The R&A is to enter into a partnership with St Andrews Links Trust to manage its retail and merchandise operations.
The new agreement sees the Links Trust assume responsibility for the on-site shop at The Open, which caters for thousands of fans during the Championship, as well as the daily operation of the first ever Open Shop in St Andrews.
Work is now underway to prepare The Open Shop at Carnoustie in July and ready the retail store at the Home of Golf which will open to the public in April 2018. Both will stock an exclusive range of official apparel and merchandise from The Open.
Revenues generated by The Open enable The R&A to support the development of golf around the world and the governing body is aiming to invest £200 million in growing the sport over the next ten years.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive at The R&A, said, “St Andrews Links Trust has a huge amount of expertise in the golf retail business and we look forward to working with them to make this a successful venture. The new shop will add to the already strong retail offering in St Andrews and become a tangible presence for golf’s original championship in the town.”
Danny Campbell, Commercial Director of St Andrews Links Trust, said, “At St Andrews Links we are passionate about every aspect of retail, not least in our daily effort to represent the very best in brand and product storytelling in our stores and online.
“We look forward to harnessing our experience and expertise with The R&A to try to capture the public’s imagination and provide a retail experience that reflects one of sport’s greatest events.”
Under the terms of the new agreement the Links Trust will assume responsibility for the development and delivery of the product ranges as well as the daily operation of both the shop in St Andrews and the on-site shop and satellite stores during the week of The Open.
The Open Shop is due to open to the public in St Andrews next month and fans will be able to shop from exclusive collections from official outfitter Hugo Boss as well as leading brands such as Lyle & Scott, Ahead and Kate Lord.
The official retail outlet will open in the premises of the Tom Morris Shop, which is operated by the Links Trust, and will continue its long tradition as the oldest golf shop in the world.
The Links Trust will also continue to operate the fulfilment requirements of The Open’s e-commerce operation which it has successfully managed over the last year.
The 147th Open will be played at Carnoustie from 15-22 July 2018 www.theopen.com
St Andrews Links Trust https://www.standrews.com/