I was shopping for a women’s polo shirt in the Golf Shop at Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters on Saturday. The Golf Shop provides a wide array of shirt designs – different brands, many colors, varying patterns, different materials, and so on. I think I counted well over 60 unique products just on mannequins on the back wall of the main shop.
Every design provided was in high demand – Masters merchandise is available from Augusta National Golf Club only during the week of the tournament. There is no official online merchandise outlet, so folks were coming into the shop and buying up everything they could get their hands on. Demand is very high for these products.
So I was not totally surprised to find that the shirt I had hoped to purchase – style, color, size – was sold out. Substitute products were few and far between – most shirts in the size I sought were sold out as well. Unfortunately this occurred Saturday morning – there were essentially two entire days remaining in the tournament. Two days available for ANGC to continue to sell merchandise, but instead had to turn folks away with a simple “I’m sorry, we’re sold out.”
How much revenue do you think they lost because of stockouts? There are probably 50,000 patrons at ANGC each day of the Masters.
The shirts, while very nice (and very pricey – the one I ended up buying, in a different color, was $65), come in snap-closed bags that have a “Made In China” label. The shirts have the Masters logo embroidered on them – whether the shirt and the embroidery is completed overseas or the shirts is made in China but the embroidery is done stateside is unknown.
However, this entire occurrence makes the case for the value of local sourcing of raw materials or sellable goods.
If you have a local supplier of shirts and embroidery, it is probably easier to place more accurate and more flexible orders with rush delivery if ANGC can tell it’s going to run out of a shirt design really early. By utilizing smaller order quantities with faster turnaround times (both considered big benefits of local sourcing) ANGC might not have to forego those shirt sales.
Sure, producing shirts in China might be cheaper from a cost-per-piece price, but the delivery time is extremely long (delivery by ship, most likely) and the flexibility in re-ordering locally what is running out without having to suffer through long delivery times would provide significant benefits. This way ANGC can maintain inventory levels of what it will actually sell while at the same time not missing out on some sales because they’ve stocked out. Also throw in the fact that overseas manufacturing can’t react to product quality problems as quickly as a local source can.
For being such a ritzy, high profile event there are additional things Augusta National can do to accommodate the patrons and provide a greater experience.