The TIA is developing an online Tennis Specialty Retailer Certification course that will cover key aspects of the tennis retail business and, upon successful completion, allow retailers to be recognized as a “TIA Certified Specialty Tennis Retailer.”
The certification course is being developed with the assistance of retail consulting firm Gluskin Townley Group, along with input from the TIA’s Retail Panel, industry manufacturers and organizations, and the USRSA.
“We are focused on helping tennis retailers improve their business, and we feel the information and product knowledge that will be offered through our online certification course can help all levels of retailers and their employees serve their customers better,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
The course will consist of eight independent online “modules.” Each module concludes with an online multiple-choice test that can also be taken independently of the module.
The eight certification course modules are listed below and include a brief overview on subject content:
* Store Operations, including creating a business plan, operating manual, product portfolio, buying collaboration with suppliers, inventory control, and more.
* Business Technology & Reporting, including websites, POS systems review, mobile compatibility, social media, key technology tools and applications, etc.
* Financials, such as integrated POS and accounting, benchmarking, utilizing research, key performance indicators, etc.
* Marketing & Promotions, including store brand marketing, importance of POP, the Tennis Retail Center concept, developing relationships with tennis facilities, 10 and Under Tennis, industry initiatives, and more.
* Customer Service, covering areas such as making shoppers welcome, making it “all about the consumer,” shopper and customer feedback and satisfaction, creating frequency.
* Store Environment includes sales per square foot, close rate, creating a comfortable and consumer-centric store environment, keeping customers in your store, gaining a competitive advantage, and more.
* Management including Recruiting & Hiring, policies and procedures, using assessments and background checks, creating an employee manual, etc.
* Product Knowledge, with three separate sections on Strings & Racquets, Shoes & Apparel, and Youth Tennis Equipment.
In addition to these eight modules under discussion, short online informational webinars from participating manufacturers about their current products are being considered.
Additional details will be made available soon.