Special Awards Feature Private Merchandiser of the Year ers versus losing out to a big box or online retailer.” Andrew is a 7-year member of the PGA of America. Andrew Hedrick, PGA This is the first award for Hedrick and the fifth time the The Country Club at Castle Pines club has been recognized in this category. nowing that his Public Merchandiser of the Year membership has numerous options Keith Stilwell, PGA when it comes to making their buying Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course decisions, Andrew at Fort Carson Hedrick and his
team at The Country Club at Castles Pines have made it a point to redefine their merchandising philosophy. He and his team focus on their product mix, communication and service to create a first-class buying experience for his membership. For those reasons and many others, Hedrick has earned the 2019 Colorado PGA Private Merchandiser of the Year Award.
“Over the last two years, we have had to change our product mix, while identifying new brands and introducing them at the appropriate levels,” notes Hedrick. “We changed and eliminated some vendors that sell their product at the big box retailers. Thus, we have identified our best seller’s year over year, focused on the core vendors and added one to two new vendors for men and women respectively every year or every other year.” Hedrick and his team have ramped up their communication with their membership to be sure they are fostering awareness rather than relying on the merchandise to sell itself. “This awareness and communication have helped our off-season sales early in the year when product arrives,” he notes. A great example of this was shown this past spring when rounds were down but revenue and net sales in the golf shop exceeded budget. Keeping a strong staff core has also been a key for their team. “With our ability to retain staff member’s year-over-year, we have gained the knowledge of our member’s preferences and we can instantly direct them to the products that they predominantly purchase.” This level of trust and confidence has enabled their team to focus on their members buying experience and the service that they provide. “In this day and time, our ability to service the Membership is what will contribute to our success and ability to retain custom-
olf courses on a military installation attract a diverse group of customers. From active-duty soldiers to senior military leadership and veterans alike, the course is a gathering place for many. Knowing that and being able to provide something for everyone is one of the reasons that Keith Stilwell, the PGA General Manager at Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course at Fort Carson, has been named the 2019 Colorado PGA Public Merchandiser of the Year. “We have a very diverse golfing population, with players ranging from a first-time golfer to very experienced life-long players,” note Stilwell. “Army golf provides a unique opportunity to introduce soldiers to the game and our goal is to do it right. Keeping that in mind, our overall merchandising philosophy is to provide an education of quality. This allows us to offer some low-cost items [while] gradually coach a player into higher end products as their game and passion for the game grows.” One of the things that has set Stilwell and Cheyenne Shadows apart in recent years was the building of an indoor/outdoor fitting center. The club has been able to provide custom fitting to their customers, which has helped increase their hard-goods sales significantly over the last two years. Their merchandising operation is not without challenges. Like many facilities, Cheyenne Shadows competes with many big box stores and online retailers. Keith and his team have taken this head on by focusing on building relationships with their customers. Through these relationships they have been able to