Worldwide Golf Brands (WWGB), owners of the Stuburt and Ram brands have bucked the trend of golf businesses by posting record sales figures for 2010 and bolstered its position as the world’s fastest-growing golf shoe and apparel company.
With sales up 52% year-on-year, a well-received launch into the apparel arena, four victories on tour including a major championship, Stuburt is one of the hottest brands in world golf right now.
Keen to build on the momentum and to stay one step ahead of the competition, WWGB is in talks with other household brand names to add to their arsenal. In addition, they took the bold step of pulling out of the traditional buying groups and introducing an innovative Business-to-Business (B2B) website at the end of last year.
The new trade B2B site enables account holders to buy direct with only WWGB between source and retail, which means the trade can be assured of the best possible prices at all times.
Graeme Stevens, Managing Director of Worldwide Golf Brands (WWGB), said: “We’ve had a good year in 2010 – but are always looking to take things to the next level. We took the decision to launch a B2B site as we believe this is the future of trading.”
Stevens said: “We have worked successfully with a team of sales agents and also the buying groups, however, with trading conditions getting tougher, increases in VAT and margins get tighter, there is not enough margin to go around any more.”
“Our customer is king and it is important we offer retailers of Stuburt the best possible margins. So the only way to ensure we continue to do this with, without passing on fees or price increases, was to cut-out some of the mouths we have traditionally had to feed” Stevens added.
With 27% of the turnover spent on ‘fees’ to service the green grass accounts in 2010, it was clear that things needed to change and the decision to go direct to the trade was not a knee-jerk reaction. Rather a strategic decision to push Stuburt further into the global market place and challenge traditional industry-thinking.
PGA professional Stevens added: “The industry is relatively small. We know the guys in the trade and with advances in technology we can get to these accounts without it affecting our level of service and would much rather pass on those savings directly to our customers.”
With household names like Nike, Puma and Under Armour already offering a similar platform to their trade customers, Stuburt and Ram is the first of the emerging brands in golf to launch such a site and plan to take it to the next level with their loyalty points system with a wealth of prizes, such as Tag Heuer watches and iPads on offer.
With savings of 20+%, exclusive offers to B2B customers, instant stock availability awareness, there is little doubt the B2B site is revolutionising how WWGB do business.
Other key benefits of the site include:
- Loyalty points system – earn points for every £ you spend and redeem on items such as Tag Heuer watches and iPads.
- Reduced carriage minimums
- Competitions – opportunity to play with Darren Clarke, and other members of Team Stuburt, plus holidays in the sun
- Download product images and information plus POS and marketing support material
- Text offers – real-time deals
- Newsletters and frequent company updates
With the site being used to great success in-use for the past three months, considerable resource and investment has gone into the B2B site and its development, demonstrating WWGB’s ongoing commitment to provide performance products to the trade, at competitive prices.
Jay Bavington, Sales Director for WWGB, said: “Our key aims are to see more Stuburt products on the shelves and the retailers make more margin. The site has been up and running for the last 3 months and the response from the trade has been great. We have already given away our first iPad.”
Bavington went on to say: “We decided the best way to ensure we create a win-win for our customers, and engage with as many admirers of Stuburt brand as possible, was to build this platform for them to come direct to us.”
“Being able to open up new accounts, pass on the savings to our customers and enable them to see current levels of stock in real-time and order, or re-order, just a single item, is revolutionising our business” added Bavington.
Former retailer-turned-brand owner Stevens, concluded by saying: “The industry has indentified that it is changing and the environment in which it operates is changing. So we needed to change. There is little room for other parties between source and retail these days, if the green grass golf professional is to thrive rather than just survive.”
Worldwide Golf Brands www.wwgb2b.com