Best Foot Forward

    Richard Payne, senior manager at SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC., offers GOLF RETAILING exclusive analysis of the UK’s footwear category at retail so far in 2014

    The Retail Audit carried out by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. for 2013 shows that 597,000 pairs of golf shoes were sold through specialist golf channels in the UK last year, delivering almost £41.9 million of sales value to the industry.

    Due to adverse weather at the beginning of 2014, which led to widespread flooding and course closures in the UK, footwear sales started slowly this year. However, by the end of May, the market had shown strong signs of recovery with golf shoe sales in specialist golf channels numbering over 220,000 by the end of the month, according to our 2014 Retail Audit, with a healthy average price of £71.50 per pair.

    The SMS INC. Retail Audit also shows that sales of spikeless or hybrid golf shoes continue to grow, with spikeless shoes representing 27% of golf shoe sales in 2014 to date.

    Perhaps the best news for the trade regarding spikeless shoes is that a lot of golfers do not regard cleated and spikeless shoes as an ‘either-or’ decision, but that many golfers like to own multiple pairs of shoes, and to have both cleated and spikeless shoes. SMS INC. consumer research among core golfers (‘core golfers’ being those who play at least 12 times a year) shows that 58% of core golfers own three or more pairs of golf shoes, and that 75% of core golfers have bought new golf shoes in the last 12 months.

    Another factor that should encourage retailers is that our consumer research also shows the price is not the key determinant when core golfers buy golf shoes. In fact, nor is the brand of shoe. ‘Comfort’, ‘fit’ and ‘quality’ are the three most important factors influencing purchase decisions.

    The pie chart (left), which takes figures from our 2013 consumer research, illustrate that while golfers buy their golf shoes from a diversity of retail options, on-course sales still account for 41.4% of UK golf shoe sales.










    For further information from SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC., contact Richard Payne:

    T: 01932 345 539