European Takeover

    The PGA Merchandise Show is a global event, but it’s fair to say it’s dominated by US brands. With that in mind we spoke to some key European exhibitors to find out how exhibiting at the show works for them.

    Big Max are the number one push trolley and cart bag brand in continental Europe and have a US arm that is growing every year. Ian Waddicar, U.K. M.D. of Golftech commented, “This was our most successful PGA Show yet and a truly global market place for BIG MAX. We reached agreement with six of the most influential green grass distributors in the U.S. and placed significant orders with U.K. and European retailers. We even picked up new distributors in the Philippines, Indonesia and West Africa! ”That’s a good week in anyone’s book.

    With Danish footwear brand Ecco having a strong presence ever year, their big story for 2018 is every shoe in the 2018 line features a waterproof Gore Tex lining. This is the first time ever a brand has offered this and is a serious statement of intent when it comes to brand positioning.

    Italian footwear brand Duca del Cosma alsohad a significant week. The latest range of shoes attracted the attention of potential customers from across the United States, but also the UK, Japan, China and Canada. “The response to the range we received from visitors to the stand was really very positive and we’ll definitely be back at the PGA show next year,” said Tony Eccleston, General Manager for the UK & Ireland. “There was genuine interest in the entire range on display at the show, but even more interest in the boots for Autumn/ Winter than we expected,” he added.

    For the apparel brands the US is a huge potential market. While American brands are getting slimmer in fit, it’s fair to say that there are still quite big differences for the majority of brands across the pond. Galvin Green have seen their US business grow over the years, but Europe is still there focus. We spoke to Greg Pearson managing director UK and Ireland about the week.

    “As a brand that purely focuses on performance golf clothing we’re passionate about ensuring that golfers can play and perform no matter what the weather. “Over the last 15 years, we have built a strong leadership position in outerwear through a commitment to outstanding quality, great functionality and fashionable designs. These qualities can be seen through our clothing range too in a collection that fuses innovation, performance and style. “The increased pre-orders from our customers so far have mirrored our belief in this range and I can’t wait for the collection to land, so that golfers can see where our brand is heading. The future is very exciting.”

    While Galvin Green concentrate on golf, for a brand like J.LINDEBERG the show is an important cog in a far broader machine. Every year their stylish slim fi tting outfi ts stand out on the show floor. This year was no exception.

    Robert Tankard, UK country manager, had this to say about the week. “The PGA show was highly successful for J.LINDEBERG. It has been a very exciting few weeks for the brand, showcasing our collections at three of the most prestigious trade shows in the world. We are proud that within the past two-week period, JL showcased with a strong presence at ISPO in Munich, showing performance ski; at PGA show in Orlando with full-function golf; with commercial fashion collections at Panorama in Berlin and CIFF in Copenhagen; while also showing a new sport-fashion forward direction – in which all these concepts are united – on the runway for top international fashion press at Copenhagen Fashion Week. This is a big step and we look forward to growing the brand with current and new partners after a very successful PGA Show.”

    However if you’re still on the fence about attending the show either as an a exhibitor or attendee, PRG Founder and PGA Professional Stephen Riley probably summed it up best.”PRG enjoyed a superb year in 2017 and we saw our client base grow, both at home and overseas. Our presence at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show provided us with a great opportunity to connect with our network of international clients as well as exhibiting our comprehensive range of accessories to new audiences.” And he’s right, if you’re not at the show, you can’t be part of the conversation.

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.