This story bears out the cyclical nature of retail and consumer preferences. In the end, it has little to do with golf, and everything to do with how you run your business on a day to day basis.
Having spent my professional life developing products that are bought at retail, I've seen more businesses start and fail than I can count. If you think deeply about it, so have you, as acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies, and closures of some iconic brands takes place all the time. As Rick says, bigger usually isn't better, and trying to be all things to all people/markets is a bad recipe too. Edwin Watts wasn't the worst retailer out there in golf, so it's not a good sign. But it happens.
In a similar vein, for those of you that visit Las Vegas, and subtle change has happened. This is not Titleist news, but relevant. Down on Las Vegas Blvd beyond the airport was a Callaway Golf Center, including a "Divine 9" par 3 course. I played the course many times, and while not a stellar venue, it allowed one to shake off the kinks for a couple hours, even at night as it was lit up (typical Vegas!). The course included a C-way fitting center and retail store.
Well this facility has now closed and been acquired by the folks at TM Golf, and the entire place is undergoing a multi-million dollar rehab/renovation. Seems the folks at Callaway are having some issues as well finding their way of late, and this facility was no longer an asset worth keeping.
The circle of life.........