Callaway has been sort of a pioneer among the big manufacturers with its online retailing. It is the only one, to my knowledge, with an in-house “Pre-Owned” program, and now it’s about to unleash its own “new” clubs webstore at shop.callawaygolf.com.
Of course, opening its own retail store would unnecessarily anger the retailers that Callaway depends on to move its product, so the new site has a twist. You can actually order the clubs at the Calaway store, but fulfillment of the order comes from brick-and-mortar retailers.
Here’s how it works: When a consumer orders a product direct from Callaway, the software searches local participating retailers for one that has the desired product in stock. It presents the order to the retailer, and the retailer handles the shipping from her stock.’
Its not a bad idea, and it’s one in which everyone wins. If it works, it also could be a model for other large manufacturers in other industries and serve as the solution to the common complaint that the internet is putting the small retailer out of business.
Nearly 300 retailers apparently signed up for the plan, including giants GolfSmith and golf Galaxy, as well as smaller mom-and-pop stores.