Which Strings do you guys think should be a must for a Pro Shop ?

#1
I'm redoing our clubs string inventory.
We currently carry:
Babolat Natural Gut
Babolat Excel
Babolat Synthetic Gut
Babolat RPM Blast
Babolat RPM Team
Babolat Pro Hurricane
Luxilon ALU Feel
Luxilon Power Soft
Luxilon Savage

I'm looking for stuff in reels.

Needing a better synthetic gut / multifilament strings selection
Thinking about carrying Topspin Cyberflash as a Good Value string for string breakers.
Also considering Solinco.

What's popular out there nowadays?
 
#2
When you say Cyberflash I like the way your brain works. I first found Tecnifibre at a pro shop in the early '90s in Harvard Square. I have always kept an eye on their offerings ever since. Multifeel is a reasonable performer, but X-1 has better recognition. A cheap and good synth gut is Kirschbaum Standard SG by the reel.

As far as polys go, I would get the most popular ones (shaped and round) and a couple of others in nice colors.
 
#4
All you need is a low end, mid range, and high end string in a poly and multi. Carry name brands (Wilson, babolat, luxilon, technifibre) as they will have the higher profit margin.
 
#7
I'm redoing our clubs string inventory.
We currently carry:
Babolat Natural Gut
Babolat Excel
Babolat Synthetic Gut
Babolat RPM Blast
Babolat RPM Team
Babolat Pro Hurricane
Luxilon ALU Feel
Luxilon Power Soft
Luxilon Savage

I'm looking for stuff in reels.

Needing a better synthetic gut / multifilament strings selection
Thinking about carrying Topspin Cyberflash as a Good Value string for string breakers.
Also considering Solinco.

What's popular out there nowadays?
I have always believed in doing only a few things in ones business, but doing them incredibly well. On this particular topic, I recall stringing in a local tennis shop for 2 years as a part time job, and experiencing first hand the difficulties of carrying too much.

When a regular club player walked in, the vast majority had no idea what to ask for. Othe associates and stringers attempting to explain the difference between RPM Blast and Team, versus PHT, did not really help.... And most of the time, ended up confusing the customer who just wants fresh strings to go out and try to beat their buddy.

I was always the "5 string" guy. Natural gut, gut hybrid, soft multi, synthetic gut, and full poly in that order. If you are redoing your shop and want to keep everything simple and easy for all your stringers why not pick 2 or 3 examples of each, and be done?

VS Touch Gut
X1 Biphase
NRG2
Wilson Sensation
PSG
ALU Power
RPM Blast
(Maybe add one more soft poly, like Yonex PTF)


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#8
I have always believed in doing only a few things in ones business, but doing them incredibly well. On this particular topic, I recall stringing in a local tennis shop for 2 years as a part time job, and experiencing first hand the difficulties of carrying too much.

When a regular club player walked in, the vast majority had no idea what to ask for. Othe associates and stringers attempting to explain the difference between RPM Blast and Team, versus PHT, did not really help.... And most of the time, ended up confusing the customer who just wants fresh strings to go out and try to beat their buddy.

I was always the "5 string" guy. Natural gut, gut hybrid, soft multi, synthetic gut, and full poly in that order. If you are redoing your shop and want to keep everything simple and easy for all your stringers why not pick 2 or 3 examples of each, and be done?

VS Touch Gut
X1 Biphase
NRG2
Wilson Sensation
PSG
ALU Power
RPM Blast
(Maybe add one more soft poly, like Yonex PTF)


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Because you'd lose a lot of money to players who know what they want and what they're doing?
 
#9
Would you though?

If someone knows exactly what they want, it's very likely they are bringing their own string in my experience. And if that's in high enough demand for MANY players, I will work with them to make it available in store.

And if someone DOESN'T know what they want, I provide ten or so good starting points to work from. You can never carry everything and in my experience, 10% of the strings get 95% of the usage, so I would just stock those and work with the particular people separately.

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#10
Would you though?

If someone knows exactly what they want, it's very likely they are bringing their own string in my experience. And if that's in high enough demand for MANY players, I will work with them to make it available in store.

And if someone DOESN'T know what they want, I provide ten or so good starting points to work from. You can never carry everything and in my experience, 10% of the strings get 95% of the usage, so I would just stock those and work with the particular people separately.

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I guess every pro shop is different. At some country clubs and athletic clubs, a basic selection is fine, but at some of the nicer pro shops for the tennis nerds and better players, the players kinda know what to expect.
 

Yoneyama

Professional
#11
Your standard range should offer the best value for money in my opinion. Take into account tension maintenance and durability. Poly's are the biggest issue here. You want the customers to enjoy their string jobs for as long as possible, so they think they are getting a good deal and will come back.

For example, everyone knows Luxilon is amazing but it doesn't last long at all, so it's kind of a dog move to sell a full bed of ALU Power to a customer under the pretense that it is going to play amazing for a long time when in reality it will be dead within a short period. Some customers will get annoyed about that. Same applies for RPM Blast. Where I am from everywhere is soley Luxilon/ RPM Blast/ Pro Hurricane. A lot of guys I know end up playing with these strings for months at a time, when they are well and truely dead, because they aren't serious enough to restring it and also aren't at the string breaker level.

I would feel better selling Kirshbaum or Tecnifibre poly to customers as they generally last longer in regards to tension and playability.

A quick list off the top of my head:

Syngut:

Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex (stiffer, control orientated)
Gosen OG Sheep Micro (softer, crisp, lively)

Multi:

Prince Premier Control (good all round performance, cheap in reel format)
Tecnifibre HDX Tour (honestly the best multi I have ever used... much better than X1 or NRG, Nat Gut tension maintenance, control orientated)

Poly:

Yonex PTP (soft, good for first time poly users, tension maintenance not the best but doesn't go as dead as it nears breaking)
Kirshbaum Max Power / Max Power Rough (stiffer poly, good substitute for ALU Power, a bit cheaper, and tension maintenance a lot better)
Tecnifibre Black Code / Black Code 4S (excellent control, shaped poly, tension maintenance is great especially on the 4S)


Gut:

Klip Legend (you cannot beat this stuff in terms of value for money)


p.s. if you get some serious customers who know what they want, and you don't carry it. Offer a package deal to them. E.g. you will buy a reel of their string and provide 16 restrings for them at $XX price.
 
#12
I have always believed in doing only a few things in ones business, but doing them incredibly well. On this particular topic, I recall stringing in a local tennis shop for 2 years as a part time job, and experiencing first hand the difficulties of carrying too much.

When a regular club player walked in, the vast majority had no idea what to ask for. Othe associates and stringers attempting to explain the difference between RPM Blast and Team, versus PHT, did not really help.... And most of the time, ended up confusing the customer who just wants fresh strings to go out and try to beat their buddy.

I was always the "5 string" guy. Natural gut, gut hybrid, soft multi, synthetic gut, and full poly in that order. If you are redoing your shop and want to keep everything simple and easy for all your stringers why not pick 2 or 3 examples of each, and be done?

VS Touch Gut
X1 Biphase
NRG2
Wilson Sensation
PSG
ALU Power
RPM Blast
(Maybe add one more soft poly, like Yonex PTF)


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Good starting point. I like this way of thinking rather than keeping a large variety of stock.

I would suggest adding a "string(s) of the month" section where you give your personally tested hybrid or new string(s) where discerning customers can try something that's not from the big names for a change.
 
#13
I'm redoing our clubs string inventory.
We currently carry:
Babolat Natural Gut
Babolat Excel
Babolat Synthetic Gut
Babolat RPM Blast
Babolat RPM Team
Babolat Pro Hurricane
Luxilon ALU Feel
Luxilon Power Soft
Luxilon Savage

I'm looking for stuff in reels.

Needing a better synthetic gut / multifilament strings selection
Thinking about carrying Topspin Cyberflash as a Good Value string for string breakers.
Also considering Solinco.

What's popular out there nowadays?
In my old shop had all those except pro hurricane and rpm team, no one ever asked for those. I had one syn gut brand in a selection of colours, Yonex poly tour pro and cyclone as mid price polys and Wilson Sensation as mid price multi. Other mid price popular poly is Luxilon Adrenaline and Head Lynx. Other Mid price multis could look at Volkl Power Fibre II or Yonex Multi. These are all good strings.

RPM Blast and ALU Power both smooth and rough were the most popular strings from customers who specified a string. Most others had no idea what they had so usually put sensation in them. The rest I had a bunch of string sets in case someone asked for something a bit different.

For you I'd suggest have sets of a cheaper nat gut (Klip maybe), but not many people seem to ask for shaped polys so I would only get sets for those. Also consider replacing Xcel with NXT or NRG as I found they all played similar but xcel was too soft for hybrids and would notch too easily. It isn't really worth have a set of each either as they are about $250 a reel.
 
#14
I'd agree with the keep it simple approach and pick good examples from natural gut, syn gut, multifilament and poly.

For syn guts: PSG in a multitude of colors and Babolat Origin
For Multis: Babolat Excel, Wilson NXT, Technifibre X-1 Biphase, Head Velocity
For Natural Gut: Babolat VS and a budget natty like Legend or Tonic
For Poly: RPM Blast Rough, Lux ALU power, Lux 4G, Volkl Cyclone, Solinco Tour Bite, Yonex PTP


That would give you a very well rounded list of strings that would work for most players. There will be folks that want specific set ups but they can just order their strings online and bring them to you. You don't need to cater to the tennis nerds. I buy all my strings on line and bring them to the stringer. I used to get them to order them in for me but I can get them cheaper on my own.
 
#15
Definitely need the Solinco strings, as they are practically standard these days. Also, I never see any club pro shops carrying tourna poly strings, which are some of the best out there for the price, particularly big hitter blue and black 7. But there may not be enough potential mark up on these for the club to make money.
 
#16
I feel like it makes sense to buy some single packs of strings that also has reel versions that you personally wanna try. For the sake of variety.
If they sell, buy reels.
If they don't sell, then they are yours, no loss.
 
#17
I string for myself/friends/college recreational players and keep the cost down to encourage frequent restringing. One of life's great pleasures is hitting for a couple of hours with a fresh set of strings and a new blue Tournagrip.

My current string inventory:
smooth poly: Kirschbaum PLX (stiff) and Pro line II (soft)
textured poly: Solinco revolution
multifiber: Technifibre multifeel
Syn Gut: Gosen OG sheep

Others I have used but currently out of the rotation:
Yonex PTP
Solinco Tour Bite

My student deal is $15 for Gosen (less if they're good and will hit with a geezer) installed.

I would stock a few more if I ran a shop possibly a natural gut, but no more than eight or 10 total. I think having too many options confuses people and they end up buying something just isn't right for them. For the great majority of rec/club players Gosen is perfect and at four bucks or less per frame you just can't beat it.
 
#18
If I had a pro shop I would get a manufacturer dealership to get the best price, and stock those strings.
Most home stringers cannot get those great deals.
Years ago, late 1960's, I had a dealership with Bancroft Sporting goods and string prices were very much reduced. Now most need store front shop for decent dealer prices. Since you have a shop, I would go with whoever you can get the best deal with. Most manuf. have similar synthetic guts, multi strings and similar poly strings be it soft or stiffer hit poly strings.

Only thing is if you are changing your current inventory of strings as you say, many players at least for me , ask for same strings as last string job,like I have customers that like X-1, or RPM Blast and ask for it specifically and strung same as previous times, and if you change inventory how will that go over? If you string RPM Blast for a player for last couple years and now you change inventory, are you going to This is why I carry what players typically hit with in my area. Many of the strings I carry I would not hit with, but many of the people I string for like them, so that is what I keep in inventory. There is a group of hitters that have no idea of strings or preferences, and when I find that they hit with a typical syn. gut I go to PSGD as that has been one of the most popular strings used in pro shops for over a decade. In reality most any syn. gut would do for that type player.I would not hit with that string, but you have to go with what your customers may want, and that could be a big difference.My string is all nat. gut, and I do string a lot of nat. gut jobs, but I do not push that string just because I use it and like it. It is not for everyone and also $ wise.
It seems to me , once you start stringing for players, over time you get a feel for what the players in your area or your shop customers want and you end up ordering those strings for your inventory, and in reality no one else can tell you what to stock, and only advise as to their favorite string is all.
 
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#19
I agree with keeping it simple.

1 good multi
1 standard syn gut e.g PSGD
A few poly's. I would stock Tour Bite, a soft poly which keeps it's tension like a Signum Pro and RPM Blast just because it's so popular.

I would have a leaflet with really basic info about the string options.
 
#20
I string for myself/friends/college recreational players and keep the cost down to encourage frequent restringing. One of life's great pleasures is hitting for a couple of hours with a fresh set of strings and a new blue Tournagrip.

My current string inventory:
smooth poly: Kirschbaum PLX (stiff) and Pro line II (soft)
textured poly: Solinco revolution
multifiber: Technifibre multifeel
Syn Gut: Gosen OG sheep

Others I have used but currently out of the rotation:
Yonex PTP
Solinco Tour Bite

My student deal is $15 for Gosen (less if they're good and will hit with a geezer) installed.

I would stock a few more if I ran a shop possibly a natural gut, but no more than eight or 10 total. I think having too many options confuses people and they end up buying something just isn't right for them. For the great majority of rec/club players Gosen is perfect and at four bucks or less per frame you just can't beat it.
Revolution is actually shaped, not textured
 
#22
Cyberflash, pros pro gutex, tourna silver, tourna zone, volkl cyclone, head velocity, pros pro red devil. All are inexpensive but good strings.

Most players will like a variety of colors more than the brand, lol!

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#23
MUST have:
Syngut - Prince Syn Gut
Multi - Wilson NXT
Gut - Babolat VS
Poly - Alu Power, RPM

99% of tennis players don't know or care about other brands such as Tourna, Signum Pro, Diadem, Volkl, etc.
People know and want those strings listed above.
You can carry other strings such as Tour Bite, Hyper G, Cyclone, Yonex Poly Tour Pro, etc. for people who will actually listen to your advice.
 

Yoneyama

Professional
#24
Would anyone care to add what gauge would be recommended to carry in a pro shop?

17, 16L and 16?

Does anyone preference a thicker gauge for one string type, and thinner for another?

Thinner gauges tend to be a bit softer and have better tension maintenance going off the TWU database.
 
#26
I would purchase the reels of the best (in your mind) all around multifilament, synthetic gut, and round Poly that are a decent price. Then buy individual sets of string to specialize for those that ask in whatever quantity you think you need to maintain an inventory. In this way if someone does not specify or ask which I find is often the case then you will have the reels. If they specify the strings they want (less frequently) then you have the sets. If later you find you get a lot of requests for RPM then buy in a reel if you feel the need.

For me what makes sense is:

Reels:

Pricing Premier Control 16G
Gosen OGSM 16G
Weiss Cannon Silverstring 16G (I am beginning to think there may be better but people I string for like it.)

Sets:

Babolat Tonic+ 16G (You can instead have VS Touch if you want)
Wilson NXT 16G
Prince Duraflex 16G
Luxilon 4G 16L G
Luxilon ALU Power 16L G
RPM Blast 16G (Tournament Kids) & 18G (I have a few adults who like this in a hybrid with NXT)
Solinco Hyper G 16L G
Solinco Tour Bite 16L G
Volkl Cyclone 17G

This seems to cover 99% of the requests I get. For the others I order and adapt with reels as you go. For example, a few of my friends last summer took a liking to 4G in a hybrid so instead of a set I have a reel. This type of thing.
 
#27
Thank you everyone for their input. I'm in Canada now so the prices here are a bit different. I think I will use PSGD and also Gosen OG Sheep Micro for synthetic gut since they have a good track record. Probably will carry 2 Multis (1 cheaper then other) and Luxilon ALU, RPM Blast, and some Solinco. A few sets of Natural Gut should be good. Anyone recommending Topspin Cyberflash at all? I used it religiously years ago.
 
#28
Thank you everyone for their input. I'm in Canada now so the prices here are a bit different. I think I will use PSGD and also Gosen OG Sheep Micro for synthetic gut since they have a good track record. Probably will carry 2 Multis (1 cheaper then other) and Luxilon ALU, RPM Blast, and some Solinco. A few sets of Natural Gut should be good. Anyone recommending Topspin Cyberflash at all? I used it religiously years ago.
Yeah, like I said above. It's a great economy string. I especially like it with a muted cross string.
 
#29
What do you guys think about this (I'm in Canada).

Gut:
Premium: Babolat VS 16 (Klip Legend if I can source it here)
Value: Offer as a Hybrid

Multi:
Premium: Excel 16/17 (looking for a substitute really), probably do the blue version
Value: Alpha Gut 2000 or Prince Premier Control (If I can find some here in Canada)

Synthetic:
Babolat SG Spiraltek 16 (Black + White)
It's available in reels here and very cheap. Will be our go to string for Demos and Juniors racquets

Poly:
Premium: Babolat RPM Blast 16, Luxilon ALU Power 1.25, Solinco Hyper G 16 + 16L
Value: Topspin Cyberflash 1.25
 
#30
I am not at a pro-shop but string for local players and high schools in the area. My theory is to have sets of premium strings and stock reels of whatever I think is the best string in each category. If unsure start with sets and follow trends. If you can't keep a set in stock as you go then order reels at that point.

Gut: VS is a very nice string but $$$.

Multi: I am not an Excel fan but if that is yours it is fine. What I do is stock some sets of NXT as I get infrequent requests for hybrids with it and even rarer as a full bed. In addition, I then have reels of Prince Premier Control (Someone here suggested it and it is a really nice string and was a great recommendation.).

Synthetic: I get very favorable feedback from players that use Gosen OGSM. It is slick and fantastic in a hybrid. However, if you have a source for the Babolat and find it popular there then get it.

Poly's: I like your Poly's except ALU Power in that I just don't see as many requests for it any more as there are newer strings players are gravitating to. However, if you are seeing a lot of requests for it then get it. RPM Blast and Hyper G are popular with advanced junior players so if your club has those then it is a good choice.
 
#31
I assume you have a Babolat account, get their reduced prices, and reduced price or free demo rackets, since ALL the strings you have listed are Babolat. If not, get a good account with one of the FULL LINE manufacturers, carry their rackets AND their strings.
 
#32
I assume you have a Babolat account, get their reduced prices, and reduced price or free demo rackets, since ALL the strings you have listed are Babolat. If not, get a good account with one of the FULL LINE manufacturers, carry their rackets AND their strings.
I was wondering about that as I know the club I go to is a Wilson club. I just wonder then why ask the question?
 
#34
Depending on how many clients you have will affect how much you carry. The pro shop I work at has a pretty nice customer base so we carry a lot of strings for different situations. I've found the following strings to be the best to make sure we always have in stock

Synthetic Guts:
Kirschbaum Synthetic Gut Premium
LaserFibre Synthetic Gut
Gamma TNT2

Multi:
Wilson Sensation
Wilson NXT
Head Velocity
Tecnifibre NRG2
Tecnifibre X-1 Biphase
LaserFibre 1200

Polys:
LaserFibre Vorso
Wilson Revolve
Solinco Hyper-G
Solinco Tour Bite
Babolat RPM Blast
Babolat RPM Rough
Luxilon ALU Power
Luxilon ALU Power Rough
Luxilon 4G
Volkl Cyclone
Volkl Cyclone Tour

Natural Gut:
Babolat VS Touch, VS Team, Tonic Ball Feel

We primarily restring rackets for local high schoolers so polys sell more than anything for us since they play a lot more. Pretty much we try to carry strings for different situations. Softer polys, extreme durability, spin oriented, etc.. Generally most of our synthetic gut sales go to beginners who don't want to invest a whole lot or just want something well rounded, and multis for anyone who has arm issues for doesn't pop their strings quickly. I pretty much listed the staples for a few different companies but honestly those do cover a pretty big range of players, if you sprinkle some strings you like or strings to cover of weakness of the staples you'll be fine.
 
#36
I assume you have a Babolat account, get their reduced prices, and reduced price or free demo rackets, since ALL the strings you have listed are Babolat. If not, get a good account with one of the FULL LINE manufacturers, carry their rackets AND their strings.
We have accounts with the major suppliers such as Head, Wilson, Babolat, etc... but we're soon going to be a Babolat endorsed club with the main pros going with Babolat. At the same time we're trying to give the best value to the local customers but also carry popular items as we're located in a tourist hot spot where people from all over the world come and visit. Our junior program is small and lower level so there is Zero polys used for them.

Polys are mainly used by the men here or tourists.
Multis for the women and for hybrids.

Still looking for a source for Prince Premier Control string here in Canada....

Thank you everyone.
 
#37
I think the knowledge of the staff is more important than anything. Pro shops could have excellent products but if the staff could not recommend strings that go hand in hand with the players ability and preference then it is not helping the player at all.

In terms of merchandise, storing hybrids or 1/2 gut definitely a must as it seems like the trend because of Tour players preference, notably RF.

I was looking for hybrids I was forced into full beds of RPM blast because my pro shop did not have 1/2 VS Touch and I would have to buy a full pack of VS Touch but only use half of it.
 
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