Lots of interesting news in the golf business over the last several months. Adidas the owner of Taylor Made Golf, Adams Golf, and Ashworth Golf, has decided to divest its golf “hard goods” divisions, to focus on its core business of soft goods, shoes and clothing. There are likely many reasons for this including soft sales in hard goods, and growing competition in the soft goods side.
This move by Adidas seems to have opened the door for Nike to follow suit, catching everyone by surprise with their announcement they are discontinuing production of “hard goods”, to focus on soft goods. It is ironic that Rory won the Tour Championship this year using Nike clubs, after this announcement. Great performing clubs now at a fire sale price while stocks last!
It will be interesting to watch what Puma with Cobra does, if anything. Will they see an opportunity to expand their presence in the market, follow the trend of the other two clothing giants, or continue status quo?
Whoever buys Taylor Made, the trend of ever faster cascading launches of new drivers, previously a two year cycle, then one year, and now six months or less, is likely to change. With consumers now jaded as to “buying in early” to a new product, as waiting three to six months would usually result in significant savings over the “launch” price.
And lots of news coming out on the retail side of the golf business in Canada as well! Soft retails sales, growth of internet sales and too many oversized stores will soon take its toll on the retail landscape. This will increase many consumer’s existing frustration with the lack of choice in the market of where to shop. More on this next week!