customer on the spot.

Even if the customer chooses to not order anything right now, the willingness of the associate to gather the information and place that order will stand the store in good stead. That customer is likely to come back when he or she needs something else.

Workout Gear to Go With the Equipment and Supplies

A store with the right workout clothing and gear to go with the dumbbells for sale and other equipment does make things easier for the customer. From warm-up suits to workout shorts to the right type of footwear, having the proper gear increases the chance of making a sale. It also provides the customer with one more reason to shop there, since it’s possible to buy all things related to working out from one establishment.

A Pleasant Check-Out Experience

Right down to the last moment that the customer is in the store, the associates have an opportunity to make a good impression. That includes what happens as the customers is checking out and paying for the purchases. An associate who has a ready smile, asks if the customer found everything they need, and thanks him or her for the purchase certainly enhances the reputation of the establishment in the eyes of the customer.

When the associate totals the order, barks the amount, grabs the money or card to pay for the purchase, and then shoves the purchased items in the general direction of the buyer, a lot of goodwill goes right out the door. People like to be treated nicely. When that doesn’t happen, they will find somewhere else to buy their fitness equipment, clothing, and other gear.

When you are looking for the right place to purchase whatever you need to work out or to outfit your home gym, choose wisely. Make a note of what motivated you to keep shopping and how you felt by the time you walked out of the store. Look for quality, variety, great pricing and excellent customer support. Once you find it, there will never be any question of where to go when you need a new mat, weight bench, or other fitness equipment.