Golfsmith International caters to country club sports fans. Through its catalogs, website, and about 75 stores in more than 20 states, the company sells golf and tennis equipment, apparel, and accessories from major makers (such as TaylorMade-adidas, Callaway, Mizuno, and Nike) and its own brands (Golfsmith, Clubmaker, Killer Bee, J.G. Hickory, Lynx, and ZTech, among others). It also teaches golfers to assemble their own clubs, and offers custom fitting and repair services for clubs and racquets. In addition to its retail operations, Golfsmith runs the Harvey Penick Golf Academy, an instructional school for golfers in Texas. The company was founded in 1967 as a mail-order seller of custom-made golf clubs.
After years of declining revenues, Golfsmith saw demand for its products and services pick back up in 2010. That year the company's sales rose to nearly $352 million, from $338 million in 2009 (a 4% increase). Golfsmith attributed the uptick to increased sales from its steadily growing network of retail stores and its e-commerce site, which saw several improvements rolled out during 2010 (including enhanced navigation, a more efficient shopping cart, and mobile Web capabilities). Still, Golfsmith faces an uphill climb to reach its sales peak of $388 million (2007). Compounding the revenue declines, the company has operated for several years at a net loss, which deepened to $5 million in 2010.
With tough economic conditions lingering in the US, the golf retail industry has become increasingly fragmented and competitive. Golfsmith has taken to right-sizing its store presence in recent years. The company opened two new locations and relocated two stores in 2009. In 2010 Golfsmith opened four stores (three of which were in new markets) and closed three stores.
To further stimulate business, Golfsmith has focused on its Internet operations. The company launched a redesigned website in 2009. In addition to the notable e-commerce improvements of 2010, Golfsmith added more than 150 product demonstration videos to help build sales.
Atlantic Equity Partners owns about 55% of Golfsmith.
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