Resource planning 101: Part 3 – Staff


Time to stir the grey matter with the third in our series of resource planning articles.

So far each part has looked at one of three scarce resources to any retail business –  Cash, Space and now we move on to consider staffing.

Remember the objective of these blogs are not to give you finite answers but to give you food for thought while the shop is less busy.
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Market update – 2016 a brief review

2016 really was a year of two halves. Awful weather in the first 3 months really hit the participation and as a result the on course retailer struggled. Five named storms between January and March meant courses were closed across the land with some not seeing any play for over 8 weeks. Keen golfers still wanted to get their golf fix but went to the off course stores and ranges to see what was going on.

By the end of April the on course market was 4.5% down in value while the off course was racing away at 13.8% up. By the end of June the on course was still down 2.77% while the off course was still up over 10%

Fortunately the second half of the year saw an amazing turn around with great weather and lots of play. The off course still maintained its strong position and the on course managed to recover to just 0.5% down on the year. This was a great result all round and showed one of the strongest H2 performances seen for a long time. Overall market ended up at +5.3% in value terms v 2015.

Performance was mixed across the categories with the off course having an amazing run on clothing. Here the overall changes at the end of the year.

2016 on and off category performance

The relative differences in performance meant there was a shift to the off course for a the first time in a few years. Overall the on course still had the largest split of sales but this had reduced to 54.6% down from 57.8% the year before.

On v Off share - 2016

It was the same story across all categories except trolleys with the biggest change coming in apparel with the off course growing from 31.8% to 37.8% of the total market. Trolleys actually saw a small decline.

So how did consumers spend their money?

Overall spend saw a slight change in the overall priority of the categories

2016 sales mix by value

Woods and irons are still the top two categories, Footwear took the number 3 spot for the first time – overtaking balls. Tops was the biggest clothing category with putters being the smallest of the tracked categories accounting for 3.5% of spend. Hardware accounted for over 41.8% of total spend.

How did spend compare to last year?

2016 saw some big changes with 3 of the tracked categories seeing double digit growth. Biggest mover was bottoms at over 14% growth, followed by wedges and shirts.

2016 category value change v 2015

Biggest looser was weather wear seeing a 2.6% drop in sales. Trolleys also had a small decline – otherwise it was growth from all the categories.

What drove the changes?

Main driver for the market changes in all the hardware categories was an increase in ASP. Putters saw the biggest gains ending the year up 19.4%, with irons up 10.5% and woods up 8.7%. Many of the changes were the effect of sustained drops in the £ v the $. Brands facing increasing costs had to put prices up to the retailers on big ticket items.

2016 category ASP change v 2015

Interestingly two of the biggest movers – shorts and bottoms saw slight ASP drops – was promotion used to drive the increased sales?

Big changes in ASP lead to some decreases in units.

2016 category units change v 2015

Declines were seen in 7 categories – mainly hardware or big ticket items. The biggest increase in ASP was met with the biggest drop in units, Putters we down -8%. Average price of a putter had got up to £130. No longer the item you change on the turn.

All in all 2016 was a topsy-turvy year that saw a great performance from the off course and a par save from the On.

Resource Management 101: Part 1 – Cash

Phil - golf 004We’re now well into winter and there is a definite chill in the air. As a result, there are few golfers out on the course or more importantly, in the shop. So, is this the time to settle back and take a break? The answer is no. It’s the time to review this 2016’s successes and (more importantly) this 2016’s failures to plan for the future with consideration of any lessons learnt.
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Competing for audiences


Hey, did you see the cycling World Cup a few weeks ago? It was great to watch Britain continue to take gold medals: five in total. Even more exciting to witness the stars of tomorrow, such as the 21-year-old Emily Kay, stepping into the lime light, while some of our Olympians were taking a well-earned rest.

But to me there was something else to take note of. The sport’s governing body was experimenting with new race formats specifically design to excite the audience. Their objective, no doubt, to fire up potential new entrants to the sport. A much-needed task for the golf industry.
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Merchandising, Facebook and a tidy shop

Phone Facebook

I spend quite a lot of times in shops. In our line of business it’s a good thing to do.

Some people ask me what makes a good store. While there is no silver bullet I do think a good store makes the target customer want to buy (and makes a profit). To some that might sound like a bit of a cop out but the reality is that should be exactly what every retailer is trying to achieve. How they achieve that will be very different from target customer to target customer but it often comes down to the merchandising.
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Did President Elect, Mr Trump win by identifying his target customer?

Well its been an interesting few months and non more so with the US Presidential election. Most of the pundits were expecting the status quo to be maintained with the second tranche of the Clinton dynasty. However Mr Trump had different ideas, kicking in the White house door and shaking up the whole US political landscape.


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