UK Golf Retail: End of Summer 2018 Market Update

Well, the sun kept on shining and England carried on playing football. That was the story in July, and it seemed to have a real impact on the UK golf market.

Cutting straight to the chase, July was down 7.3% Vs 2017 according to Golf Datatech‘s retail Audit. In fact, July ended up significantly smaller, in terms of sales, than April, May and June – which is very unusual.

English summer

What was to blame? The World Cup or the weather?

Well, July saw 38% more sunshine than usual, and 34% less days of rain. And with the high temperatures we experienced, my concern was that, whilst sunshine is great weather for golf, it was just too hot for some people.  However, it didn’t seem to go that

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: June 2018

And the sun kept on shining!!

It wasn’t very long ago that I was all doom and gloom. Poor weather at the start of the season was having an impact on sales, and the market numbers were down. But since April, I have been repeating the same old story – the sun is out and people are playing golf and spending money.

Its incredible how dry it has been. You only had to look at the Carnoustie during The Open, to see how much so..

Carnoustie golf course brown

.. with the few lush greens a stark contrast to the scorched brown rough and fairway. A pretty setting, for what ended up being, a fantastic Open.

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3 Reasons to Put on a Sale

Discounting stock for the wrong reasons will cost your business dearly. In fact, without a strategy in place, sales can even be dangerous to your business: lowering your Average Sales Price (ASP) and reducing overall profits. To maximise the opportunities of a sale, retailers need clear objectives, says Phil Barnard.

Some might say that you don’t need a reason for a sale. We know customers love a bargain, (who doesn’t?), and sales are something most retailers do intermittently throughout the year.  However, sales need to be planned as part of your business strategy, and with specific reasons in mind. Putting on a sale because ‘it’s that time of year’, could have a negative effect on your bottom line.

So how can you ensure your sale will bring the maximum benefits to your business?

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Female Attraction

When it comes to numbers of women golfers, the UK is lagging behind other European countries. Fortunately, associations such as the R&A are taking big steps to help the situation, but what can Pro’s and clubs do, at grass roots levels, to attract more women to the sport? Crossover Chairman, Phil Barnard, talks seeds of change.

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the Suffragette victory to secure voting rights for women. It’s a landmark year, but, while UK school children have been marking the occasion with themed events and special talks, some golf clubs are only just clearing away hugely prejudicial signs, such as “No Women or Dogs Allowed”.

It’s no surprise that the UK has one of the lowest percentages of female club members than many other European countries. At approximately 15%, the UK is overshadowed by Germany at 35%, and Sweden at almost 30%.

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: May 2018

BOOM! All of a sudden, it wasn’t that bad and the sun came out!!

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After months of generally poor results in Golf Retail – things have finally had an up-turn. Following a lukewarm performance in April, where we managed to get the deficit versus 2017 to under 5% – things really hotted up in May…

So, is the market now up?

Hold your horses – It’s better, but still isn’t great. According to the Golf Datatech UK retail audit May saw a very impressive 11.5% increase overall, versus May 2017. That’s a great performance, given the trials of the year so far. The year to date figures are now back to just -0.1% down – so pretty much flat versus 2017.

All told, that’s a big surprise. I honestly didn’t see such a strong performance coming. While the weather was really good, (more on that later), I worried that it might have been too good, and put people off playing golf – choosing to do something else instead. However, that wasn’t the case when it came to spend, and people reached for their wallets.

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Bettering Amazon: Advice for the Smaller Retailer

Following my article outlining some of the lessons learned from Amazon, here are a few pointers for the golf retailer on how one could use some of Amazons tactics.

So what does the rise in online sales mean for smaller retailers?

First of all, you are going to have to compete with Amazon and the other big online marketplaces – this is just a fact of life.  These behemoths of the online world have advantages in the scale of their operation, the sheer range of products they can provide, their reach, and their infrastructure – but do not be disheartened.

You have strengths that the online giants don’t have. So, what should you be doing?

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UK Golf Retail Market Update: April 2018

Following a few months of poor results, we all had our fingers crossed for some better numbers in April. However as the poor weather continued we weren’t feeling that confident.

April was wet (15% more rain days), dull (only 90% of usual sunshine) but warm (14% warmer than average) – so were there any glimmers of sunshine? In fact, yes.

Surprisingly, April was actually a pretty good month – but not for everyone. Total sales value was up 7.4% Vs 2017, which meant the first increase in monthly performance this year. This drags back the annual number to -4.4%: still not great, but an improvement all the same.

So, is everyone happy?

Not entirely. The On-Course sales seem to have done better this month: up 15% compared with Off-Course, which was down by just 3% (again, an improvement over

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