This spring Srixon is making a major drive to increase the retailer base for its XXIO (pronounced zek-si-oh) range of premium clubs. The company believes it has an unrivalled proposition that delivers assured margins, without the need to hold stock, so there’s minimal risk for retailers. Ben Davis, Srixon brand marketing manager for UK and Ireland, explained the details to Glyn Pritchard in Orlando.
Davis outlines the company’s retail policy for the XXIO brand: “The retailer only needs to have demo clubs. There is no custom fit, because the MoI is specifically designed for the slow swing speed player or lady golfers. When the customer is ready to order, that’s placed through the XXIO online microsite so the retailer does not have to get into a negotiation on price. The clubs are then delivered to the retailer for collection by the customer.”
Customers can go to the microsite and order online themselves, but the clubs will be delivered to the retailer of their choice who will still get commission on the sale. “We will have contracts with all our XXIO retailers spelling out the terms and conditions, so everyone knows there is a level playing field with the product. The margins are excellent and we are planning a two-year lifecycle for iterations of XXIO. At the end of two years it is only the demo set that a retailer will have to sell as clearance, so there is hardly any downside risk”, says Davis.
The company is looking for about 50 UK retailers by mid-2015. “It’s not a product that’s going to suit every retailer. XXIO is aimed at the slower swinging affluent golfer, who is probably finding that they don’t hit the ball as far as they used to. The key to XXIO is that the clubs have a very light shaft with a different flex point from a normal club. This is combined with a heavier club head to generate more energy on impact, resulting in higher ball speed.”
There is also a ladies’ set that Davis says has been specifically designed for women golfers. “It is not a modified set of men’s clubs. It’s been designed from the ground up to suit a woman’s swing. Inbee Park, who is number-one in the women’s golf world rankings, plays with XXIO clubs, that’s how good they are.”
Certainly the company has had staggering success with XXIO in overseas markets. In the home market of Japan it has been the number-one brand of woods and irons since 2000 and now has a phenomenal 40 percent market share for hardware sales. “That’s one million sets of irons and 2.4 million woods sold in Japan. It’s the same in South Korea where XXIO has nearly 70 percent market share”, Davis confirms.
That success has now spread to other markets. “Since launch in the States late last year, they have generated $3 million in revenue with 40 percent of sales to women. Following the launch in Europe in 2014 sales have been a whopping 250 percent over forecast. Slower swinging players with disposable income want XXIO clubs because they really do improve their game at a time when their powers are waning.”
At least one XXIO retailer in the UK has already enjoyed success with the brand. “A foreign industrialist arrived in his Maybach limousine and bought two complete sets for £7,000, which just shows the appeal of the clubs and the margins available to our retailers”, Davis reports.
The standard XXIO 8 driver costs £449 in the UK and a set of graphite irons (four to SW) costs £999. Although commanding a premium price the current XXIO 8 range has been added to with XXIO Prime, a range of clubs with gold detailing at higher prices, so the range is squarely aimed at the golfer for whom price is not the deciding factor in a sale.
Davis sums up: “What we’re offering is a completely different retail proposition that can make significant margins for our retailers. The baby-boom generation is entering old age now. They have money and they’re prepared to spend it on quality products that make life better. XXIO is a golden opportunity to offer something different, superior and profitable in golf equipment.”
To know more about becoming a XXIO retailer, contact Ben Davis on 01420 541709.