Golf News for Friday, January 24, 2014 | Business

Longitudes Group releases report on off-course golf retail brands

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Longitudes Group announced it has recently completed a new report for 2014 documenting the market profiles of the 17 largest off-course golf retail brands. It includes an in-depth look at the new acquisition made by Worldwide Golf last month of 49 locations of the 91 Edwin Watts stores in bankruptcy proceedings. The report measures a number of variables for those golf retail brands with five or more stores conducting business in the US market. The report compares and contrasts the brands, and relates how each retail chain impacts the local markets in which they compete. Sara Killeen, President of Longitudes Group, forecasts in 2014, "The top three national brands will see pressure from a bigger, and potentially stronger, Worldwide Golf. It's a four horse race nationally now, so consolidation and growth through opening new doors will make it a very expensive battle."

Key findings of the new research include:

• Golfsmith's market impact leads the retailers with the most golfers served in its trade areas at 5.7M, or over 22% of all golfers and a retail market value of $1.3B.

• Golf Galaxy is 2nd in golfers served at 4M and the now expanded Worldwide Golf group (including Edwin Watts) in 3rd place at 2.5M golfers.

• Worldwide Golf now is a strong contender against the industry's retail stalwarts. The value of its trade area is $727M, just behind the retail market value of Golf Galaxy at $799M and well beyond PGA Tour Superstores $297M market value. Each of its retail brands has strengths and weaknesses, but primarily strengths. The five separately branded chains* are primarily in heavy participation golf markets with affluent populations.

• New York Golf Center packs the biggest punch on a regional basis. It has the highest number of golfers per store at 103,000 golfers, nearly double the next major competitor, but also faces the toughest competition with an average of 5.8 Off-course competitors within 15 minutes of each location, including a brand new PGA Tour Superstore on Long Island.

• Boyne Country Sports, headquartered in Michigan with five stores, benefits from the highest golf participation rates in its trade areas of nearly 25% and the highest female golfer rate.

"2014 will continue to be extremely challenging for not only retail, but for the manufacturers vying for golfers' share of wallet. The national retailers will pressure manufacturers for price cuts, innovative product, coop dollars and state-of-the-art in-store investments - all in a golf market that is not growing," states Killeen.

National rankings are also provided in the Brand Profile Report based on a broad base of market variables including:

1. Retail Market Value
2. Total golfers served
3. Total square feet
4. Total golfers per store
5. And so much more….

Methodology:
Local stores were analyzed with radial trade areas within a 15-minute drive-time of each chain's individual stores utilizing Longitudes Group's Golf Market Tool and geographic information software. Variables tracked include the number of total golfers served, competitive density, store size range, total square footage, share of US market square footage and number of stores. The retail brands included in the report are:

Austad's Golf Stores
Boyne Country Sports
Edwin Watts*
Golf Etc
Golf Galaxy
Golf USA
Golf Warehouse*
Golfsmith
New York Golf Center
PGA Tour Shop
PGA Tour Superstore
Pro Golf Seattle
Roger Dunn*
The Golf Mart*
Van's Golf Shops*
*Owned/Operated by Worldwide Golf

Since 2004, Longitudes Group has tracked the growth and contraction of the Off-Course retail market. Annually, a complete analysis is conducted in 210 markets tracking both the number of stores and the expansion/contraction of total retail square feet. In the overall off-course retail segment, the last twelve years brought the large format retailers who were aggressively opening stores across the country, putting many smaller stores out of business.

The report is available for $1,200 by emailing a request for purchase to Sara Killeen - Sara@longitudesgroup.com or order by phone at 503-477-6284.

Longitudes Group, LLC, headquartered in Portland, OR, is a research and marketing company providing unique analysis on the travel and spending behaviors of avid golfers in the US and Canada. Armed with a database containing information on the behavior of 5.0 million avid golfers mapped by county and zip code, Longitudes Group uses a geo-demographic approach to probe both the location and purchase behavior of the avid golfer population. On the supply side, Longitudes Group has built the most up-to-date database of golf retailers including 15,800 golf facilities, 915 off-course retail stores and 2,100 chain sporting goods store. For more information, visit the company online at www.longitudesgroup.com.

Contact Info
Sara Killeen, President
sara@longitudesgroup.com
(503) 477-6284