If you are the owner of a gym, karate studio or even a dance studio, odds are you already know how valuable it is to have gym lockers for your patrons. 

Here are a few tips to remember when either starting a new gym or dance studio, or if you’re thinking of moving locations:

- Call an experienced gym lockers rep—not just us, but call someone who knows lockers.  Not one of the big box stores like Global that sell everything from lockers to computers.  You want to talk to a company that sells one thing and one thing only and in this case, that is gym lockers.  Why?  Because simply put, they are going to know all the models, all the sizes, all the options, all the accessories that you either need (or don’t need) and they’ll be able to help you maximize the space you have set aside for those lockers.  Since they are the pros and deal with these kinds of thing each and every day, they’re going to know the tips and tricks to maximize your space.

- Do a full layout of the facility before ordering.  Draw up plans, take measurements, explore your options—all of them!  Don’t just look at a wall, take two measurements and then suddenly decide that you need X-amount of lockers.  Really spend time with your architect or project manager deciding upon the space and seriously looking at all the options you have, before you make the order.

- How many locker types do you know about?  Did you know there were 2-tier, 3-tier, 4-tier—all the way up to gym lockers having up to six tiers?  (Metal Box lockers)  Do you know about how much air flow a gym locker has versus a regular school locker?  Do you know how that helps in a gym?  What about gauge of steel?  Is a 14-gauge steel thicker or thinner than a 14 gauge steel?  (Incidentally, the 14-gauge is thicker than the 16-gauge)
Do your research.  Find out the answers to these questions and how your locker choice addresses potential shortcomings.  

- Locks.  Yes, this is the first, and last line of defense against locker theft.  And if you really watch the news, you will quickly learn that thieves target gym lockers.  So what types of locks can you order and will they fit the locker?  Take some time and call your rep, or do your homework online about the styles of locks.  

It is important to point out that when manufacturers quote pricing they do not add locks into that pricing.  It is because ALL lockers can use padlocks which can be purchased elsewhere.  So if you think all locker orders will include built-in combination locks, you may be surprised when the lockers show up and there is no way of actually locking them.  So it is very important you do your homework and decide which style of locks, from fancy electronic locks to the common padlock, of which will be best for you and your gym clients.

- How much are you willing to spend?  A lot of times we see new clients come in and they want ‘the best’ money can buy.  Well trust us; money can buy an awful lot and even though we are willing to sell you want you want, odds are you’d rather spend a bigger slice of ‘the best money can buy’ on actual gym equipment.  So again, call your locker rep up and find something that will look great, work awesome, and take a beating but won’t break the bank!

- Remember the difference between lead time and quick ship.  Most lockers in the most common of colors come from a manufacturer in a quick ship option.  This means they are sitting there, un-assembled, ready to be sent out.  The downsize of that however is that you can’t get your choice of colors—you can only choose from the most popular of colors.  So if you are looking to get those cool gym lockers in that really pretty maroon color that matches your logo, then odds are it won’t be available in a quick ship option and you’ll have to make the order far enough ahead (lead time) to have them arrive for your grand opening.

- Something old, something new…if your budget is tight and you’re just opening a dance studio or karate studio, then maybe you should think about purchasing used ones to begin with until your business really takes off.  By buying used, you can save about 40 percent of your budget right there alone.

By following those guidelines odds are you will make a really good decision when it comes to planning and buying the perfect gym locker for your facility.