Direct Golf is launching an ambitious four-year expansion plan with its first new store of 2015 in Southampton.
The plan, a brainchild of Direct Golf owner and PGA Fellow professional John Andrew, has now begun after the company acquired the golf retail shop within the Hedge End Golf Centre, in Southampton, Hampshire.
The site boasts a 50-bay, double-tier driving range, a short game area, gym, Stott Pilates studio, physioflex, café, and a 3,500ft2 retail store, which had been run previously by American Golf.
The acquisition represents not only a new store in the Direct Golf portfolio, but also a geographical move, as the new site will become the company’s most southerly location and a great opportunity to target a new market.
Managing director Neil Bell hailed the Southampton site as a pivotal moment in Direct Golf’s ongoing plans for growth, as the location is key to supporting the chain’s southern customers, who currently purchase via direct sales channels.
Bell said: “We are all very excited to get the first store of the new expansion plan open. This really is the start of an exciting period in the history of Direct Golf. We settled on the Southampton site after a lot of careful research – it is already one of the busiest range sites in the UK.
“With our specialist knowledge we’re extremely confident we can get some really strong sales figures from the store. The location has massive potential and it could even become one of our best-performing stores.”
The store announcement is the latest in a string of positive developments for the Huddersfield-based company, which sits in stark contrast to the general health of the golf retail market.
Direct Golf owner Andrew added: “I am really excited our expansion plans are now well and truly underway. It’s good news for us as a business, but it’s also good news for our loyal customers. As we grow, so will our ability to deliver unbeatable service, unbeatable choice and unbeatable value. The plan is to target other areas to build the portfolio to 40 stores with projects in the pipeline for Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow later this year.”
Ted Awcock, the owner of Hedge End Golf Centre, added: “We are excited to be working with Direct Golf as they are proven retail specialists and their marketing power will help grow our existing site and take it to the next level.”
Direct Golf UK has enjoyed massive growth in 24 successful years of trading. Starting with one small shop in Huddersfield, it now has 21 retail outlets nationwide and a significant portion of the web and mail order golf market.