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Takeaway: Titleist looking to go public, but is golf investable? Consumer look at RH Modern, launching Oct. 1. Worst chain store growth # of the year.

NKE, UA, Adidas - Titleist looking to go public, but is golf investable? 

Acushnet Co (Titleist/FootJoy) is talking to banks about going public.  Acushnet (once owned by Fortune Brands) was purchased by Fila Korea Ltd. In 2011 for a purchase price of $1.225bn.  So naturally, the IPO is rumored to value the company at $2bn.

Titleist and FootJoy are among the best brands in Golf, and just about every 3-handicap PM who will be shopped the deal is likely to agree. But lets not forget that this is a low margin, operating asset intensive, high R&D business with two huge competitors (Nike and UA) who are jacking up the cost of growth by way of much more cash-rich core businesses.

Also, there is a net exodus of players from the game. Since 2007 (Economy & TigerGate) the number of people playing golf in the US is down by 5mm, or 17%.  Rounds per player has gone up since then, showing that it is the beginner that has left the game. That's definitely the lower-spending golfer, but the fact is that today's beginner is tomorrow's expert. 

Another thing  to consider is that if we're talking about an IPO, it likely means that the company has been shopped to UA and Adidas (Taylormade), both of whom presumably balked. And lastly, in the heyday of golf (circa 1999/2000) Callaway flirted with a $2bn valuation. Today it is below $700mm.  Titleist is a great brand, but is it 3 Callaways?

Perhaps it is. But they're going to have a tough round at this price.

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/titleist-golf-unit-said-to-contact-banks-for-possible-u-s-ipo)

Retail Callouts (9/29): Titleist Looking To Go Public  |  RH Modern - 9 29 chart1

RH Releases First Look at Modern to Consumer -- Launching Online October 1st 

CLICK HERE for Video

Retail Callouts (9/29): Titleist Looking To Go Public  |  RH Modern - 9 29 chart2

ICSC - Chain Stores put up worst growth number of the year at +1.2%. Eight straight weeks of decelerating growth on 1yr, 2yr, and 3yr basis.

Retail Callouts (9/29): Titleist Looking To Go Public  |  RH Modern - 9 29 chart3

Retail Callouts (9/29): Titleist Looking To Go Public  |  RH Modern - 9 29 chart4

JWN - A look at the new 140,000 SqFt Twin Cities Nordstrom store.  Uses the new store design including girlfriend fitting rooms, a 135 seat restaurant, and a kids playhouse.

(http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2015/09/28/nordstrom-new-ridgedale-store-minnetonka.html?ana=yahoo)

Bob’s Furniture is entering Chicago-area market President’s Day weekend.  Company is planning five stores in the region, which was signaled in January upon leasing a 752,000 SqFt DC in Shorewood, IL

(http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/524068-bobs-open-first-chicago-area-stores-during-presidents-day-weekend)

WMT - Wal-Mart making good on its commitment to get to using 100% renewable energy, announcing a long term power agreement with Pattern Energy Group for wind power.

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/walmart-moves-closer-renewable-future-big-wind-deal)

Just a few weeks after the launch of Android pay, Samsung is launching its own payment solution, Samsung pay.  The phones are equipped for both near field communication magnetic secure transmission.

(http://www.retailingtoday.com/article/another-mobile-payment-solution-launches-us)

TUES - Michael Rouleau, CEO of Tuesday Morning, retiring from company and board effective  immediately. 

(http://ir.tuesdaymorning.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=934204)