UK Golf Retail: September 2018 Update

For most, the overriding memory of September will be the barn-storming Ryder cup where Europe produced an overwhelming, if unexpected, victory. Some outstanding performances from both the old guard and the rookies. It’s always good entertainment when the postman delivers!

the postman delivers

When most of the golfing community was still pumped with positive energy, some of the air was let out of the tyres by the news that American Golf – Europe’s largest specialist golf retailer – was up for sale under, what seemed to be, negative circumstances. More about this next month, but for now, let’s hope the new arrangements allow AG to be successful, and the industry continues to grow.

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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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UK Golf Retail Market Update: May 2018

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

home_page_gallery_2

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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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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UK Golf Retail Market Update: March 2018

Despite recent, improved temperatures, it’s been a ‘damp squib’ this year,  (for want of a better expression) … and the numbers have been equally disappointing. I’m not referring to my own game here, which is always a bit up and down: I’m referring to the retail sell-through we have seen so far in 2018.

snowy-trees-on-the-golf

After the gloomy start to the year, it was with some trepidation that I spent most of April charging around the UK, visiting hardware manufacturers to talk numbers. Surprisingly, though, there was a definite air of optimism that I found very encouraging.

So, with a sense of positivity, let’s dig through the market numbers to see if there are any green shoots to discuss.

“It‘s been a bit rubbish, weather-wise, so I’m assuming the market was down?”

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Market Update – February 2018

With the March data due to be released very shortly I thought I should put out some quick commentary on the season so far. February is usually the smallest month – typically 4.8% but it can give us some direction on how the season is going to go. So lets get stuck in.

Its been wet but has it been as bad as it feels?

Yes, the market to the end of February was pretty bad.

Value trend Feb 2018 YTD

The market was down 7% in February, bringing the overall YTD down to 13%. That’s not a good start, and, a stark contrast to last year. However, when we look at these stats, we realise that last year is part of the problem. And, while we’re down year on year, we are up nearly 4% on 2016 – so things aren’t quite as bad as it may appear (or feel).

Last year saw one of the biggest growths we recorded at Golf Datatech – so it was always going to be a tough act to follow.

OK, so it was DOWN – But Does that Apply to all Categories?

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