episode 94: Kimberly Grogran and the growth of a specialty gear store, part one

“Part of [what we do is] getting people to build more community with each other–bringing in the groups that are already formed and giving them a place to meet.”

– Kimberly Grogan, co-founder of Dash-Sports (formerly Gear for Multisports)

EPISODE PREVIEW:

An independent, specialty endurance-sports store in Clermont, Florida, is expanding from 400 square feet to 2,000 square feet.

As any specialty retailer knows, this is not a decision that’s made lightly. In a two-part series, I’ll be interviewing Kimberly Grogan, co-owner of Dash-Sports, to document the expansion. In this first episode, we drop in on the reasoning behind their decision to expand, why the time is now, and what strategies she and her partner/husband are employing to up the odds for success. The second will be about how the Grogans worked with their key brand partners to make a rolling, month-long grand opening a success.

The Grogans have complete focus on serving their target consumer and this show is a case study of how one specialty retailer was literally pushed by its devoted community for an expansion.

Dash-Sports (currently transitioning from its former name, Gear for Multisport) is also an excellent example of a retailer activating multiple channels toward a single goal: to engage and to be of service to its customer. Every decision they make is oriented toward providing a better experience for their consumer, and supporting and encouraging their consumers’ active lifestyles. Dash-Sports turns customer lifetime value into a guiding philosophy, not just a metric.

In this episode, Kimberly and I deep dive into understanding their customer, and how service, experiences, community building efforts and event marketing have earned Dash-Sports so much devotion that its customers were volunteering to help them move! (Come on: even best friends won’t do that without beer and pizza!)

The high touch retail experience doesn’t end with customers. The Grogans also apply that same level of attention to the relationships they have with key brand partners. As a result, brands using every tool in their arsenal to guarantee success for Dash-Sports.

GUEST PROFILES:

Kimberly Grogan

Kimberly Grogan is a co-owner of Dash-Sports (formerly Gear for Multisport), in Central Florida. A lifelong runner, she ran at the collegiate level for Samford University in Birmingham, in Alabama. She has since been highly competitive in Ironman competitions, placing first overall at the Redman Ironman (Oklahoma) and first in her category at Ironman Louisville. Kimberly enjoys as many long training days as she can when she is not helping out her customers in the shop.

TOPICS COVERED:

Specialty retail, customer retention, retail square footage expansion, customer loyalty programs, event marketing, retail as a community and tourist hub, target audience identification and avatar, customer lifetime value, high touch retail

SELECT QUOTES:

“Dash means movement, but it also is the span of our life from birth to death: the dash in between the years of our birth and our death. …We incorporated it into our name because we do feel it’s important for us to encourage people to be active at all times, and to give them ways to make it easy for them to be active.”

“Part of [what we do is] getting people to build more community with each other–bringing in the groups that are already formed and giving them a place to meet.”

“As we’re inviting more people into [events and races], we feel like it will help our community grow and thrive because of the things we’re doing through the races.”

[On having an extended “grand opening”] “We want to give each of [our] brands space to showcase themselves: their product and the great things that they’re doing for our key customers. We think that by splitting it up, we’ll be able to give our customers more of a grand opening than just doing it on one day, and having it harried, and maybe not as impactful as doing it [over an extended period].”

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