Are you surprised by Glenmuir’s acquisition of Sunderland of Scotland?

By: October 28, 2019

The news about Glenmuir‘s acquisition of Sunderland of Scotland could not have come at a better time as we are entering into the cold month of November.

But to be serious, they will be one company from 1st January 2020. Glenmuir will own the global rights and distribution for the Sunderland of Scotland brand outside of Asia.

The agreement follows on from a successful 10-year partnership where Glenmuir was the European distributor for the Sunderland of Scotland brand.

Sunderland of Scotland SS2020 Collection Mens-Windwear

Both brands, in addition to the MacWet golf rain glove brand, will continue to be designed, marketed, embroidered, finished and distributed from Glenmuir’s Lanark headquarters in the heart of Scotland with no changes to employment planned.

The company will continue to launch separate Glenmuir and Sunderland of Scotland brand collections for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter in addition to capsule collections such as the recent 1891 Heritage Collection and Saltire Collections.

A Glenmuir source told me

The brands have seen tremendous growth in the last two years and are now distributed in over 30 countries globally with the latest market to launch both brands being Canada.

Sunderland of Scotland SS2020 Collection Ladies-Rainwear

To have a better picture of the story, I must add that Glenmuir was acquired by the Ruia Group in 2002.

The choice of Sunderland of Scotland is really straight forward from Glenmuir’s perspective. This way, Glenmuir will have a better position and place in pro-shops.

Sunderland of Scotland, Glenmuir & Retail trends in 2020

To strengthen Glenmuir’s and Sunderland of Scotland’s premium brand image I would focus more on the sustainability aspect of their products.

I am telling this because consumers are putting sourcing and manufacturing practices under scrutiny.

It would be great if they would make an effort to minimize their waste or even help their customers to return their unused products.

If they want to improve their e-commerce performance, then the focus should be at the convenience of free and fast shipping. It is good that at least in the UK the delivery is free. To the US it is almost free. You have to order above US $150.

Free returns or exchanges of products should be offered if they want to increase the confidence and trust of online buyers.

Sunderland of Scotland SS2020 Collection Mens-Coldwear

Another nice challenge for these two brands is to build a sense of belongingness among their customers. Glenmuir founded in 1891. Sunderland of Scotland was founded in 1911.

Their rich heritage and significant role in the global golf (e.g Ryder Cup) could be a foundation of their future consumer community.

I am expecting that golf apparel purchasing will continue to be done mainly in brick and mortar shops.

However, marketers like Glenmuir must invest more in the experience around the shopping of their products. This means that the classic display of products in a pro-shop will not impress golfers anymore!

From now on retailers should:

  • Create immersive and shareable experience;
  • Focus more on customer engagement;
  • Stimulate your customers’ senses;
  • Align store experience to customer needs.

I would say, the PGA Tour Superstore is doing a great job in experiential retail.

Maybe one more thing that can help you to succeed in golf retailing in 2020 is to try to become more a service provider than just a golf apparel manufacturer.