Posted on 1/15/2019, by Jack Crittenden
Most golf apparel sales sold through on course shops in 2018, but the numbers fell by 9 percent, according to Golf Datatech, which tracks monthly data reported throughout the year on the state of market, both on and course.
On course/green grass sales made up approximately 78% of total sales. Off course sales, which include online, make up the other 22 percent and saw an increase of 6 percent.
“2018 was a challenging year for golf apparel sales in the United States, with dollar sales down over 6 percent,” said John Krzynowek, a Partner with Golf Datatech. “However, the bulk of the decline came in the On Course/Green Grass Channel, which is also the larger of the top two retail segments.”
While there is no single definitive reason for the decline, Golf Datatech’s research suggests that poor weather, which equated to significantly fewer rounds played, resulted in far fewer players moving thru golf shops.
“No one wants to say they missed their sales target because of the weather, but in a highly seasonal business, like golf, if it’s raining or cold, golfers stay away from the golf course and don’t walk thru the Pro Shop,” Krzynowek said. “As a result, the reduction in golf shop traffic means golfers have less exposure to new designs, materials, and displays, and retailers miss out on “spur-of-moment” purchases of new apparel.”
Krzynowek said On Course/Green Grass golf shops sold more shirts than the Off Course Specialty stores, utilizing the power of the logo to sell shirts that are specific to their golf course.
Off Course stores, which have significantly more space to carry various sizes and length options, sell a much higher percentage of bottoms (shorts, pants, skorts, leggings). Off Course shops also carry a wider range of price points.