Sporting Goods Store Apocalypse Continues With Bankruptcy Of Golfsmith

Image courtesy of Sam Ejnes

You might not recognize the name Golfsmith, but it’s the biggest golf-only store in North America, with 109 stores here and 55 in Canada. Golf, however, isn’t as hot as it was in the years after Tiger Woods went pro, and the sport’s popularity is waning. That means there’s less need for all-golf stores.

We’ve reviewed why sporting goods stores in general aren’t doing so well right now, but what took down Golfsmith was a decrease in people playing golf as well as the e-commerce trends hurting retail and sporting goods in particular.

Many of the chain’s suppliers are the same ones hurt in the short term by the bankruptcy and shutdown of Sports Authority. Under Armour sells clothing there, and Nike supplies golf shoes, since it’s getting out of the golf equipment business. Callaway and brands owned by Adidas supply clubs to the chain.

“[The] stores are too big and they are too close to each other,” an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence explained to Bloomberg News.

The chain first looked for a buyer, and was unsuccessful, which is why experts predict that any post-bankruptcy version of the chain that survives will be much smaller.

Just like Sports Authority, if the chain goes out of business or wins, leading sporting goods chain Dick’s will be the winner here. It sells golf gear at its own stores, and also owns the similar but smaller Golf Galaxy chain. Buying some stores (or even some store leases) might be a smart move.

Golfsmith Bankruptcy Brings Fresh Woes to Under Armour and Nike [Bloomberg News]

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