Sears is making an interesting move by partnering with golf specialty store chain Edwin Watts to open 3,000 square foot golf boutique inside Sears retail stores. It will, I’m sure, be something similar to what they’ve done with Lands End and Craftsmen Tools (although Sears owns both of those).
I like the idea. But I’m disappointed that there won’t be one opening in Michigan. The first store will open in Murray Utah, then in New York, Virginia, Texas, Maryland, Illinois, Florida and Kentucky. Those are all big golf areas. But it strikes me that were Edwin Watts could make real inroads is in more isolated—places that don’t already have a plethora of golf stores, but DO have a Sears. The areas they’re proposing already have GolfSmiths, Golf Galaxies or their own local versions of such.
The press release follows:
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla.—Sears has entered into a multi-year agreement with Edwin Watts Golf Shops to establish the first U.S.-based “store-within-a-store” retail model for the golf industry, company officials have announced. As a result, Edwin Watts will open 12 new service-oriented golf shops inside existing Sears stores nationwide.
The first Edwin Watts Golf Shop is scheduled to open in Sears store in Murray, Utah, by May 31, officials said. It is scheduled to be followed by openings at Sears store locations in Hicksville, N.Y.; Falls Church, Va.; and Friendswood, Texas. Following those initial openings, eight additional Edwin Watts Golf Shops are slated to open at Sears store locations in Maryland, Illinois, New York, Florida and Kentucky.
“This first-of-its-kind partnership with Sears is a significant development in the golf industry as it expands the access of service-oriented golf retail to all levels of golfers, while helping to drive new players to the game,” said Edwin Watts CEO John Watson. “We chose to partner with Sears based on our strategic need for a mall-based retailer with a national footprint, as well as affiliations with leading brands such as Craftsman Tools and Nordic Track, which strongly align with the golfer demographic.”
Each of these Edwin Watts shops will be designed as a specialty store format with footprints ranging from 2,700 to 3,000 square feet, while offering the familiar layout and shopping experience as the company’s free-standing golf shops. The shops will be staffed by Edwin Watts Golf associates, and company officials say all will have experience and training in golf equipment and technologies, the golf industry, professional fitting and customer service.
Each store will feature select product assortments in golf equipment and apparel, electronics and related golf accessories from such brands as Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, FootJoy, adidas Golf, Cleveland, Cobra, Adams, Wilson and others, they said. The shops also will feature a putting green and hitting bay, game improvement clinics, club and ball performance fitting, and more. In addition, customers will be able to use their Sears credit cards in these in-store Edwin Watts shops.
“The partnership between Sears and Edwin Watts Golf Shops presents a major advantage for today’s leading golf equipment companies, offering a new channel of distribution within a retail brand that offers tremendous equity value and global recognition,” said Watson. “As the golf industry is seeking opportunities to increase participation and interest across all demographics, this retail model will allow a new audience of consumers to experience golf each time they visit their local Sears store.”