Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MacGregor Golf on the way out of business

MacGregor Golf, the second-oldest golf equipment company in the United States, is selling off chunks of its operation - and is heading for oblivion.
It has suffered a dwindling of staff and defection of top management executives. Perhaps not rats deserting a sinking ship but a good enough analogy.
Now, it is liquidating at least some of its inventory.
“We’ve been picking up some of it at rock-bottom prices,” said Mark Marney, owner and chief executive of The Golf Warehouse.
According to the merchandiser’s website, the MacGregor Bobby Grace DCT series putters, for example, have been marked down from $169 to $49.88.
The inventory fire sale follows MacGregor’s 11th-hour withdrawal from January’s US PGA Merchandise Show at Orlando and offering no product introductions this season.
The Albany, Georgia-based company, whose ownership group includes Greg Norman, has already sold apparel maker Greg Norman Collection to New York-based Tharanco Group on February 2.
A MacGregor spokesperson acknowledged that the company’s Asian subsidiary, which it had owned since 2003, had been purchased in a management buy-out.
According to a former MacGregor employee, the company has been on the block for months. That source, as well as another retail observer, said at least one major retailer considered buying the remaining assets of MacGregor and making it a house brand.
The industry rumour mill has speculated extensively about a potential MacGregor buyer, including reports that one of its international distributors could be a suitor.
Meanwhile, MacGregor’s staff has been depleted. President and CEO Michael Setola joined Greg Norman Collection; putter designer Bobby Grace resigned in June; Reid Gorman, who preceded Setola as president, left the company in October; and the sales staff has been gutted.
Remember the name. MacGregor. It could soon be a thing of the past.



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