Creating a Store Experience Around Trust, Not Commodities
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While most retailers are closing stores and trying to regain market share, PGA TOUR Superstore defies the odds. Host Melissa Gonzalez spoke with the company’s President and CEO, Dick Sullivan, about how the business is thriving.
Sullivan has a long history of working for top retail brands, including as the CMO of The Home Depot. He was also an EVP at the Atlanta Falcons. In both these roles, he worked for The Home Depot founder Arthur Blank.
Sullivan and Blank saw an opportunity with the store, which only had a few stores before their involvement. Now, the PGA TOUR Superstore will reach 50 locations in 2021 and has a booming eCommerce business, as well.
So, how did the business fare so well during the pandemic? “On average, stores were closed for 54 days. We pivoted to curbside in some markets and saw a 200% growth in eCommerce,” Sullivan said.
But people wanted to go back to the store. Its experiential environment and large inventory were attractive. Golf added about six million new players in 2020, as it was an outdoor sport that didn’t involve close interaction.
Sullivan also shared that the brand is about more than what it sells; it’s value-based. The company donated over $10 million to the First Tee organization, a program that helps at-risk youth life skills through golf.
The store also sets itself apart with its associates. They strive to build relationships with customers and have in-depth product knowledge. During the store closures, the company rolled out new online product training for associates and continued to pay them.
Sullivan said, “We aren’t a commodity. The store is an experience, and most decisions we make are based on interactions on the floor. It’s not about a transaction; it’s about trust.”