Following a year of changes across retail and golf, Devereux announced Monday it is shifting its design focus to embrace a new wave of players as it exits wholesale and moves to a direct-to-consumer model.
The golf brand’s co-founder and creative director Robert Brunner described the sport as at “a cultural tipping point that needs to be welcomed with open arms.” Devereux’s decision to rebrand, he continued, centers on designing a look and feel that would allow golf to become more inclusive and inviting for the younger and more diverse casual players who are now engaging with the game.
Will Brunner, Devereux’s director of operations and its other co-founder, said the brand saw a sharp decline in wholesale at the very start of the pandemic. At the same time, he added, its owned channels grew “exponentially.” Combined with increased interest from younger consumers, Will Brunner said the pivot to a DTC model made the most sense.
“The pandemic ultimately caused us to look inward and think about what’s important, what we value most, and it changed our mindset,” Robert Brunner told Sourcing Journal. “Instead of embracing the transactional feeling that came with what we were doing, we started thinking about how we can help… how we can assist…. Something needed to change in this game and that became very apparent last year.”
The pivot will see Devereux lean further into streetwear by offering new and existing silhouettes “with a more unapologetic voice and utilitarian design.” These changes will bring additional product categories, “bolder” prints and graphics and more casual silhouettes for greater versatility in on- and off-course outfitting, Devereux said. Additionally, customers can expect new product to drop more frequently, including limit-edition capsules designed to accompany key golf tournaments such as the West Coast Swing, The Masters and the U.S. Open.
However, Robert Brunner said the biggest evolution will be a change in pricing. “I think it’s kind of counterproductive to say ‘I’m making golf more welcoming, but I’m also charging a ton of money for you to join it,’” he said. “I hear more and more about being more welcoming in golf, I get that, that’s an issue that needs to be addressed, but what are you actually doing to address that? That’s the hard thing. I can say that, but my charging $120 for a sweater is not addressing the problem.”
Devereux’s West Coast Swing capsule, for example, tops out at $74 for a hoodie. Other items include a $64 polo, $58 crewneck sweatshirt and a $38 tee.
Aside from frequent, price-accessible product releases, Robert Brunner said the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based brand will also spend the coming year focused on community building. “We want to increase our community involvement and elevate the activity level to help infuse golf with a sense of community,” he said.
“Phoenix is such a big golf destination, but a true golf community is lacking here,” Robert Brunner continued. “We’re committed to doing what we can do in order to build the game here… building the awareness here is really important to us. Obviously, the pandemic poses some challenges in how we would typically immerse ourselves among the community, but we are focusing our efforts on that in the next coming year.”