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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 26, 2019 6 months ago

Golf store to open new location, plans Florida expansion

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PGA Tour Superstore is planning a late July opening for its new 40,000-square-foot store in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

Golf retailer PGA Tour Superstore is seizing on opportunities in the golf-rich Sunshine State.

It plans to open a store in Plantation in April, and is looking at more opportunities on the west coast of Florida, including Tampa and St. Petersburg. The company currently has 36 stores in 16 states.

It’s also building a location in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, in east Manatee County, expected to open in late July. “The Sarasota area is perfect,” PGA Tour Superstore Chief Marketing Officer Matt Corey tells Coffee Talk. “It’s a great area not just for a lot of golf that’s being played, but from a demographic perspective it’s great.”

The 40,000-square-foot store is in the University Town Center area. “Our stores don’t have to be at First and Main,” Corey says. “We are sort of a destination store. People will find us, and they will drive past other golf stores to find us.”

The UTC store will be the chain’s seventh in Florida. “The state of Florida in general is a very good market for golf," Corey says. "You can play almost every day of the year. We knew we had a lot of room to grow in the state.”

Opening a new big-box golf gear store somewhat goes against the sports retail industry trend. Sports Authority, for one, shuttered a location across the street from the future PGA Tour Superstore a few years ago, before the chain filed for bankruptcy. And at least two other golf-focused stores have closed in the UTC area in recent years as well.   

“A lot of retailers are closing stores,” Corey acknowledges. “We’re actually opening stores.” One reason for that, he says, is the chain has figured out the right formula. “It’s the better shopping experience. The experience itself is fun.”

PGA Tour Superstore is part of The Blank Family of Businesses, under chairman Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot. Corey says the golf chain took lessons from Blank and The Home Depot culture. “We’re in the relationship business, not the transaction business,” he says. “If we can build a relationship with you, and you can trust us, you’ll shop with us forever. It’s not just about selling a putter.”

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