Sears Stores to House Edwin Watts Golf Shops

Apr 29, 2010 8:21 PM  By

Sears Holdings Corp. has signed a multiyear agreement with Edwin Watts Golf Shops to open 12 specialty golf stores in select Sears locations. The first Edwin Watts-branded shop is scheduled to open in the Murray, UT, Sears location by May 31.

Shop will then open in Sears’ Hicksville, NY; Falls Church, VA, and Friendswood, TX, stores. After that, eight additional Edwin Watts Golf Shops are slated to open at Sears locations in Maryland, Illinois, New York, Florida and Kentucky.

Each Edwin Watts Golf Shop housed inside a Sears location is designed as a specialty store format with footprints ranging from 2,700-3,000 sq. ft. The shops, which will be strategically positioned near other major Sears departments–electronics, tools, appliances, sporting goods–will be staffed by Edwin Watts Golf associates with experience and training in golf equipment and technologies.

In addition to selling golf equipment, apparel, and related accessories, the shops will offer a product testing via an in-store putting green and hitting bay, game improvement clinics, expert golf club and golf ball performance fitting, and more. Customers who carry the Sears credit card will be able to use their credit card for in-store Edwin Watts Golf Shop purchases at the participating locations.

Fort Walton Beach, FL-based Edwin Watts Golf Shops includes a print catalog, an e-commerce Website and more than 70 domestic retail locations. What prompted Sears, which owns apparel cataloger Lands’ End, to forge a relationship with the specialty golf retailer?

Sears Holdings Corp. seeks prospective tenants with synergistic product/service portfolios and common target customers, says the general merchant’s spokesperson Kimberly Freely. “Tenants need to have the operational capabilities to properly and efficiently service SHC’s existing customer base and an image of trust, quality, and service with their customers.”

For Edwin Watts Golf Shops, the partnership will drive traffic and incremental sales among a core consumer audience that strongly resembles a segment of its customer base, says the golf merchant’s CEO John Watson. Edwin Watts “will immediately be able to recognize marketing and sales synergies,” he says.

For instance, Watson notes, Watts will get a boost from prime positioning of the golf shops near Sears tool department, cross-marketing programs with Sears and its other high-profile vendor partners and brands, and signage on the outside of the building.