Late last year, I wrote an article about Edwin Watts filing for bankruptcy, and the extreme displeasure in dealing with Edwin Watts over the years here in San Antonio. Although I vowed to never shop at Edwin Watts again, I do have to admit I took full advantage of the store liquidation here in San Antonio, buying 10 FootJoy golf gloves and 3-dozen Titleist NXT Tour golf balls for about $105.
Also in that article, I predicted Golf Galaxy might be one of the next big box retail golfers to meet it’s demise, since they also suck. While Golf Galaxy hasn’t announced any plans for bankruptcy, its parent company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is struggling mightily in the golf space, and has decided to cut it’s cutting back it’s golf business after reporting dismal second-quarter earning results.
This comes off the heels of Dick’s announcing last month that 478 of it’s PGA of America instructors would be losing their jobs. In it’s latest earnings report, Dick’s claimed $20.4 million in restructuring costs, including $3.7 million of severance charges related to the golf layoff.
The reason I predict Golf Galaxy might be the next golf retailer in trouble is the fact same-store sales fell 9.3% for the quarter. Dick’s acquired Golf Galaxy seven years ago, when the company had 65 stores. It expanded to 85 stores which is where it stands today. But get this. Two-thirds of Golf Galaxy stores have expiring leases within the next three years, and the company might look at closing underperforming stores.
Dick’s blames declining golf sales on the typical excuses; mainly lackluster participation rates in the sport over the last few years. Personally, I attribute a big part of the declining sales at Golf Galaxy on poor customer service. It’s the same thing I said about Edwin Watts. The experience is horrible in both stores. I can’t remember a good experience in either store, and I went into both quite a bit in the past.
There’s no denying participation in golf has been declining. Adams Golf announced recently it’s going to layoff much of it’s staff in Plano and golf courses across the country are reporting horrible playing numbers. It’s a combination of many things. But when golf retailers are trying to sell $400 drivers, $800 irons, and $250 putters, they have to show a little more customer service skills.
What do you think? Have you ever had a good experience at Dick’s or Golf Galaxy? Let us know below or hit us up on Twitter @Front9Back9.