Professor3Is this the future of the off-course golf stores? It seems like these companies ebb and flow with the economy. Edwin Watts, Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy...have all closed stores in some areas and opened new stores in others. EW used to have some kind of partnership with Sears but when I went in to Sears EW was gone and they said it didn't last very long. With the internet it must be difficult for them. Likewise, with the growth of custom club-fitting I'd imagine fewer people will buy clubs off the shelf.
Retail of all ilk is undergoing huge disruption and "creative destruction" thank to the Internet. The playing field is starting to level out a bit as states like Massachusetts impose sales taxes on internet purchases originating in their states. Amazon is the big gorilla sitting on the couch in plain sight that retailers of all stripes must view with nothing but trepidation!
Agreed, but the big box stores don't do themselves any favors. The one huge advantage they have over the internet is the ability to use customer service to their advantage. Unfortunately, when you walk into some of those stores they're either non-golfers, who you'd never even ask for advice, or so full of themselves and condescending. Sometime I ask them, hey, didn't I see you on Golf Central?
I think it's Golfsmith that has PGA professionals. You'd think these guys would at the door greeting people and selling the advantages custom club fitting with lifetime lie and loft adjustments...but I don't see that at all.
All of that to say, human interaction is huge and people would probably pay a little more for a friendly smile and some sound advice.