Supplements: Grabbing a Piece of the Billion-Dollar Pie
The vitamins, minerals and supplements industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. According to Forbes, the industry produced $32 billion in revenue from supplements alone in 2012.
Customers are flocking to companies like GNC and Herbalife. Wes Hodgson, the gateway partner for World Gym Canada, posed the question: “Why not have those customers spend that money in your gym instead?”
Hodgson’s clubs encourage customers to do just that. World Gym sells a variety of supplements in its pro shop and “Barball Café,” ranging from protein, pre- and post-workout and weight loss, to energy and more. The ancillary revenue benefits may not be as much as personal training (Hodgson didn’t disclose revenue numbers), but he said they do make a difference. “There’s definitely margin to be made,” he said.
However, to make selling supplements profitable, they have to be executed in your pro shop or juice bar correctly. “It needs to be done like a miniature store,” said Hodgson.
For example, the display of supplements needs to be appealing and at the forefront of customer’s shopping experience. Don’t just shove supplements into a corner and expect customers to purchase them by the cartful. Instead, display them nicely on a wall or rack. This is another benefit — as supplements don’t take up much space, selling them is any easy way to make an extra bit of cash, that doesn’t require a remodel.
In addition, make use of your personal trainers and front desk staff to encourage the sale of supplements. Hodgson’s trainers earn a portion of the commission sold off of supplements, which encourages trainers to not only tell clients about supplements, but physically walk them to the pro shop and show them which products can be beneficial to them. “Trainers’ clients are purchasing these products elsewhere,” said Hodgson. Giving them a part of the commission can be a huge incentive.
According to Hodgson, you can also encourage sales by offering rewards programs on in-store purchases. For example, for every $20 members spend in your club, give them $1 towards a supplements purchase.
Hodgson also advised working with a trusted supplement distributor, such as Europa. In the end, selling a good-quality product will determine if first-time customers become return customers. “Just carrying the basics is a starting point, such as protein and weight loss,” said Hodgson. “Your clients will be happy and you’ll be making money as well.”
Sell supplements in your club, and you could potentially take a chunk out of the billion-dollar pie that is the supplements, minerals and vitamins industry. And that industry is expected to grow. According to the Nutritional Business Journal, the industry is expected to top $60 billion in 2021.
By Rachel Zabonick