Northern California and South Carolina Launch Presents Innovative Solution to the Product Cycle
Apr 08, 2015 – TaylorMade Golf Company has developed a new outlet mall concept that could benefit PGA Professionals in multiple ways – from the life cycle of their product to price integrity to even the potential for a new job.
In April, TaylorMade Golf will launch its first branded outlet store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Soon after, another store is scheduled to debut in Livermore, California (San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region). The first two locations were selected based on demand from PGA Professionals in the market.
TaylorMade Golf Company learned through feedback from its 3,500 Staff Professionals that end-of-year inventory presented challenges, especially as new product was approaching on the horizon. This helped spark the idea for TaylorMade to provide a solution for this and other inventory issues.
In partnership with parent company adidas, the shops will sell previous season product, certain used items and merchandise returned from both retail and green-grass stores. Brands sold will include TaylorMade, Ashworth, Adams Golf and adidas.
Each store will employ a small staff, with some key personnel being PGA Professionals (approximately one to two per store). For example, the Myrtle Beach TaylorMade Golf outlet recently hired a PGA Assistant Professional with extensive retail experience as its store manager.
“PGA Professionals always have been, and always will be, at the core of our strategy,” said TaylorMade Golf Company President and CEO David Abeles. “In order to be the company we want to be, we invest in the PGA Professional as an entity in our company.”
TaylorMade has high hopes for the outlet shops, with the product assortment largely consisting of closeouts and off-season merchandise. If the launch goes well, the company hopes to eventually have five to 10 stores, with the rollout beginning as early as the second half of the year.
“I’m looking forward to TaylorMade’s initiative into the outlet store space, especially in my own backyard,” said National Golf Management President Bob Mauragus of Myrtle Beach. “It has a positive impact for green-grass accounts like mine because we are able to bring in new products more frequently, while sending older products to the TaylorMade branded outlet stores.”
TaylorMade believes the shops will assist in the movement of aged product from green-grass shops to a new channel of off-price distribution. It will also potentially help free up open-to-buy dollars that can be allocated for new product and technology at full margin, as well as reduce markdowns.
“It’s critically important that we develop a relationship with PGA Professionals that is higher than just golf product,” explained Abeles. “We have a responsibility to provide solutions that go beyond the product.”
The company encourages PGA Professionals to exchange dated, cascaded or used inventory through their sales rep. This will enable an overall cleaner marketplace, as off-price and previous season product is moved to the outlet stores.
“If we provide value through business solutions for better profitability, then we are providing a better product,” added Abeles.
TaylorMade also believes that partnerships with green-grass facilities in these markets could introduce new consumers to nearby PGA members.
“As a green-grass retail partner and PGA Professional, I admire TaylorMade’s initiative into the outlet space, which is a positive step in the direction of cleaning up older products and excess inventory,” said Tucson (Arizona) Country Club Director of Golf Operations Michael Haywood. “Our business thrives on new and exciting products, especially from a brand like TaylorMade. So, the fact that they’re taking on the responsibility of getting older products off the floor of our golf shop allows for us to bring in more non-discounted product to sell.”