By Don Southerton, BCW Editor
After months of work, I can share news that America's top golf retailer Golfsmith has signed a MOU with GOLFZON, Korea's leader in golf simulation technology. We work closely with both firms serving as consultants providing a wide range of services.
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 22, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Golfsmith International Inc. GOLF -0.46% , the largest golf specialty retailer in the U.S., today announced it will introduce its first retail operations outside the U.S., in South Korea, the fastest growing golf market in the world. This new agreement with GOLFZON Co. (kosdaq:GOLFZON) is another step in Golfsmith's global strategy aimed at forging partnerships around the world as the company continues to leverage its brand assets internationally. Golfsmith will reinvest the income generated from this new partnership back into its core U.S. business where the company continues to gain momentum and market share.
The Memorandum of Understanding combines Golfsmith's international influence along with GOLFZON's knowledge and presence in South Korea -- where a majority of golf is played indoors on golf simulators. With a dominant share of over 84% of the golf simulator market, GOLFZON supplies its products to over 4000 indoor screen golf courses across South Korea. This alliance with Golfsmith will enable GOLFZON to open full retail stores with the best brands in golf like those found in Golfsmith's stores throughout the United States.
"With three million golfers already in South Korea our agreement with GOLFZON further signals Golfsmith's global strategy to build relationships that develop, manage and market Golfsmith and its brands," said Golfsmith Chairman and CEO Martin Hanaka. "GOLFZON's keen understanding of the South Korean golf market and its solid customer base make them a strong partner in one of the biggest golf markets in the world. It's exciting to see an established brand like GOLFZON move from an interactive simulator gaming environment into a fully operational retail environment under the Golfsmith banner."
GOLFZON's CEO Kim Young-chan shared Hanaka's optimism. "GOLFZON has been highly successful bringing together golf and technology in South Korea. We now look to Golfsmith's successful retail golf model in the U.S. to bring their expertise to the South Korean golf retail industry."
The agreement allows Golfsmith and GOLFZON to build a strong collaborative working relationship, while supporting each other in the design, marketing, and development of Korean retail golf operations. The goal will be to provide the South Korean golf enthusiast, whether a novice or highly experienced, with exceptional values along with the latest product and service offerings. Under the terms of the agreement the new stores will be branded Golfsmith and operated by GOLFZON.
Established in 2000, GOLFZON is one of the world-largest sellers of virtual golf simulation systems. In South Korea, GOLFZON is a major beneficiary of the huge popularity of indoor golf courses, owning an 84% share of the golf simulator market. With over 16,500 systems operating in 30 countries, over 200,000 people play on GOLFZON systems every day including participating in real-time tournaments with other golfers or taking swings at internationally recognized golf courses -- such as those in Pebble Beach, California. For more information about GOLFZON, please visit the company's website at http://company.GOLFZON.com/en .
About Golfsmith International Inc.
Golfsmith has been in business for over 44 years and is a specialty retailer of golf and tennis equipment, apparel and accessories. The company operates as an integrated multi-channel retailer, offering its customers the convenience of shopping in 78 stores across the United States, through its Internet site and from its assortment of catalogs. Golfsmith offers an extensive product selection that features premier branded merchandise, as well as its proprietary products, clubmaking components and pre-owned clubs. For more information about Golfsmith, please visit the company's website at www.golfsmith.com .