Edwin Watts Golf Files Chapter 11
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/5/13
On Monday morning, Sun Capital Partners, owners of Edwin Watts Golf Shops, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Dusty Ricketts of the Northwest Florida Daily News reports that the company is already in "advanced negotiations" with several prospective buyers.
Edwin Watts began his first store in Fort Walton Beach in 1968; the company has grown to 90 retail stores in 15 states, along with a long-standing mail-order operation and an e-commerce site. Watts is frustrated and shocked by what has happened to his former enterprise:
"We don't have all the details of this. This was a little bit of a shock. We don't know how the process works, but we do have an interest in possibly pursuing the company.Watts sold the company to Wellspring Capital Management LLC late in 2003, who then sold it to Sun Capital in 2007. Sun Capital's CEO, John Watson, declined to talk to reporters on Monday. It will be interesting to see whether or not Watts can buy back his old baby.
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Image via Facebook, Edwin Watts Golf
[ comments ]
It is a tough road for brick & mortar golf retailers. The ability to purchase golf equipment online, compare prices and competition from places like Dick's makes it hard to sell off the shelf products. Retailers need something more - fitting bays with qualified fitters, driving ranges and short game practice areas. The two surviving retailers in our area have all of what I mentioned previously and are very large operations compared to the old store front shop in a strip mall.
Duke of Hazards says:
Yes. What Brian said. Also, the huge mega golf outlet here has a robust used/trade-in business for equipment ho's that run through drivers faster than TaylorMade can crank em out.
joe jones says:
Since the financial downturn started the golf industry has declined at a steeper rate than just about anything else.Stocks on anything related to golf have a lousy history on wall street. Golf course management companies rarely show a profit. Anything golf has always survived when people have discretionary funds. In my senior community people are living off of minor investment income and social security. Many are babies of the great depression and were taught to be frugal. Golf is a very expensive hobby. It seems very unfair that at a time when retirees have time to play they don't have the funds to enjoy the game.
Bernie Duffer says:
Sad day...best golf shop, with the best services, in Tallahassee, FL. I hope Mr. Watts gets his company back.
Last couple of times I went into Edwin Watts in San Antonio, not a single worker made eye contact with me, no one asked if they could help me either anything. I was in the store for nearly 20 minutes. Was just browsing but didn't feel like they were interested in making a sale either. I didn't plan on going back anyway.
John Watson drove this company into the ground.... Edwin Watts stores have been dying a slow death due to his Big Corporate minded "cut all expenses" business strategy.... What was once a specialized golf store that carried inventories according to regional demand became nothing more than a typical big box store run golf shop.... John Watson's failed attempt to "automate" a company by eliminating employee involvement in daily business operations is why this business failed....John Watson sank this ship!
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