By Vanessa Salomons, Director of Retail at Monaghan Golf Group
“Stretching” the Apparel Sales Category
The ‘athleisure’ trend is upon us! From workwear to daywear, from yoga class to high-end restaurants, from errand-running to… you guessed it, golf. This may be a hard pill to swallow for a golf traditionalist, however, from a business perspective, getting on board with this clothing trend will gain you access to a different audience and BOOST shop sales.
What is athleisure?
According to the dictionary, it is: “casual, comfortable clothing designed to be suitable both for exercise and everyday wear.”
This clothing trend has been around for a while; I recall wearing Lululemon pants in a work environment sometime around 2000. It went well even then, though I do admit it was a bit of a stretch to the restrictions of workplace attire at that time. Before athleisure was considered a ‘fashion movement’ it really began as a grassroots preference for the comfort of exercise wear.
This season we see the addition of athleisure collections - for both women and men - to bigger golf brands like FootJoy, Adidas, Under Armour and Nike in addition to mainstream ladies’ golf fashion brands like Cracked Wheat, Tail and Jamie Sadock.
This is a big step forward for the fashion brands as they try to gain access to the segment of the buying population that will purchase athleisure as a functional and fashionable piece to hit the links or as an après golf item.
I have to plug one of my favourite athleisure brands and one that we at Monaghan Golf Group carry at many of the Pro Shops: MPG. This brand is athleisure at its finest and - big bonus - is affordable! This line, which falls under the Mondetta umbrella, offers both Men’s and Ladies’ collections and has a full lifestyle segment in addition to yoga and fitness-specific collections. When booking, I took the best of the best that suited the golf world and voila – we now have fashionable, functional and affordable additional clothing options in our shops. These pieces serve as an add-on, as a work-to-golf line and as an alternative for those that are looking for something to add to their everyday wardrobe.
With the relaxing of many dress codes in the golf world, we can rest assured that these items are safe to wear on the golf course at most facilities.
I want to show you how versatile the items in this category are so I created the Golf Capsule for both Men and Women showcasing MPG. These items are athleisure MUST HAVES that will take you from the course to the 19th hole, to dinner in the clubhouse to a yoga class. The possibilities are endless.
As retailers in the golf business we are constantly inventing new ways to engage our clientele with fresh and different products. Athleisure is one way that golf courses can add a category that intersects with many of life’s avenues. With this diverse-use sub category in our product mix, we can reach a clientele that may be younger, play less rounds and perhaps spend less on golf traditional products. By offering athleisure wear, we are offering a wearable product for the golf course but with much more diversity.