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Europe’s largest golf retailer has selected Hampshire for its 101st store in the UK.

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Europe’s largest golf retailer has selected Hampshire for its 101st store in the UK.American Golf’s latest outlet is at Hedge End Trade Park, near Southampton, having relocated just over a mile away from Hedge End Golf Centre.

In a deal through regional commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard, the fast-growing golf equipment chain signed a 15-year lease on the 518 sq m (5,569 sq ft) unit at Tollbar Way.

David McGougan, a trade and industrial warehouse specialist at Hughes Ellard, which has offices in Southampton and Fareham, acted for the landlord, a blue-chip pension fund.

He said: “American Golf, as Europe’s largest golf retailer, is very much on the expansion trail and we were able to flag up this strategic space opportunity.

“The outlet has the wow factor, thanks to the company’s new-store format, and is three times larger than the previous premises of eight years at Hedge End Golf Centre. This is a very good letting for the estate, keeping with the diverse tenant mix.

“I shall be a regular visitor as I try to reduce my own challenged handicap of 16.”

Led by manager Mike Stone and assistant manager Chris Davis, the outlet has nine staff, including Steph Westbrook, who plays off plus-one; the average handicap of the retailer’s employees is seven.

In keeping with every American Golf store, there is in-house PGA professional, which locally is Laurie Blake.

In a four-week fit-out at the premises, a number of high-tech facilities have been  installed, including three virtual reality golf nets and a swing analysis computer, along with an extensive range of branded equipment and clothes.

Kevin Styles, American Golf’s chief executive, said: “Our mission, through the best in-store advice, equipment, clothing and performance technology, is to save golfers shots out there on the course.

“We are confident that, as Europe’s leading golf retail specialist, our 101st store at Hedge End will deliver on all fronts - we’ve already had a great response from customers, who are spoilt for choice with superb courses in Hampshire.”

According to the British Golf Industry Association, the retail golf market in the UK is worth up to £400m a year, with an estimated 2,500 golf retail outlets.

Stores at Hedge End Trade Park include Halfords, Formula One Auto Centre, Pizza Hut, KFC, Sliderobes, Floors-2-Go and Hammond Furniture.

Rent details in the deal were not disclosed.

Just For Fun, a party entertainment firm, was the previous occupier at unit 5 – the premises has since been marketed with a headline annual rent of £89,200.

Other staff at the new American Golf store include Mark Howes, Jeremy Farrar, Bob Tinney and Peter Wilson.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 13th April 2013 (updated 15/04/2013)

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