Gym Business Boosts with Retail Merchandise and Supplements

  • /
  • Gym Business Boosts with Retail Merchandise and Supplements

Promote Your Fitness Club with Private Label Branding

Nothing brings credibility to a small fitness club like a unique fitness concept built around a strong brand. As long as you have a robust gym management software system as a foundation, you start to develop streams of income that complement your client programming. It also helps to have your brand on merchandise and products for sale in your gym’s store or front desk. You don’t need much floor space for these high-margin sales.

Now, you can even add custom merchandise and e-commerce pages to your club website with ease. This is a well-established set of marketing and sales channels, so all your questions have probably been asked and answered before. However, offering products for sale can add significantly to your business profit margin.

Items that might work for you are sportswear, sports nutrition, and supplements, workout accessories like padlocks, water bottles and, gloves. You can sell major brands and also private label items that promote your club brand. Private label only means companies that produce products on contract while putting your brand label on them.

Avoiding the Inventory Management Issues

If you have a busy fitness club business, you probably don’t have time to be messing around with a second business. However, as a small business, that second stream of income might be the difference between success and failure. The good news is that, as long as you focus on selling, you don’t have to do all of the hard work yourself.

The old-fashioned way to acquire merchandise for sale would be to order it in bulk have it come to your location on a pallet, and you shelve it or ship it to your retail customer. There are much better new alternatives. You can have your merchandise shipped to fulfillment centers where it can be stored, prepped, and sent to your gym locations or retail customers directly.

The combination of a retail section in your gym and an online store is likely to provide better profitability than either would alone. Once you get some onsite purchases, members will be more likely to reorder online. Starting a separate e-commerce store from zero is a whole different level of retailing. As a small gym business owner, you might hold off on that until you’re ready to start a second business.

The simplest way to start takes that to the extreme as drop-shipping. The order goes straight to your wholesaler or manufacturer, and they fulfill it for you. Drop-shipping works because wholesalers discount products and give you a decent markup because you provide the marketing and customer service functions.

You can also support a club store through the same fulfillment center. You set it up so that you automatically have more stock shipped out to your location when you drop below a predetermined minimum. That way you can order in bulk for the biggest discounts but store products securely. You also stay organized while you focus on your fitness business.

How to Add E-commerce to Your Retail Store

Services like BigCommerce or take the work out of setting up an online catalog. Shopify provides plugins that connect you directly to suppliers who will happily ship directly to your customers. If you need to start a website from scratch or

There is an entire industry’s worth of companies that specialize in private label supplements, vitamins, and cosmetics. These companies will provide precisely formulated products in packaging that you label.

Creating private label products might be too big a commitment at first. You may have to negotiate a price based on your quality choices and batch size. However, print on demand services will provide merchandise with your logo and branding. Typical products include coffee mugs, tee-shirts, or workout gear.

Whether the stock comes to you or ships direct to the customer, you don’t need to hold onto more stock than you can display. You don’t need to have gym staff in the back-office stuffing merchandise into packages or fulfilling orders. There are fulfillment centers that will hold your bulk stock and send out products as needed.

Accelerating a Growing Fitness Club

Many of these tactics work better and take less time if you have the right technical team to do the work. However, setting up e-commerce and integrating it to your existing site is something an experienced freelance developer can do quickly. If you look at the big gig-economy marketplaces, you will see that there are developers who specialize in precisely that kind of work.

If you are entrepreneurial and ambitious, there are always opportunities to enhance your startup business. Adding private label merchandise for sale can be a way to add income to a growing club along with premium client programming and classes. Search engines have plenty of all the details about sourcing products and selling them. If you have a growing membership, merchandise and supplements could be a channel that boosts you over the top.


Fabregas, Krista. "How Order Fulfillment Companies Work." Fit Small Business, December 27, 2017.

Fagan, Lawrence. "Gym Business Sales And Some Negotiation Lessons from TV." Gym Insight Blog, February 20, 2019.

—. "What The Top Fitness Clubs Say About The Gym Industry." Gym Insight Blog, May 22, 2017.

Lazazzera, Richard. "75 Print-on-Demand Product Ideas: Print-on-Demand Businesses to Start." Entrepreneurship. A Better Lemonade Stand (blog), November 19, 2018.