Sports Retailers May Be Turning Away From Golf But Has the Sport Really Reached the PLC Maturity Stage?

Golf Products Lose Space in StoresGolf is a great sport with benefits that include having the opportunity to be outdoors, taking in great scenery, offering a spirit of competitiveness, and, for some golfers, allowing for the development of business relationships when clients are included in their foursome. Yet, despite the positive value obtained from spending a day on the links, the sport appears to be dropping in interest. There are many reasons for this with cost outlays and time commitment being at the top of the list.

The decline in popularity of golf has now reached the point where some believe the industry is at the Maturity stage of the Product Life Cycle (PLC). Moreover, if that is the case, then golf could be on the verge of a major retrenchment. However, we are getting a little ahead of the PLC curve on this one. Whether this decline is a brief drop or really the beginning of a serious and irreversible decline remains to be seen.

Though, one thing is clear – sports retailers no longer see golf as a money maker. This can be seen in this BusinessWeek story that reports on how a major sporting goods retailer, Dick’s, is scaling way back on golf products. This retailer has experienced significant golf-related losses including having to take a write down of over $2.4 million on the equipment it sells and layoff all of its in-store golf pros. This is despite their sponsoring of a Senior Tour golf event.

But, again, it may be a little premature to suggest this is a dying business. It would seem the rise of another major golf talent, similar to what Tiger Woods offered, could once again resurrect this industry.

Image by JD Hancock