Monday, May 27, 2024

American Golf ‘reset’ leads to impressive £5.7m upswing

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A ‘reset’ for American Golf, the UK’s leading golf retailer, has led to an impressive upswing in EBITDA – one year after the appointment of CEO Nigel Oddy.

At the start of FY 2023/24, American Golf took action to control costs and improve margin – which contributed to putting the company back into profit with a £4.3m EBITDA – up £5.7m from the previous year.

This allowed American Golf to maintain one third of the golf retail market share.

CEO Nigel Oddy, marking the end of a successful first year at American Golf, said: “There is no doubt that 2023 was challenging for all retailers, including golf retail, as global and national factors impacted consumer spend and confidence.

“We listened to our customers and their feedback has helped inform our strategy for the years ahead. Due to the continued cost of living pressures, customers told us they were reducing their non-essential golf spend last year, but we were able to take action to leverage our core strengths: focusing on data, our own brand products, our omni-channel offering, and our relationship with third parties.

“American Golf has refocused on core retail, including our 88 nationwide stores, to put us in a strong position for FY 2024/25, with exciting plans for this year and onwards. We have a vision to become the ultimate one-stop destination for everything a golfer requires.”

Warrington-based American Golf introduced new services in FY 2023/24 including personalised golf products and gifts through the ‘My American Golf’ personalisation service, golf insurance with exclusive offers for American Golf Club Card members; and a free Winter Game Review to keep golfers engaged, practising and connected with the game during the winter months.

Using customer insight, a series of targeted campaigns ran over the year to reward core, loyal customers and engage with lapsed customers. This delivered record numbers of reactivated customers, up 19 per cent against the previous year, and retention rate returned to a pre-Covid average.

The implementation of the new strategy saw sales increase by seven per cent in Q4 2023 vs Q4 2022. The online sales business also grew by more than four per cent for the full year.

This performance is in line with American Golf’s growth target of £8m+ EBITDA over the next three years.

International Leisure Group – which owns American Golf – appointed Nigel Oddy as CEO in April 2023. His experience includes 45 years in retail with 15 years at C-suite level. He has worked at some of the biggest brands in the UK Including Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, The Range, New Look, and Matalan. 

Also appointed to the board in 2023 was Elaine Wrigley who oversees Retail, Operations and People. Elaine has 38 years of experience with top retailers. Nigel and Elaine joined a board that includes chairman Richard Cotter, chief financial officer Simon Owers, chief commercial officer Stuart Middlemiss, and marketing director Scott Taylor

Nigel said: “We expect the golf market to continue to be challenging – however we’re optimistic that we can continue to increase American Golf’s share of that market by focusing on our core strengths. Our reset has put us in a strong position as we make ambitious plans for the future of the business.

“We believe in a truly omnichannel business to best connect with our customers – providing flexibility and convenience for a seamless shopping experience. We look forward to rolling out our new app and web experience, along with refurbishments across our existing estate and the opening of new stores in the next few months.”

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