How to Earn More With Retail


There was a time when all you had to do to open a successful CrossFit gym was find a decent warehouse space, get some equipment and pay an Affiliate fee. “Build it and they will come.”

That time is over. Today, it seems like a new Affiliate is popping up around town every week, which means Box owners need to find more ways to improve their bottom line, while offering increased value to their members. One way is through retail, which can increase your revenue per member by 20 to 40 percent and improve member experience, when done right. This is a guide to doing it right.

Retail 101

Whether you are selling products in a store like Whole Foods or at a CrossFit gym, retail boils down to a pretty straightforward equation: product visibility + education + ease of access = sales.

Product Visibility

In order for someone to even consider purchasing a product, they first have to see the product to know it’s available for sale at your Box. Did you ever wonder why companies fight so hard for shelf space at the grocery store? This is why. The more visible you make products, the more they will sell.

Consider how much profit per unit you’re earning from each item you sell, along with how fast each item sells, and optimize visibility of those products from there. A good rule of thumb is to allocate more visibility to the products that bring most benefit to you.


To transition from considering buying a product to having a desire to buy it, a person needs to be given a reason why they should. One way to do this is by hosting a competition sponsored by a vendor that will support your event, while increasing product awareness. It’s also a great way for the gym to sell a bunch of product in one day and get some prizes for athletes. Another way is to make an announcement on your gym’s social media pages of what products you have for sale. This is fast, easy, free and will likely be seen by most of the members at your Box.

Ease of access

Making it easy for someone to buy something from you is key to transitioning the “desire to purchase” stage into an actual sale. Two things to generally avoid are a cash-only policy and vending machines. Fewer and fewer people carry cash these days, and there has yet to be seen a single instance where vending machines have resulted in meaningful sales – it’s one of those things that makes sense in theory, but doesn’t translate well into practice.

If your members don’t know how to purchase something from you, they probably aren’t going to ask, “How do I buy this?” resulting in lost sales. Instead, increase your sales by picking a smooth payment structure to put in place. After you do this, train every member you have — and all new ones who come through your doors — on how to use it.

Get to it

Retail isn’t rocket science, but success doesn’t happen by accident. By following the principles outlined in this guide, be confident you can quickly and easily improve the retail operation at your Box.


By Dave Colina, the founder and president of formula O2. For more information, email