Golf retailer gets into the swing as fourth quarter sales soar

Warrington-based retailer American Golf came to the fore with a 55% increase in fourth quarter sales, compared with the same period in 2019.

The critical Christmas trading period, covering the 12 weeks to December 31, 2021, saw overall sales soar to £40.2m.

This comprised store sales of £27.5m, and ecommerce sales of £12.69m.

Growth was driven by demand from new golfers, who have come to appreciate the open air, natural social distancing of the sport, as well as players keen to improve their game.

Sales of entry-level equipment sets for the 12 weeks ending December 31, increased by 35%, compared with the same period in 2019, while the value of premium equipment purchases grew by more than 300%.

Gary Favell, CEO, American Golf, said: “We’ve worked hard in the past two years to position golf as a game everyone can play, from our partnerships and the events we support, to revamping our stores and investing in accessible ranges and complexes where all, from beginners to pros, can improve their game.

“This has really resonated with golfers of all abilities. Lockdown and COVID restrictions helped to attract new people to golf and fuel the passion amongst existing players to rethink and improve their game. We’ve been able to meet this demand at both ends of the market with an unwavering commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.”

The past two years has seen American Golf strive to make the sport more accessible and inclusive, demonstrated by its partnerships with world number one disability golfer, Brendan Lawlor, support of the HANDA World Invitational event, which sees male and female golfers compete for equal prize funds and sponsorship of the Rose Ladies Series.

In addition to flagship store refurbishments, American Golf said it is demonstrating its commitment to inclusivity by the acquisition of entire golf complexes, including Cheshire’s High Legh Golf Club, Cambridgeshire’s Hemingford Abbots Golf Club and Lancashire’s Rossendale Golf Centre, where adventure golf and the company’s new family-friendly Il Corso Italian-American dining concept is being rolled out, in a bid to encourage whole families to play the game together.

The value of American Golf’s in-store sales for the 12 weeks ending December 31, 2021, was more than double ecommerce revenue for the period.

Gary Favell

Gary Favell added: “Like many retailers, we’re seeing rapid growth in ecommerce. However, through offering a unique experiential retail experience, we’re also bucking wider retail trends and continuing to see exceptional growth coming from bricks and mortar.

“Around two thirds of our sales in the run up to Christmas were in store and at our ranges because we’re creating experiences and offering services that you can’t replicate online.

“Shoppers want to come and chat to pros and try equipment with them – this is why we’re investing in creating a whole golf experience through ranges and courses. It’s so much more than traditional retail and is winning with golfers at all levels of their game.”

American Golf has 95 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, while also offering delivery to countries across Europe.