Saturday, October 22, 2011

Craig's Crossing - Week Two

To begin week two of Craig's Crossing I would like to genuinely thank everyone who contacted me this week with feedback about the concept. The effort has already generated traction with both vendors and shop managers who discovered one another at this intersection.

Although some weeks will include an eclectic mix of interesting products/services, this week Craig's Crossing is dedicated almost exclusively to men's knit shirts. This category typically accounts for the largest volume and margin in most shops and there are some new products as well as relatively new products that have exciting stories and are doing well.

"The Bobby Jones Liquid Cotton knit shirt is being asked for my name", said Jared Henzlik, National Sales and Operations Manager. "It has the most incredible hand and gets softer with each washing." An interview with Jared about the brand's come back was featured at the Upscale Golf Shop on PGA

"Business for Donald Ross Sportswear continues to grow rapidly, fueled by excellent sell through at retail and strong consumer demand" say Rob Stein and Paul Wold, founders of the brand. DJR was the Successful Pro Shop MVP for 2009.

Martin Golf Apparel, whose slogan is "Timeless as the Game" will be sold by an ultra-high account base, ideally the nation's top private golf clubs, and won't do any department store business. The company will take a very understated approach, as the garments are a lifetime quest for perfection from Martin. "This is not about branding," says Martin. "It is about a beautiful garment that men will want to wear." The world's finest Pima cotton will be the main ingredient in the company's lines, starting with the Spring 2012 collections. The finest collars in golf feature special, collar-specific yarns. Each garment will feature excellent high-end sourcing and special high-end finishing.

Bob Haley has developed a line of shirts combining Pima cotton and Cocona technology that are attractively priced and maintain their appearance through multiple launderings. Bob has chosen the name Cabo Shirt Company after his favorite golf destination.

Aquascutum stresses that it draws on its heritage combining quality and fine craftsmanship with innovation and exquisite design to create its own quintessentially British style that offers luxury, attention to detail and authenticity. Adam Scott is the exclusive brand ambassador for the collection.

ZR Tech Wear professes to improve your golf life as well as your appearance, introducing ZR-ion balancing technology to the golf shirt. The technology that has improved the flexibility, balance and endurance of professional golfers and other professional athletes alike has been embedded into the fiber of the ZR tech wear polos.

The Littlest Golfer makes resort-quality golf apparel, accessories, toys, books and equipment for infants and children - the fastest growing segment in golf. The company's golfing turtle mascots, Putter and Sandy, invite young children to explore the world. The Littlest Golfer's educational books are designed to give children the tools they need to succeed in golf and life. This is incredible product and the holidays are around the corner.

The best performing price-point shirt this season both at retail and for dressing golf staff was easily Play Dry Micro Pique from Greg Norman's Pro-Series.

Men's knit shirts are the most important source of revenue in most Golf Pro Shops and one can make a case for every season showing the customer something new. As always, share any experience you may have had with these products or any others performing particularly well in your shop.

Next week I will spotlight ladies' golf apparel and in the near future we will have a Saturday entry focusing on the holiday season.


  1. This is a great blog with lots of good content. a little information on all of the apparel companies helps to keep me up to speed on what is going on in the fashion world. Keep the good coverage coming Crig.

    Mary Beth Lacy Inc.

  2. Hi Craig,

    I hope all is well. I read your blog with great interest!

    I've been an assistant professional for the last 10 years and have just made the transition into the sales side of the golf business and work with a few different apparel brands, none of which are so called "big names".

    My question to you, since you deal with the folks that I deal with, is what would be your advice to an independent sales rep trying to grow brands that aren't yet household names but have a lot of potential?

    I'm very diligent and punctual in my follow up and service, I always try to be polite and courteous, I never show up without an appointment and I'm always available.

    The biggest hurdle I have is getting buyers to open up to the possibility of carrying something else other than the "big names". They all seem to show (or pretend to show) interest but, when it comes down to it, go with the safer more well-known option. I realize that the bottom line for a buyer is having products that sell but every company was small at some point, right?

    I just thought I'd get in touch since you know more than I do.

    Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for your time.

  3. Craig- Thank you for the information on some of the new apparel ideas, aside from some of the usual , "old wine in a new bottle" pitches, it sounds like some of the brands are genuinely starting to innovate, that is great .. We'll leave it to you to help decipher between the two ...Great Blog!!

  4. Craig...this information means much more coming from a person with your background and integrity than coming from a large site supported by ads. You are providing great information to the industry and I hope you continue the Saturday edition of the blog. There are many buyers that don't have the opportunity to see everything that is out there, and this will open many eyes to some very exciting brands. I look forward to reading you piece with Ken Bauer also. He is a sharp guy with a great eye for design.

    All the best,

    Tim Rouillard

  5. Mr. Kirchner,
    As always, great information! We don't always have the time to search out new products.
    Have any advice on displaying innovative new products in our pro shop to their best advantage?

  6. Craig;

    You are providing us with such great information. I would love to hear from your readers on their experience with the vendors and products you are hgihlighting. If we all work together, we can begin to bring this inductry back to it's roots and away from some of the hard, cold, corporate companies who have dug their claws into our specialty business!