Todd Weygandt and his business partner Gary Baron of Rocklin CrossFitin Northern California never envisioned the word ‘retail’ in their business plan when they took over the CrossFit affiliate, formerly known as Sports Specific Training (SST), back in 2010.
Five years later, Rocklin CrossFit has become known as the place to not only work out, but also to stock up on anything and everything you could need when it comes to both looking and playing the part of a CrossFitter.
From Progenex and Metrics, to FitAID and Kill Cliff, Monster Energy and Core Power protein drinks, jump ropes, lacrosse balls, HumanX, RockTape, Reebok, Perfect Bars, and more, Rocklin CrossFit’s storefront has brought popular online vendors to life—at arm’s reach for the local community.
“It really was an afterthought—not something we ever thought about incorporating in our business, other than T-shirts, but we began to notice all of our members continually ordering the same products online, bringing them to the gym in their bags, and asking us where to get them—things like Progenex, HumanX, and Kill Cliff. So we thought, ‘Why not try selling some of those things in house?’ It took off,” Weygandt said.
The storefront’ at Rocklin quickly grew from selling protein and a few different T-shirt designs to approximately 15-20 different brands. Today Rocklin’s retail sales alone bring in about $12,500 each month in sales, with $5,000 of that being net profit.
“Our members loved it. And we loved it too. It really became a win-win. We were able to provide them with things they were already buying and wanting, and, at the same time, bring in a little extra profit for the gym—that goes right back to improving the gym and making it what it is,” Weygandt said.
[highlight color=”yellow”]Rocklin’s retail shop has also become a resource to the local community.[/highlight]
“People will come in from other boxes or their home gyms to get a jump rope or protein, and we love being able to serve them out of pure love for the community at large—not to try to recruit anyone to join our CrossFit gym, but really just to provide them with the resources they need for their own workouts,” Weygandt said.
Weygandt shared a little bit of advice for any affiliate owners looking to do the same.
Q. What is your background—prior to being an entrepreneur? Do you have retail/sales/business experience? And what is your business philosophy?
A: I am a firefighter as my first profession—so definitely not a business person. It’s honestly been a learn-as-I-go process, and I think both Gary and I are still trying to figure things out. We just focus on doing what we do and giving our members a quality product; and whoever walks in, we serve. No marketing or business plan other than that.
Q. How did you get the word out to the community about what you are doing with the retail side of things?
A: Mostly just word of mouth, but we did host an ‘Affiliate Day’, where we invited lots of box owners in our community to come out to check out about 15 different vendors and their reps to see what they were all about and find out about doing something similar in their boxes. The vendors all brought fun prizes and each had about five minutes to speak about their product. We also had a team workout, which was just fun for building in our community.
Q. What are three things you’ve learned as a business owner and entrepreneur of an inner retail start-up?
A. Make friends with your reps. Even though they make money off you, getting to know them and being personable with them pays huge dividends in the long run—they take care of you and want to help you out to. 2) Don’t run out of stuff—ever. You just lose money and it looks; 3) Start off slowly. You don’t need to buy everything for a full store at once. Start selling one or two things that your members really could use/need and go from there.
Q. Have you done anything that goes against traditional CrossFit box strategy and had it pay off?
A. We intentionally chose to pay more in rent for a property that can be seen from the street and has nice big windows for the storefront. We are not in a warehouse, and in essence, it has resulted in more clients, more people walking through the doors, and people recognizing the choices and products we provide as well.
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