MyGolfSpy.com has posted an anonymous essay of sorts by a golf retailer who "owns and operates multiple retail golf facilities" and shares thoughts on the declining equipment sales industry, with a focus on accelerated product cycles, declining profit margins and the downsizing of golf at Dick's Sporting Goods.
Carve out a few minutes for this one if you have an interest in the equipment business.
And I'm curious who you all would nominate as the three vendors referenced here:
There are 3 (equipment) vendors that I’ve told people we could carry to the exclusion of others and we’d be just fine. Example: A golfer visits the vendor’s their fitting headquarters. He walks out with his complete fitting information and is told to purchase his clubs at his local golf store or golf course.
We like these guys, and we move a high volume of their equipment. They don’t get into pricing wars. They stand behind their product, and maintain 18-24 month lifecycles.
They also don’t sell direct to the consumer.
Their businesses are based on quality. That’s what we stand for too. We fit people. We want people to play better golf. We’re certified fitters with all 3, and we’ll move as much volume with any 1 of these vendors as a most stores in a population center 5 times our size.
All of my employees, myself included, used to be unbiased with regard to what we sold. We aren’t anymore. We are not hard sellers, however, we now get behind certain vendors much more than some others because of the business practices I’ve discussed.
These 3 vendors have it figured out. The great thing about them not discounting their product is that we run between a 32%-38% profit margin with all of them!
We make money when we properly fit a customer into a set of irons he’ll hopefully be happy with for 5-10 years. That’s how the business is supposed to work.