Edwin Watts to open shops within Sears

Next time you’re shopping for Craftsman Tools or maybe a high-definition TV at Sears, know this: You might be able to test a new driver or buy golf balls at Edwin Watts, too.

That’s because the golf retailer announced plans to open 12 shops within select Sears locations in the U.S. The partnership between Edwin Watts Golf Shops and Sears Holdings seeks to capitalize on the retailers’ similar consumer demographics. The alliance promises Edwin Watts greater exposure and a chance to broaden its audience, while giving Sears an opportunity to enhance its sporting goods business.

Edwin Watts, based in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is expected to launch its “store-within-a-store” model at a Sears location in Murray, Utah, by May 31. Other targeted sites include Hicksville, N.Y., Falls Church, Va., and Friendswood, Texas. After these initial openings, eight additional Edwin Watts shops are scheduled to open in Sears locations in Maryland, Illinois, New York, Florida and Kentucky.

Each Edwin Watts housed inside a Sears store will be designed to replicate the golf retailer’s free-standing shops. The store-within-a-store format, which may occupy as much as 3,000 square feet, will offer golf equipment, apparel and accessories from a variety of top brands. It also will feature putting greens and hitting bays, offer clinics and provide services such as club- and ball-fitting.

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According to Edwin Watts officials, the shops will be positioned near other major Sears departments such as electronics, tools, appliances and sporting goods.

“We chose to partner with Sears based on our strategic need for a mall-based retailer with a national footprint, as well as affiliations with leading brands such as Craftsman Tools and Nordic Track, which strongly align with the golfer demographic,” said John Watson, Edwin Watts’ CEO, in a statement.

He added that the partnership offers “a new channel of distribution within a retail brand that offers tremendous equity value and global recognition.

“As the golf industry is seeking opportunities to increase participation and interest across all demographics, this retail model will allow a new audience of consumers to experience golf each time they visit their local Sears store,” Watson said.

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