Your Guide to Selling Merchandise at Your Fitness Business

The secret to making the most out of any fitness business is maximising profitability through up-selling and cross-selling. While the most obvious revenue streams come through the traditional services which gyms have always offered such as personal training, classes and workshops, there are a number of other avenues for generating income which are definitely worth a look in.

Of these avenues, one of the most lucrative – and often overlooked – is merchandise and equipment sales. The fitness industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, and there is a massive range of supplements, foods and equipment available. From the everyday necessities to niche items, there are so many opportunities for gym owners to keep their customers happy and improve sales.

Here are a few points to get you started selling merchandise at your gym – before you know it, you’ll have products flying off the shelves!


Start with the basics

There are some products that gym-goers are always going to need. Towels, water bottles and basic workout clothing are the obvious examples here. Having branded merchandise from your gym is a great idea with this sort of product, as it helps to remind customers about your gym, as well as providing free advertising! Additionally, branded merch is great for including in welcome packs as well as for giveaways and prizes.

In addition to these basic items, it is a good idea to have a range of essential nutritional supplements and foods. Protein bars and shakes are always a welcome addition to the front counter, and supplements like whey protein and creatine are always in demand.

These core essentials should form the basis of your merchandise range. A lot of successful gym owners never feel the need to expand beyond the ‘basics’ – there is a lot of revenue to be had here.


Keep up the up-selling

Up-selling is absolutely critical in creating a profitable gym business. As you start to develop a range of merchandise, keep your sales people and trainers informed about the items available, and consider offering bonuses and other incentives to keep sales strong. Offering information on how to use products, or choosing the right product, is a great way to encourage people to spend a little extra cash.


Target your efforts

The incredible breadth of the fitness industry, and the merchandise that comes along with it, can be both exciting and daunting. While it might feel like you absolutely must cater to everybody in the market with the latest technology and supplements, often it is more profitable to target a smaller section within the market. Do your research prior to investing in any new lines or products. Is this a product you can sell to your clients? Is this a product that they need? Thinking about these factors will make your life a lot easier in the long run (and will prevent you from ending up with a storeroom full of fidget spinners!)


Automate your sales

Vending machines are really easy to set up, and allow members to have access to your products without having to wait around. As long as you keep the machine stocked, well lit and positioned in an obvious place (right next to the entrance is ideal), you can guarantee yourself consistent sales year round. Vending machines save a heap of time, and can prove to be very profitable, particularly in high traffic locations.


Product visibility

Once you’ve developed your carefully curated range of merchandise, think about where you’re going to display. Somewhere close to the entrance, well lit and at eye level is ideal. Too many gym owners complain about poor merchandise sales without considering this simple factor! A little bit of extra thought here pays off massively in the long run – who is going to buy your products if they don’t know you have them?



Even if merchandise is only a relatively small revenue stream, it always pays to advertise your products, and keep members aware of your offerings. While you probably don’t want to allocate too much of your advertising budget to your merchandise sales, a few signs and email campaigns can really pay off in the long run.

At Fitstop, creating highly profitable and streamlined businesses is our business. We’ve got years of industry experiencing delivering world class fitness solutions to members and gym owners. If you’re embarking on the first steps to creating your ideal gym, head over to  and have a chat with the experts!

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