Upon hearing the sad news that came out of the U.S. on Tuesday that Dick’s Sporting Goods is cutting hundreds of jobs, including PGA of America members, the cerebral hamster got on its wheel as I pondered whether a similar event could take place in Canada, most notably with Golf Town.
In today’s golf retail environment, there is a lot of inventory out there and certainly within the industry, there’s a lot of concern about the short life cycles of products before the next latest and greatest emerges.
It’s no secret that sales are down and the industry is wondering where the bottom is on that slide. Golf Town doesn’t provide sales information, but you can bet that concern isn’t limited to Dick’s Sporting Goods these days.
So anything’s possible, especially in the overall retail environment these days and definitely in golf-specific retail, so does that make it likely that a similar bloodletting is about to happen at Golf Town?
There are two reasons not to panic in Canada.
One is that Golf Town/Golfsmith is re-establishing a buying office in Canada after moving operations lock, stock and barrel to Austin, Tex., so it doesn’t seem likely that the company will try to shake any foundation it has as it tries to re-connect with the industry.
Beyond that is the difference between Dick’s and Golf Town.
Dick’s is a mass retailer of sporting goods, while Golf Town is a mass retailer of golf-specific products, making golf professionals and other golf-knowledgeable staff more meaningful to Golf Town than they would be to Dick’s as consumers seek their expertise.
After events such as what happened with Dick’s, we tend to see the sky falling and that’s especially so in golf, where there are definitely challenges and big ones, but the apocalypse is not upon us because of what happened at Dick’s this week.
That’s not to say it can’t happen, just that it isn’t likely in the immediate future.