For the PGA Tour Superstore, which was founded in 2003 and has 33 locations across the U.S., retail is far from dead.
In fact, according to Matt Corey, PGA Tour Superstore’s chief marketing officer, there are plans to open five to seven stores per year and have 60 plus stores by 2022. PGA plans on setting up shop in many of the vacant Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores. Within the current shops comps are up 15 percent and sales are up overall by 23 percent.
Corey attributes this success to a core mission that involves inspiring people as opposed to equipping them with the tools they need to play golf.
“We want to inspire people to play their best and grow the game,” said Corey, who admitted that golf has gotten a bad rap for how expensive it can be, but he and his team want to make the sport more accessible and the retail experience more engaging. That involves filling stores with putting greens, practice space, simulators and hosting events along with providing a variety of services.
“We can regrip your golf club the same day,” Corey said. “The last time I checked, Amazon can’t do those things.”
They are also getting customers started early. The PGA Tour Superstore was founded Arthur Blank, who is also cofounder of Home Depot and the owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. While at Home Depot, Blank started workshops tailored to kids. He’s brought that over to the PGA Tour Superstore with Kids Zone clinics that take place every third Saturday of each month. Kids spend two hours learning how to golf while their parents shop.
While sales online have grown by 42 percent, Corey said there’s going to be more focus on the e-commerce experience. PGA Tour Superstore started selling online about five years ago and will launch a redesigned site this year and transition over to Sales Force to improve the mobile shopping experience. Fifty percent of the site’s traffic comes from mobile phones, but the conversion rate is only 0.2 percent. Additionally, Corey is working on more personalization.
“We don’t know our golfers well enough,” Corey said. “If you bought a Callaway driver, you are going to get an email about a TaylorMade driver. But why? You just bought one.”
The retailer is also connecting with retailers via emotional marketing. Corey said that instead of promoting pricing in ad spots, they are attempting to leverage the relationship they have with golf pros and this has translated to commercials featuring Jordan Spieth, who they showed shopping the PGA Golf Tour Store in Dallas he used to frequent as a kid, or a Father’s Day themed commercial with Sergio Garcia with his kids.
“We want to inspire customers across all channels,” Corey said. “Our goal is to offer a differentiated brand and customer experience.”